Most of us only think about our drains once something terrible happens. Drains are a part of life that are amazing when they are working correctly. But, like your garage door opener or garbage disposal, they can cause all kinds of havoc when they are not. When drains quit working properly, it is very common that they become smelly and stink. Let’s look at why that happens and ways to avoid it.
What Causes the Smell in My Bathroom Sink?
A functional P-trap is essential for cleaning a bathroom sink or most drains, really. The bent section of piping beneath the sink is known as a P-trap. It’s designed to form a seal by storing water. This prevents sewage gases from entering the room. This portion of the drain is also used to collect large foreign objects from going down the drain, as they will get caught in the P-trap. If you have ever dropped a ring or something of significant value down the drain, you probably have located your P-trap. This section of pipe also collects clogs that can be easily cleaned out by removing them and using pliers or another type of instrument to push the clog out into the trash.
If the P-trap isn’t working properly, sewer gasses can enter the bathroom and allow foul odors to rise quickly.
If the stench is coming from the water flowing from your sink rather than the drain, it is most likely caused by something in the faucet. Remove the aerator cap and inspect the inside for any buildup or muck that needs to be cleaned off.
Why Do the Drains in My Shower and Bathtub Smell?
There are several reasons why your shower or bathtub drain smells. Let’s take a look at reasons you should look out for should you have a foul odor coming from your shower or bathtub drain.
Bacteria-there could be bacteria in your drains. This is very common, as your drains are moist, and bacteria love a warm, humid environment. If you don’t use the drain often, this could easily be the issue. This bacteria will feed on the debris in the drain, producing foul-smelling odors similar to rotten eggs or sewage.
To eliminate this odor, it is important that you clean your drain of the debris that is stuck in it. There are several ways of doing this, but the best way is to use some sort of device to get down in the drains and pull any hair and other debris from it. Should that not work, you should call a professional who can clear and clean the drains thoroughly with commercial-grade tools.
Do You Have a Dry P-Trap?
If your bathroom or kitchen sink drain stinks, especially if it smells like sewer, you may have a dry P-trap. The P-trap is the bent section of pipe located beneath the sink. It is designed to seal against sewage gases by holding water. There must always be water in the P-trap.
How Can I Prevent My Drains From Smelling?
There are many ways to prevent your drains from smelling in the first place. As we have said before, your P-trap is a vital part of your drain system that keeps the sewer odors from coming back up the pipes and into the room. This trap must have water in it at all times to function properly. This water will act as a seal to prevent gases from rising. However, if this trap doesn’t contain water, there isn’t a seal, and those gases can quickly fill the bathroom. A dry P-trap can happen for various reasons. However, if you believe that is the issue, you simply need to run some water down the drain in question.
If you turn on the water and find that there are drain problems, there are some solutions. First, remove the P-trap to clear out any debris that the trap may be holding. This is an area that is very common for clogs and is easy to clear out. Sometimes your clog is before or after the P-trap; in those cases, you might need a snake or other device to manually clear out the hair and debris that has the drain clogged. Other options are drain cleaners from your local store, or you could try building water, vinegar, and baking soda as options as well.
If you feel you have a clogged drain that you cannot get cleared, you can count on Muccia Plumbing to help. Give us a call at 201-588-5907 to get started.