Ewww! That Smell – Figuring Out What’s Causing a Smelly Drain

There’s nothing worse than a terribly unpleasant smell wafting throughout your home. Unfortunately, issues with one or more drains or a sewer line in your house can produce an awful stench. Even in the cleanest of homes. There can be a number of potential causes resulting in a foul smell coming up from your drain. These can range from minor to major troubles. In this blog post, Los Angeles and Ventura residential plumbers T-Top Plumbing Co, Inc. looks at a few issues that can bring about a smelly drain.

3 Common Reasons for a Smelly Drain

P-Trap Is Dried Out

A dried out p-trap is a likely culprit if there’s an odor coming from just one drain in your home. You’ll find this curved pipe directly underneath your drain – commonly behind cabinet doors unless it’s a vanity sink in the bathroom. The pipe’s name is derived from it resembling the letter “p.”

The p-trap serves several purposes. For starters, it traps any debris that’s drained from the sink. It also prevents deep clogs from forming within the plumbing system. Lastly, it prevents sewer gases from coming back up the drainpipe as the water sitting inside it creates a barrier.

Dry p-traps can happen when the trap or inceptor loses its water seal. This is common if you have a guest shower, basement utility sink, or toilet that isn’t frequently used. The water inside the p-trap simply evaporates over time allowing sewer gases to back up through the drain. This produces that unpleasant odor.

If you’re experiencing this problem, before you call a plumber, try pouring water down every drain in your home. Especially focus on unused sinks or bathroom drains. Also, flush any unused toilets. You may be able to resolve the issue on your own. Then air out any smelly part of your house. The smell should then dissipate.

To prevent another dried p-trap, try to regularly use any sink, bathtub/shower, or toilet. You may also try pouring a few tablespoons of olive or mineral oil (olive oil may turn rancid) into any floor drain.

Issues with Your Drain Vent

To prevent a build-up of pressure, wastewater pipes have vents that connect to a central chimney pipe that runs up to the roof. A blocked drain or sewer vent can mimic a drain clog. Gurgling sounds may be heard from the drains. This is because sewer gas is being forced up through the p-trap’s water.

Air bubbles might also be observed in your toilet bowl or the toilet’s water level might go up and down throughout the day. This is due to the vent line not properly functioning and water being constantly sucked from the toilet’s p-trap.

You’ll need a professional plumber to fix this problem.

Sewer Line Troubles

Of all of these scenarios, this is by far the most serious and expensive problem. If drains throughout your home are emitting a horrible smell, a blocked or broken sewer line is probably the issue. An expert plumber needs to be at your home sooner rather than later since the sewer line either needs to be repaired or altogether replaced. This is a major task.


Need Drain or Sewer Line Repair in Ventura or Los Angeles Area?

T-Top Plumbing is a Simi Valley-based commercial and residential plumber. We provide drain and sewer line repair and replacement throughout Ventura and Los Angeles counties. We are family-owned and have serviced this region for over 25 years. Have a smelly drain? Call (805) 527-8867 or email info@ttopplumbing.net for a drain and sewer line pro to assess your situation.

By | 2019-06-22T23:55:06+00:00 May 27th, 2019|p-trap, sewer line repair, sewer line replacement, smelly drain|
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