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Everyday Causes of Smelly Water and Stinky Drains

Are you dealing with smelly water and stinky drains?  Healthy, clean drains and pipes help create a safe and comfortable home. However, there are instances that create the perfect conditions for that “rotten egg” smell to drift throughout a home.

Sometimes it’s hard to know which drain is the stinker, so here’s a simple trick: Cover the suspected smelly drain opening with tape or a plastic bag (or both). Let the room air out for a bit, then give it the smell test. If the smell is gone, you’ve found the culprit. If not, move the tape or bag to the next likely suspect and test again.

Here are the three most common causes of smelly water and stinky drains, and the solutions to create a pleasant-smelling home once again:

  1. DriedUp PTraps

Problem:  If you look underneath any sink in your home, you should notice a u-shaped bend in the pipe.  That’s the p-trap, which contains a small amount of water that acts as a seal.  This seal prevents sewer gases from coming up through waste pipe or toilets and instead diverts it to ventilation system leading to the outdoors.  These p-traps can dry up from a leak, disuse, or a blockage that siphons the water out of the pipe.

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P-trap

Solution: If you’re dealing with a smelly pipe that has not been recently used, simply run the tap for a couple of minutes. This should refill the p-trap, and eliminate the smell quickly.

  1. Venting Issues

Problem: Sewer gas ventilation systems are present in most homes, and lead the sewer gas to the outside environment. However, these vents can become clogged.  When this occurs, sewer gas backs up and is forced back into waste pipes, leaving you with a foul and annoying smell.  Clogs can be caused by a variety of factors, such as animal nests, leaves, and other debris.

Solution: If the clogs are in an accessible and safe area, you can try to remove them on your own. If they are inaccessible, call your local plumbing expert.  They have the knowledge and tools necessary to safely remove any clog, and providing solutions to avoid reoccurrence.

  1. A Smelly Water Heater

Problem: Water heaters are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Their dark, moist interiors allow the bacteria to thrive, especially when the water supply contains sulfur.  This combination creates that “rotten egg” smell that emanates throughout a home’s water supply.

 Solution: Try cleaning your water heater with H2O2, commonly known as hydrogen peroxide. This peroxide kills the bacteria, and degrades to components of oxygen and water, meaning it is safe for both your water and the environment.  These bacteria, when mixed with sulfur, feed off metal components in your water heater. An anode is a common feature which is made of aluminum and magnesium, which are perfect for the multiplication of smelly bacteria.  Try replacing aluminum or magnesium based anodes with one that is made of both zinc and aluminum.

Hopefully, one of the easy solutions works for you.  If you still need assistance, contact Green’s Plumbing today at 818/880-8847.

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