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How to Deal With Smelly Drains

Posted on 19 October 2021
How to Deal With Smelly Drains

Do you ever have moments where you notice foul smells coming from your drains? This could be in your kitchen or bathroom, or it could be near floor drains in your basement or laundry room. And this smell can quickly spread throughout your home.

There are some cases in which drains can build up a foul odor. To be able to remove that odor, you’ll need to know what causes the drain odor and the best methods of removal. Here’s what you need to know.

What causes smelly drains?

Here are a few of some of the most common causes of foul drain smells:

  • Clogs: A buildup of an amalgamation of gunk in the drains can result in foul smells emanating from them. This gunk could include hair, food, toothpaste, oils and just about anything else that stays trapped in the drain.
  • Sewer gas: In some cases, you might have sewer gas come up through the drains if the drain traps are empty. This is most likely to occur in drains that are not frequently used. But it might also be a sign that you have a natural gas leak somewhere on your property.
  • Water problems: If you have high levels of certain materials in your water, such as sulfates, this could result in a rotten egg, sulfurous smell that can be quite unpleasant.
  • Blocks in the pipe: Sewer vent and drain pipes can become clogged, and those clogs can create unpleasant odors.
  • Mildew or mold: If there’s a small leak in a pipe somewhere under a sink or behind a wall, it could result in the formation of mildew or mold that creates a nasty, musty smell.

Dealing with the odor

So once you’ve determined the source of the odor, how do you eliminate it?

If the issue is a clog, blockage or bacteria, your best bet is to plug up the sink, fill it with hot water, add a little bit of bleach and then let the solution go down the drain. The bleach will kill off any bacteria in its path. You can pour boiling water slowly and directly down the drain as well to eliminate some of the odors, or use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda, the chemical reaction of which will fizz and eat away at the gunk. You can follow that mixture with hot water, then let the drain sit for at least an hour. This is a less-harsh solution than bleach, but one that is usually quite effective.

Clogs can also be fixed in some cases with a drain snake, which you can find at a local hardware store. 

If the issue is an empty drain trap, you will need to put some water into the drain trap to prevent the sewer gases from creeping up. Check the drain traps and add water as needed. If you’re not using a drain, you can pour in a little mineral oil to slow the water evaporation.

If the issue is mold or mildew, you should repair any leaks and then kill off the mold or mildew with a bleach mixture.

One of our experienced PipeMasters team can help you deal with smelly drains and fix what’s the cause, contact one of our experienced plumbers from PipeMasters today: info@pipemasters.ca or (289) 404-9063. PipeMasters is part of Oakridge Plumbing Ontario Ltd. and serves the East GTA, Durham Region, North to Lindsay & Peterborough, out to Cobourg and all points in between. All Rights Reserved.

Tags:Plumbing Tips