You’re sure your imagination isn’t playing tricks on you. There’s a foul odour like sewer gasses following you, and you know it’s not just your nose. Or your bathroom sink smell. But you can’t figure out where the foul smell is coming from. Is the bad odour from your bathroom? Is your kitchen sink getting a little funky? Or is it your garbage — the ghost smell still lingers even after throwing them out?
It could be a blocked drain.
Grab a cuppa — better hold that thought while we explore why your drains can smell and a few tips on preventing and cleaning a smelly drain. How to clean smelly drains and drain pipes isn’t for the faint of heart.
What causes smelly drains?
A cause of smelly drains can be a pipe blockage or problems with the P trap or vent. Over time, your drain will get its fair share of food, grease, hair, and even toothpaste being flushed down it. Food like fish, egg and tuna are the prime culprits that make your kitchen drain smelly. Even your soap scum and other materials building up can cause smelly bathroom drains and sinks.
You should also check out for tree roots invasion. There’s a chance for tree roots to grow and penetrate your plumbing system.
Blocked drains could be the result of faulty plumbing. While installing plumbing fixtures, mistakes can happen. At times, the pipes collapse, or cracks appear, which cause damage to your property. So, if your newly installed drains are blocked, it might be a case of improper plumbing.
You can try a few DIY drain unblocking ideas, such as using an unwired coat hanger or drain snake to move anything out of the way or pouring hot tap water.
Whether it’s the kitchen or bathroom drain, it is essential to determine the cause of your smelly drain. Hence, blocked drains aren’t something that you must ignore. When you notice the tell-tale signs of a blocked drain, such as nasty smells, loud gurgling noise, or water draining slowly in your kitchen or bathroom sink, it’s time to ensure your drain is appropriately cleared. Contact your trusty local plumber to investigate and unclog your drains. A plumber will have drain cleaners to help leave your drain smelling fresh.
With the blockage comes the bacteria. Some food items can get stuck in the pipes, and this debris and food residue can build up over time. They will eventually rot. And rotten food starts to become pungent due to the growth of spoilage microbes such as bacteria, yeasts and mould. The foul smell can be chemicals released from the food as the microbes decompose or chemicals produced by the microbes.
Moulds give off musty, earthy aromas like an old basement when decomposing food. Some yeasts produce sulphur compounds that resemble human flatulence.
Mix baking soda and vinegar in a cup and pour it slowly down the drain. This may even help your septic system deal with all the stuff naturally. You can also use boiling water to kill the growing bacteria and loosen any object stuck in there.
Nasty mould will grow if there is a tiny leak in the pipework underneath your sink.
The smell of the mould and mildew will rise, and a very unpleasant odour will start. Make sure you’re checking your fittings regularly for leaks.
If you notice a water leak from taps or pipes, contact a licensed plumber, and they will be able to get any leak sorted out.
Ask your plumber to inspect all your fittings safely to ensure everything is working up to scratch.
4. Sewer Smell
If the odour from your drain smells like a sewer, it is probably coming from your sewer drain. This can be sewer gases.
Don’t tinker with your sewer drain, for sewer gases have highly-toxic components. Only a licensed plumber can check your sewer line problems or sewer drain for any issues, such as a leak, a pipe crack, or problems with the P trap or vent.
Your blocked drain expert can use the necessary tools to examine your septic tank or sewer thoroughly, determine any defects and clean smelly drains.
5. Plumbing Issues
In some cases, an error in the plumbing is the cause of the smelly drain. If it’s poorly installed, the set-up can affect vents and traps and the workings of the drain. And let’s not forget rotting drain tubes.
Things do wear down over time. Get your pipes and fittings to work perfectly, and let your licensed and experienced plumber do it for you.
Your plumber will be able to rectify any parts not doing your drain any good.
How to Fix Your Smelly Drain
To eliminate drain smells and odours, always clean the drain’s opening regularly with soap, water and disinfectant and remove any food items from the sink.
To prevent stinky drain smells, the best cure is avoiding certain behaviours that typically cause a blocked drain and smelly drains, like pouring the grease into the sink and disposing of your waste correctly. Personal hygiene products can affect drainage. Think about your dental floss, baby wipes, diapers, tampons, tissues and cotton balls. And by using drain screens or pouring hot water into the sink, you can help prevent a smelly drain.
Many DIY methods exist for solving blocked drains; some are more effective than others. Aside from hot water (cold water solidifies the gunk, so pour boiling water mixture after), you can also try simple solutions. Close your drain plug and pour your organic drain cleaner, such as pouring half a cup of hot vinegar and baking soda down the kitchen sink drain. Your baking soda mixture can do the trick for simple blockages and even leave your drains smelling fresh. Also, you can utilise a caustic drain cleaner down your garbage disposal and eliminate the drain smell.
But sometimes, smelly drains can signify a more significant issue with your plumbing systems, like your pipework, sewer gas trap problem and larger drains outside.
But if you’ve retrieved the balls of hair or even got out the trusty plunger to fix the blockage and still have a clogged drain problem, or you want to be sure it won’t reappear, it’s time to call in professional blocked drains plumbers. You must contact your local drain specialist for a proper diagnosis and permanent solution and clear the remaining debris from your smelly drain problem. With their expertise, they will get rid of your smelly drain once and for all. The best plumbers for blocked drain clearing services will give you peace of mind with specialised equipment such as CCTV blocked drain cameras and a high-pressure water jetter to fix a blocked drain quickly and keep it clear!