What is Causing That Bad Smell In Your Drain?

There is nothing more potentially embarrassing or unpleasant than a nasty smell in your home. Most of us take pride in keeping our homes neat and tidy, so when there is an unpleasant odor, it can be very frustrating to try to locate the source. A likely culprit is your drains, so what could be the possible causes of a bad smell in your drain? A Dry P-Trap: This is the simplest drain odor problem and has a very easy fix. If the bad smell is localized to just one drain, it could be because the P-trap is dry. The P-trap is the name of the curved section of pipe underneath your sink. Its shape is designed to allow water to collect to for a liquid plug to prevent sewer gases from rising through the drain. In most instances, a P-trap will dry up because the sink hasn’t been used for a while. If you have a sink in a rarely used guest room or other area of your home, it could be the source of the bad drain smell. The simple solution for this problem is to run the faucet for a minute or two. This will allow the P-trap to collect enough water to restore the liquid plug and should immediately eliminate the bad smell. Venting Problems: In addition to the P-Trap, your plumbing system has another method to prevent sewer gases from entering your home; venting pipes. This system of pipes is designed to remove any back flowing sewer gas by running them up to your roof. While this is an effective method of eliminating traces of sewer gas, the pipes can become clogged. If there is animal nests, snow or other debris accumulated inside the pipe, it will force any sewer gas back down, and they will move up through the drains. This type of problem needs to be handled by an experienced professional. Don’t be tempted to attempt to clear the venting pipes yourself, call in professional help. Issues With Your Sewer Line: If the bad smells are emanating from different sinks throughout your home, it is likely that you have an issue with your sewer line. The sewer line carries all your wastewater out of your home to the municipal sewer system. Unfortunately, if the line becomes broken or blocked, it can allow sewer gases and bad odors to enter your home. This type of problem is usually accompanied by other warning signs such as gurgling noises, slow running drains or backed up sinks. Unfortunately, these types of issues are usually a major repair problem. You will need professional plumbers to locate the source of the break or blockage and repair the underlying problem. If you notice these indications of a sewer line issue, you should act immediately. If left unchecked, your damaged line could lead to flooding, where sewage backs up into your home or wastewater floods into your foundation or basement, causing terrible property damage. Fortunately, with modern trenchless repair techniques, a broken sewer line no longer requires weeks of excavation and disruption. By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.