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Find out why Your Drains and Water Smell Bad

As a homeowner, you may not realize what is causing bad smells to come from your drains and water. As trained plumbers, we can tell you with a great deal of accuracy exactly what is causing those smells and how to fix them. That’s because most smelly drains and water can be attributed to only a few reasons.

We put together a list to help you source out the problem.

Pipe Ventilation Issues

If you empty grease and food scraps frequently into your pipes, it can accumulate and begin to decompose, creating an odor.

To prevent this, put all food waste in the garbage or compost. To freshen your drains, sprinkle baking soda and pour vinegar. Flush it out with hot water.

Blockage can also happen with animal nests or snow further down the pipe, which will circumvent sewer gases into your home.

Get your drains cleaned to avoid this problem.

Water Heater is Smelly

If you feel that the smell is coming from the water as opposed to the drains, you may be dealing with a wonky anode rod in your water heater.

This happens more commonly on well water because of mineral composition, but it does happen on municipal water too.

The anode rod is in place to prevent corrosion. If the balance of minerals and anaerobic bacteria are out of whack, sulfuric gases are released, which is why you smell rotten eggs in your water.

To fix, replace the anode rod. It is sometimes suggested that an aluminum rod works better.

P-Trap Diagnosis

Is there a sink that you haven’t used in awhile that smells bad? Look underneath and find the P-trap.

The P-trap is the arm that is shaped like a ‘P” that bends out from the pipe. It is supposed to be filled with water at all times.

The water works as a barrier, keeping smelly sewer gases from entering your home. If the sink hasn’t been used in some time, the trap will dry out.

Similarly, if the seal is broken, the water will leak out. As long as the seal is intact, run the water. That should take care of the problem.

Sewer Line

Although these smelly drains will appear throughout your home, the smell is usually strongest around basement drains with this problem.

This is in part because you may have a sewer line problem that isn’t draining waste away from your home properly and it is pooling.

You may also have a damaged line if you have low water pressure or if your water bills go up without explanation. Call for repairs ASAP.