Home Tips: Best Ways to Get Rid of Smelly Drains

Home Tips: Does your drain smell?

Have you ever walked into the bathroom or kitchen and your senses are attacked by a foul odor? You search for something rotting, or you take out the garbage to see if that is the culprit. But, on your way to the sink, the foul smell is much stronger. You start running the water to try and wash out the smell, and if you’re in the kitchen, you run the disposal thinking possibly there is some rotting food in there, but that is not the case. You, my friend, have smelly drains.

If you are wondering how to remove the stinky odor and what are the possible causes and options for freshening your house up, then you are in the right place.

What Causes Drain Odor?

Clogs and Bacterias – Hair, food, grease, a substance called gunk and other debris can become clogged in pipes where bacteria build up causing the release of a foul odor.

Sewer Smells – This problem usually occurs when drains are not used very often. Sewer gas can leak up through the pipes if there are empty drain traps. Also, make sure that you don’t have a natural gas leak.

Pipe Blockage – Test to see if, when running water, it suddenly stops draining creating a puddle of water in the sink. If there is a smell that comes up with it, you likely have a sewer pipe blockage.

Water Issues – The incidence of rotten egg odor is due to the reaction of sulfates and microorganisms in water. This issue is common to happen with hot water heaters when sulfate-reducing bacteria invade the system and react with sulfur in the water heater that produces a rotten egg smell.

Mold or Mildew – Mold and mildew can build up if there is even the smallest leak in the pipe underneath the sink or even behind the wall.

Plumbing Mistake – Mistake from installing pipes such as missing traps or vents can cause bad odors. Leaks and rotting drain pipes are things that can cause odors in the drain as well.

Home Tips: How to Get Rid of the Odor?

Removing odor caused by clogs, pipe blockages, and bacteria:

  • Start by plugging the sink, fill it with hot water, add bleach and then let it go down the drain. The bleach will kill the bacteria.
  • Boiling water alone poured down a drain, slowly and gradually, can also help get rid of odor caused by bacteria.
  • You can also combine equal parts of vinegar and baking soda. When it starts to fizz, you can pour it down the drain, then run hot water with it and let it sit for at least an hour. This method is a great solution that is a little less harsh than bleach.
  • Another option is to snake your drain with a snake purchases from a hardware store, or even just a coat hanger to push out anything that could be clogging the pipes.

Home Tips: Fixing sewer smells and empty drain traps:

  • Drain traps require having water in them to keep sewer gasses from rising. If you maintain running water through your pipes, including the shower and toilet, it should help keep the traps full.
  • Drop a little bit of mineral oil into rarely used drains to help reduce the evaporation of water out the traps.

Home Tips: Repairing plumbing issues and leaks causing mold and mildew:

These problems require a hand from a professional plumber. Have them check and repair traps and vents, add or replace them if necessary. The plumber should also inspect for leaks and other issues that may be causing the smelly odor and then make proper repairs, so it is no longer an issue.

Home Tips: Fixing water issues:

Turn up the heat on the water heater to kill the bacteria and solve this problem. The standard setting is 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which should kill the bacteria, but increasing it to 160 for a few minutes should ensure that the sulfate-reducing bacteria are gone. Then, flush the water heater by running the hot water for 10-15 minutes. Doing this can fix the issue, but first, make sure that there is a pressure release valve on your water heater, or this could put you in danger.

No one enjoys drain odors and the stress that comes with it. Luckily, there are lots of options for treating the smell that low-cost and efficient. For major issues, an experienced and professional plumber should handle it, but it’s always a great idea to test out and try the DIY methods if you can.

For more information about Einstein Pros, call us today at (888) 671-7767 or email support@einsteinpros.com, we also offer a wide range of plumbing, water heater, heating & cooling, and drain & sewer services throughout Oregon, Washington and Nevada. Are you planning a bathroom remodeling? You can also count on us for that job!