You scrub your house from top to bottom, but there’s still a nasty smell coming from somewhere. You empty the garbage cans, but something still stinks. Finally, you realize it’s coming from your drains. What on earth is down there, creating that awful smell? There are a few possibilities. Please keep reading to find out what they are.
Drain Trap Troubles
The drain trap in your sink or bathtub helps seal off the pipe and prevent sewer smells from making their way back up into your home. If you don’t have a drain trap or it started to break down and isn’t sealing correctly, this could cause that nasty odor. Unfortunately, no amount of cleaning is going to fix it. Instead, you’ll need to contact a professional plumber to come install a new drain trap to seal off the pipe again and keep that sewage smell where it belongs—out of your home.
Insufficient Pipe Venting
Did you know that your drain pipes are connected to vent pipes as well? The vent pipes bring fresh air in while letting out foul-smelling gasses. Usually, vertical vent pipes will exit through the roof, away from any windows or other vents that might allow the smell back into your home. However, like any pipe, vent pipes can become clogged. If this happens, you could have several issues related to the clog, one of them being smelly drains.
It’s also possible that you don’t have vent pipes at all. Either way, you’ll want to speak with a professional plumber about installing vent pipes or unclogging the main stack of your existing vent pipes to fix the problem.
If the bad smell is coming from just one drain that you haven’t used in a long time, then the issue is probably a dry P-trap. Drain lines have a goose-necked section of pipe designed to block sewer gasses from coming up through the drain. Water sits in the goose-neck pipe, helping block it off from any incoming gasses. But if you haven’t used that drain in a long time, that water has likely evaporated. The fix is simple: Run some water down the drain to refill the P-trap, and it should seal out the odor again.
Sewage Line Clogs
Another more significant issue that could contribute to smelly drains is a clog in your main sewage line. If the mainline is clogged, sewage can wash out of your pipes properly, and this can cause it to back up and emit odors into your home. If it gets bad enough, the sewage itself can make an appearance in your drains—and that’s something nobody wants to deal with. If you suspect the foul smells are from a sewer line clog, get sewer repair in Sacramento right away.