Drain Cleaning

Learn the Reasons for Smelly Drains and Stinky Water

Learn the Reasons for Smelly Drains and Stinky Water

Almost everyone will have the unpleasant experience with smelly drains or stinky water in their homes at some point in time. While it’s not fun, it’s not that hard to fix usually. To start, you need to determine what is causing the odors and then you can determine what solution you need.

Here are the most common reasons:

Ventilation Challenges

If there is something blocking your pipes (i.e. tree root, debris, plant matter or animal nesting) then smelly sewer gases won’t be able to flow away from your home.

Not only will the obstruction block the flow of water, the flow of air is obstructed as well. The smelly gases linger in your home.

To prevent or correct this, it is a good idea to get your drains cleaned on a regular basis.

Rotten Egg Smell? Check Your Water Heater

If you detect a rotten egg smell in your water, the first place to look is at your water heater. Inside your water heater is an anode rod which prevents your tank from rusting out through a series of chemical reactions.

However, if those chemicals are out of balance, an excess of sulfuric gas is produced, which is what causes that trademark smell.

To fix this problem, simply replace the anode rod, which is a reasonably easy DIY fix, or call a professional for help.

P-Trap Lacks Moisture

That funny smell coming from the drains may be because the P-trap is dried out.

p-trapThe P-trap (the curved part attached to the pipe) is what prevents smelly gases from leaving the sewer and coming into your home.

It uses a barrier of water in the P-trap to do so. If that trap has dried out (if the water hasn’t run in a while or if the seal if broken) then there is no barrier in place.

To fix this, try running the water or check if the seal is intact. If the seal is broken, the water may have leaked out.

Problems in the Sewer Line

If this smell comes from all of your drains, it’s likely a problem with your sewer line. If the pipes are damaged, the proper flow of wastewater from your home is interrupted, which means that there will be a musty smell coming from the drains.

If in addition to the smell you notice an unexplained hike in your water bills, soft spots on your lawn, low water pressure or damp spots around your house, get help to fix this potentially serious problem right away.