Consistently smelling bad odors coming from your drains or plumbing fixtures? The culprits are varied, including standing water, dry P-traps, bacteria and clogs that build up over time. Whether the origin is the drain or the faucet above, there are a few steps you can take to address the issue. Follow our suggestions below to eliminate the bad smells wafting from your plumbing fixtures.
Solving Kitchen Sink Drain Odors
When the bad smell coming from your kitchen sink drain becomes noticeable, there are several ways you can address the problem. It’s often best to start by cleaning the kitchen sink itself of bacteria. Plug the drain and carefully run the hottest water possible from your faucet into the sink basin, then let it sit for a few minutes before draining it. You can also sprinkle baking soda, followed by white vinegar and spread that around the sink prior to filling with hot water. After draining, scrub the sink basin thoroughly with a degreasing agent (such as Dawn dish soap) and hot water.
At times, the source of the smell is coming from the drain instead. When this is the case, the first course of action is to remove food debris from the garbage disposal if it is visible. The easiest way is to turn on the garbage disposal while the water is running until it sounds like it has cleared. If there are food particles that are stuck in the disposal, you may want to get a plumbing professional in to check the source of that problem. After the disposal is clear, use a common cleaning product such as Borax to attack any nasty leftover clogs. Simply pour half a cup of Borax (or a mixture of ½ cup baking soda with one cup of white vinegar) down the sink drain, then let it sit for 30 minutes before running hot water down the drain.
You should also take this time to clean the sink drain flange, often called the flanged rubber washer, that sits underneath your drain piece above the garbage disposal. Scrub the underside of the drain flange with a sink brush and cleaning product (such as Simple Green or a baking soda/white vinegar mixture) to rid it of slimy buildup.
Remedy Faucet & Shower Head Smells
When an awful smell is coming from a rarely used plumbing fixture, this may be because of standing water that’s been sitting in the shower head or faucet itself. Simply turn on the fixture to remove the standing water. If you notice there’s chalky buildup (hard water deposits) around your fixtures, you can remove it with these helpful tips from our blog post.
If you smell rotten eggs (meaning sulfur is present) from multiple plumbing fixtures, then there are several potential culprits. Sometimes this means there’s hydrogen sulfide in the water supply, either in the water treatment system or the water heater tank. If you turn on your water, and the smell is present no matter whether cold or hot water is flowing, then it’s the water treatment system. If you only smell rotten eggs when the hot water is running, then the source is most likely the water heater. You may need assistance from a plumbing professional to diagnose and address these issues.
When the stink source is coming from one drain, that often indicates the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas. This occurs when a sink drain gets clogged, causing bacteria to build up in the P-trap. If one sink isn’t draining as quickly as it used to and you start to notice a bad smell, it’s a good bet that’s the reason why. Try a mixture of baking soda (half a cup) and white vinegar (one cup) to rid the P-trap of its clog. Wait for 20 minutes, then rinse with hot water.
Eliminating Basement Floor Drain Odors
When only the drains in the lowest level of your home emit bad smells, the culprit is often sewer gases being released into the home.
When it comes from the foundation drain (usually in a utility area), it is generally due to a dry P-trap. The P-trap functions to prevent rising odors by providing a water barrier in the drain pipe. When it dries out, the odors rise unchecked. You can solve this by pouring a few gallons of water down the drain periodically. Adding a cup of white vinegar may help address any lingering smells.
In rare cases, the awful smell can indicate a leak or loose connections in the sewer line. Check for gurgling toilets and slow draining when you suspect a septic or sewer pipe leak. Walk around your home smelling for the bad odor when you think a loose connection may be the problem instead. Reach out to a professional plumber for assistance in diagnosing and fixing the basement drain smell issue.
Contact Your Local Plumber for Fast, Professional Solutions
When you cannot discover the source of the bad odors in your plumbing system or can’t find lasting remediation for those bad smells, reach out to a local plumber to uncover the source, then take appropriate action. If you find you need professional plumbing assistance, our team is just a phone call away. Contact us at Atlas Home Services for all your plumbing needs.