What To Do When Your Drain Smells

Having access to functional indoor plumbing is important for many homeowners today. While plumbing plays a prominent role in daily life, a home's plumbing system is something that homeowners never want to smell.

If you notice a terrible odor coming from one of your drains, here are three things that you can do to try and eliminate the odor in the future.

1. Eliminate clogs.

Many items find their way into your drains on a daily basis. While soap and water don't pose a real threat to your home's plumbing system, other items could potentially get stuck along the interior wall of your pipes.

Food particles, hair strands, and even excrement can all form clogs inside of your pipes. These clogs may not be large enough to compromise the function of your plumbing system, but they could be contributing to the smell emanating from your drain. Use an auger to clean out your pipes in order to eliminate any clogs causing your drains to stink.

2. Wet your P-trap.

It's important to recognize that your home's plumbing system is connected directly to a sewer system. Gases can build up in a sewer system, and these gases can easily travel back into your home if your plumbing system isn't set up correctly.

All drains should be equipped with a P-trap. This P-trap is a P-shaped pipe that is filled with water in the curved section. This water acts as a barrier between your drain and noxious sewer gases.

If a drain isn't used for awhile or the P-trap becomes damaged, the water barrier can evaporate or leak out. This will cause sewer gases to come back into your home, resulting in the terrible odor you smell coming from your drain. Add more water or replace a damaged P-trap to eliminate foul odors in the future.

3. Unclog vent pipes.

Your home's plumbing system needs to be properly vented in order to ensure that a suction effect isn't created within your plumbing system. This suction effect could pull all the water out of your P-traps, leaving your drains susceptible to foul odors.

Most plumbing systems are vented to a home's exterior, so it's important to check for nests, leaves, and other debris that can get inside the vent pipe and clog it up when you smell a terrible odor coming from one of your drains.

Being able to eliminate smelly drains by clearing clogs, wetting your P-traps, and ensuring proper ventilation will help you keep your home's plumbing system functional in the future.