What Could Be Causing Your Plumbing to Smell?

Nobody wants the stench of a sewer wafting through their homes, but it can sometimes happen to even the cleanest abodes due to plumbing issues. If you notice foul odors in your home, you will want to identify the source and correct the problem. 

This blog will look at the five most common causes of foul odors from plumbing to help you determine the best course of action. 

The expert plumbers at Option One are here to help you restore the fresh smell of your home. We offer 24/7 emergency services to fix any plumbing problems you may encounter—call us at 800-905-7115 whenever you have a plumbing disaster!

1. Issues With the Sewer Line

Let’s start with the worst-case scenario, but one that is unfortunately common in residential plumbing systems. The sewer stench in your home could be coming from the sewer line itself!

When the sewer line is in good working condition, it transfers wastewater from your drains to the municipal sewage line. However, if the sewer line develops cracks, clogs, or root infiltration, sewer gas will begin to flow in the other way via the plumbing.

The nasty smells are a red flag that actual sewage backup may occur unless the sewer line problem is corrected. You need our skilled plumbers on the job as soon as possible!

2. Clogged Drain Vents

Drain vents allow sewer gas to escape through outlets in the roof, preventing pressure from building up between the sewer line and the drains. If this route is choked with dirt, debris, or other elements, gas will be forced up the drains, and your home will smell of sewage. 

Vent pipe clogged

3. Dry P-Trap

Can you isolate the bad smell to a single drain? If yes, is this a drain that has not been used in a while? 

The problem is that the p-trap—the curved part of the drain that holds a water barrier—has dried out, allowing sewer gas to rise through the drain. To restore the p-trap’s water barrier, simply run water down the drain for about a minute.

Dry P Trap

4. Dirty Garbage Disposal

Given how much leftover food goes down your kitchen’s garbage disposal, it is surprising that it does not develop foul odors more frequently. 

Garbage disposals are designed to quickly transfer ground-up waste down drainpipes while leaving little residue. The residue can accumulate over time—and if the disposal fails, it might result in a big pile of decaying food inside the garbage disposal. 

To eliminate the stench, the garbage disposal may need to be cleaned. However, for older systems (more than ten years), you should consider a replacement.

Dirty Garbage Disposal

5. Bacteria

This is a problem that may arise from the shower drain. Bacteria can grow in a substance known as “biofilm,” which accumulates inside shower drains due to soap, shampoo, and other body-cleaning products.

Biofilm can affect other drains as well, and drain cleaning is the best way to solve this problem. No, you should not use chemical drain cleaners! They will not resolve the problem. Professional drain cleaning is necessary to remove biofilm formation in drains.

What is biofilm?

If you have foul-smelling drains, call Option One today for a complete plumbing inspection. Our team of experienced and skilled plumbers is always available to help you with whatever plumbing issues you are dealing with. We are dedicated to bringing homeowners in California, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wyoming quality and affordable plumbing solutions. Call us at 1-800-905-7115 or write to us at wo@optiononeplumbing.com to request a quote today!