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Nov 14 2019

Why Do My Drains Stink? The Leading Causes of Stinky Drains

Stinky drains are a pretty common plumbing problem and can be caused by a variety of reasons. A bad smelling drain is usually the symptom of a plumbing problem in need of repair. Most stinky drain problems are pretty easy to fix, however on occasion it may be a sign or a more serious plumbing problem. Here are some reasons why your drains stink and what you can do about it.  

Dried P Trap

A dried p trap is one of the most common reasons why your drains stink. The p trap is the pipe that is directly connected to your drain under the sink. It is shaped like a “p” or “u” and helps prevent sewer gases from traveling into your home through your drains. Under normal circumstances, a barrier of water is maintained in the part of the trap that is curved. This keeps sewer gases at bay. Sometimes the trap can get dried out, this is particularly common in a bathroom that doesn’t get used all that often. To alleviate this problem, simply run the faucet and let the trap fill back up with water.  

Dirty Garbage Disposal

A dirty garbage disposal is another common reason why your drains stink. Over time left over food particles and bacteria can collect inside of your garbage disposal. If your kitchen drain is emitting a serious funk, rest assured the problem is usually benign. You need to deodorize and clean your garbage disposal. Try running hot water followed by baking soda and vinegar. Dropping a few ice cubes down the garbage disposal can also help knock food particles off of your blades. In addition a few lemon peel can help leave a pleasant scent after you clean your garbage disposal.   

An Issue With Your Sewer Line

Stinky drains can also be caused by an issue with your sewer line. If your sewer line is damaged, it could be leaking sewage. Sewer line damage can be caused by a number of things, a clog, tree roots, or unstable ground. A damaged sewer line is definitely a cause for concern, as it can cause a lot of damage. You may notice frequent clogs, unexplained puddles in your yard, lush patches of grass in your yard, and the unmistakable stench of sewage. The best way to diagnose an issue with your sewer line is with a video pipe inspection 

Buildup In Your Pipes

Over time a nasty grime starts to build up inside of your pipes. This is a mixture of waste, soap scum, bacteria, and other debris. Bacteria overgrowth is what causes the smell, and is a good indication that you need to have your drains professionally cleaned. Hydro-jetting is a way to knock all of that buildup off of your pipe walls. This can not only get rid of the nasty smell, but also improve drainage. As part of your regular plumbing maintenance, annual drain cleaning is suggested to keep buildup at bay and prevent unnecessary problems.   

Clogged Vent Stack

Your plumbing system is complete with a ventilation system. This helps relieve sewer gas that gets trapped within your pipes. A vent stack is located on the roof, and ventilates sewer gas. Sometimes, the vent stack can get clogged with leaves, snow, ice, birds nests, animals, and other debris. When this happens, the sewer gas won’t be able to properly vent and may be forced back into your home. If your vent stack is clogged, it is best to let a professional make repairs and install a screen that can help prevent future clogs.   Stinky drains got you feeling down? We can help. To learn more about why your drains stink or to schedule and appointment, contact Rooter Hero today! 

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