As bothersome as it may be if your drains and water smell bad, it is no great mystery as to what is causing it. That’s because there are only a handful of causes for this pesky problem.
Once you’ve narrowed down the likely source, you can develop a plan to attack and remove the smell.
Here are some helpful tips to get started:
Blockage in Your Drains or Pipes
Does food waste commonly fall into your pipes?
It’s possible that it has gotten caught and is blocking the pipe.
It will sit there and decompose, which produces an awful smell.
To freshen your drain, simply sprinkle baking soda and white vinegar down the drain.
You’ll hear it fizzing, which means that it is cleaning out the clog.
For bigger blockages that could be interfering with your pipe ventilation, get your drains professionally cleaned.
Sewer Line Distress
Have you noticed sunken patches in your lawn or an unpleasant odor near your foundation? Are there damp spots in your basement? Do the drains really stink in your basement? Has your water bill recently gone up without explanation?
If these sound familiar, you may be dealing with a sewer line problem. It is damaged or blocked and sewage isn’t getting taken properly to the municipal sewer. Call your plumber, because there is risk of flooding associated with this problem.
P-Trap Giving you Problems
The P-trap attached on the plumbing under your sinks, washing machine, shower, etc. serves to build a barrier between your household drains and the smelly sewer gases below.
In order for this to be effective, the P-trap must be filled with enough water.
When it dries out, the gas (and the smells) filter up into your home.
This happens most commonly with sinks and showers that are not frequently used.
Simply running the water should refill the P-trap and solve the problem.
Water Heater Stinky
Inside your water heater is an anode rod, which is necessary to keep your water heater from corrosion. However, sometimes too much anaerobic bacteria is produced.
And depending on the chemical composition of your water, this could create the environment for a chemical reaction which sees the production of a high volume of sulfuric gas.
That’s why water heater problems are easily identifiable by the “rotten egg” smell. To take care of this, simply replace the anode rod.