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Stinky Drains and Smelly Water? Here are Some Reasons


Are you holding your nose every time you go near certain drains in your home? Is smelly water causing you concern? While these situations are troubling, they are usually easy to fix. The key is to determine what is responsible for the odor in the first place.

It’s almost always one of these four reasons. We’ve narrowed it down for you.

The P-Trap has Dried Out

The P-trap is the curved part attached to your plumbing that makes use of both gravity and water to prevent smelly sewer gases from being able to enter your home.p-trap

What happens is if a sink or shower isn’t used for a long time, the P-trap sometimes dries out.

If it is dry, there is no barrier between the stinky gas and the drain. Run the water, and that should solve the problem.

The other potential issue is that the seal around the P-trap has broken, which would also make it dry. If that’s the case, getting it fixed will take care of the smell.

Sewer Line Problems

If you detect a musky odor coming from multiple drains in your home and is especially strong in your basement, you might be dealing with a sewer line problem. Sewage could be pooling under or around your foundation.

If the smell is accompanied by low water pressure or a hike in your water bills that doesn’t make sense, you need to call for repairs ASAP. You might be at risk for flooding.

Ventilation Issues

Obviously water goes through your pipes when you use your plumbing, but did you know that a great deal of air goes through too?

blocked-drain If there is something blocking the path, a semi-vacuum is formed, actually creating suction power.

So instead of staying away from your home where they belong, stinky sewer gases divert up through your drains.

The most common blockages are caused by food, grease, hair, paper, tree or plant matter and animal nests. To fix this problem, get your drains cleaned to remove the pesky blockage.

It Might be Your Water Heater

If it is the water that smells, it sounds like the problem is originating in your water heater. Inside your water heater is an anode rod that prevents corrosion.

What happens if your water is too hard or too soft, or if the chemical balance is otherwise off, the anode rod reacts with the minerals and releases large quantities of sulfuric gas. This is what creates the notable rotten egg smell.

This is an easy fix. Simply replace the anode rod. If this is a chronic problem, you may want to switch to an aluminum anode rod.