Smell something strange? If your sink, tubs or other fixtures seem to have a cloud of nauseating odor hanging around them, you’re dealing with some kind of drain or sewer issue. These odors are unpleasant to live with and embarrassing when you bring company over. What’s more, they could indicate an issue more serious than a minor inconvenience, and are potentially toxic. If you smell sewer gas or something similar in your home, you need to take care of it right away. Here are some of the most common causes of drain odors.
If sewage and other gunk gets clogged in your drains, the clots of material can cause a serious odor problem. Bacteria love clogged sewage, and will take every chance they get to make their home in your drains. These bacteria generate gases that smell noxious. Drain clogs most frequently occur in places like your bathroom sink, tub and kitchen. To avoid this issue, take measures to prevent waste buildup in the first place. Place hair traps in showers and schedule regular pipe and drain maintenance to stop problems before they start.
Dry fixtures can cause odors, as well. Usually, pipe odors are pushed out through roof vents by flushing water, but this process can’t happen if the fixtures are dry. For smelly sinks, the problem usually lies in the p-trap, the curved section of drain that traps water and forms a seal that prevents odors from coming up—if it goes dry, odors escape. This often happens in sinks that don’t get used frequently, so make sure to run water in your guest room sink once in a while.
Broken or Blocked Sewer Line
A blocked or broken sewer line causes intense, pervasive odors. You will need a professional to fix this kind of problem. Get it fixed immediately, too, since sewer issues can cause basement flooding, insect infestations and disease.
Remember that no matter the cause of an odor, it is difficult to determine exactly what is causing it and where the problem is located without proper equipment.