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Funky Smell Inside Your Home? It Could Be Coming From Your Drainage System
After the installation of your home’s plumbing and drainage system, the pipes were devoid of any unpleasant odors or blockages. However, with time and usage, you may detect foul and unpleasant smells emanating from the drains. The cause of such odors could be due to various factors. In certain instances, you could fix the problem without the need to engage a professional plumber.
Smells from Bathrooms
The odors emanating from the drains may resemble the stench of decayed eggs, and you might detect their potency when the water runs. This happens because the gases are being pushed out of the drain.
Smells from Laundry Room
The drainage hose in your laundry room may emit unpleasant odors, and you might encounter the same smells if you dispose of your washing machine’s wastewater in the sink drain. These smells could resemble dirt, mold, or mildew.
Smells from the Kitchen
The kitchen sink drains can release various types of odors, especially if it is a dual sink, which is typical in most households. The intensity of the smells can vary, depending on the contents of the drain pipes, and may resemble the stench of decayed eggs or spoiled meat and food items.
What Causes the Smells?
The foul odors often originate from bacteria present in the drain pipes. These bacteria produce gases that escape and cause unpleasant smells. The bacteria thrive on various substances, such as food particles, grease, soap, and detergents, that people usually dispose of down their drains. Although the bacteria’s primary role is to decompose the residues in the pipes, they generate gas during the process, leading to the bad smells permeating the house.
In some instances, the sewer gases could be responsible for the odors emanating from the drain lines. These smells tend to be more pungent than other drain odors and resemble the stench of raw sewage.
Do I Need to Call an Emergency Plumber?
Determining whether to call an emergency plumber depends on the cause of the odor. For most cases, you can resolve the issue by employing simple methods yourself. However, if the smell originates from raw sewage coming up the drains in your home, it is advisable to call for emergency plumbing services immediately.
Such odors suggest a severe problem with the sewer drain lines, which could result from a significant blockage, broken pipe, backflow issue, or other problems requiring professional intervention.
Identifying the Source of the Smell
To determine the cause of the odor and take appropriate action, you can follow a process of elimination by addressing the following questions:
Do you hear gurgling sounds coming from the drains when water is not on?
If you notice gurgling sounds and detect unpleasant smells, it may signify that the sewer drain pipe is broken, cracked, or obstructed. To avoid further damage, contacting a plumbing company to schedule professional service is advisable since pinpointing and fixing the problem can be challenging.
When was the last time the drain was used?
Each drain in your home should have a drain trap shaped like a “P” or “U” underneath it. The water trapped in this area helps prevent the escape of unpleasant odors. If the water in the trap evaporates, and the trap becomes dry, foul smells may arise from the drain.
To fix this issue, run cold water down the drain for around three minutes and turn it off. The odor should dissipate now that the water is back in the drain trap.
Are the air vents blocked?
If you have used all the drains in your home recently, and there are no gurgling sounds coming from the drain, the unpleasant odors may result from a blocked air vent. In most houses, specific vents draw noxious gases up the pipes and release them through the openings on the roof.
To identify and remove any blockages, such as debris, leaves, or a bird’s nest that may have gotten lodged in the vent pipe, you should inspect the vent for any visible obstructions. If you are uncomfortable climbing onto your roof, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a professional plumber to examine the air vents in your drain system.
Do you have a garbage disposal or put other food down the drains in your kitchen?
It can be tempting to dispose of a variety of food waste down the sink if you have a garbage disposal. Even without a garbage disposal, you may pour hot grease or push small food particles through the drain cover.
Grease and food particles can cling to the pipe’s inner walls, and as bacteria break down the waste and emit gases over time, the kitchen sink can emit an unpleasant odor because the grease and food are essentially decaying.
How to Get Rid of the Smell
It’s crucial to note that the plumbing products available at your local grocery store or retailer often contain dangerous chemicals before using them. Furthermore, these products are typically designed to target specific issues and may not be effective at all.
Sometimes, when the chemicals come into contact with the bacteria in the drain lines, they may cause a chemical reaction that releases harmful gases up the drain. As a result, let’s explore some safer and more effective ways to eliminate the unpleasant odors emanating from your home’s drain pipes.
Clean the Drain Traps
Removing the drain traps from under-sink areas and cleaning them is a simple task. Prepare a bucket of dish soap that effectively cuts through grease, then immerse the drain trap in the solution and let it soak for about 20 minutes.
After soaking the drain trap in the bucket of dish soap and water for about 20 minutes, insert a small cloth and push it out from the other end. You can also use a toothbrush to help remove any debris or grease that may have accumulated. Once most of the debris has been removed, rinse the drain trap thoroughly with cool water and put it back in place.
Use Baking Soda and Vinegar
To eliminate unpleasant odors from drains that are not easily accessible, baking soda and vinegar can be used. This method can also be used to remove bad smells from garbage disposals. Begin by pouring baking soda down the drain, using one to two tablespoons for most bathroom drains.
Then, pour about a quarter cup of vinegar down the drain, and you should hear the reaction between the two ingredients. Wait for about twenty minutes before running cool water down the drain for approximately three minutes.
Clean Your Washing Machine
The bottom of the washing machine can hold water, which can result in a moldy or dirt-like odor in both the machine and the drain lines. To eliminate this smell, there are several washing machine cleaning tablets available that can be used to clean the interior of the machine.
Clean Your Dishwasher
In case you don’t use your dishwasher frequently, the small amount of water remaining from the previous wash cycle can produce a musty odor and rise up the drain lines. To eliminate the smell, you can utilize a dishwasher cleaning tablet. If you want to prevent this, leave the dishwasher door open to allow the water to evaporate.
If the odor persists and cannot be eliminated, it is recommended to seek help from a professional plumber. In some cases, the debris inside the pipe walls can be so thick that it requires professional cleaning. In other instances, the drainage system lines may have absorbed the odors, particularly if they are made of PVC or PEX materials, and may need to be replaced. Replacing old PVC and PEX pipes with new ones can eliminate the unpleasant smells.
If you need help identifying the cause of unpleasant smells from your drain lines, cleaning your drain lines, or any other plumbing services, you can contact MET Plumbing & Air Conditioning today at 281-603-9949.