Does Your Drain Smell? Here’s Why!

Sump Pump Repair Toledo OHFrom time to time, you might notice a bad smell in your kitchen sink or shower drain. Drain cleaning services can help get rid of this scent. With the help of a qualified plumber from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Toledo, you can discover the underlying problem and get it fixed right away.

What Causes Unpleasant Odors in Your Drains?

Unfortunately, there are many reasons why your sink may smell bad. While some of these issues require professional plumbing repair services, other causes are fairly minor. If the scent is because of an easy problem, you might be able to fix it yourself.

1. Bacteria Growth

Bacteria growth is one of the most common reasons why drains start to smell bad. If you are sure that nothing else is to blame, the smell may be due to bacteria accumulating in your plumbing system. Once food, hair, and other materials end up in your drains, bacteria can begin to grow. This scent can be especially bad if there is a clog forming in your pipes as well.

2. Plumbing Mistakes

Have you recently had someone work on your plumbing system? Sometimes, plumbers make mistakes when they are working on someone’s home. This can lead to a leaking pipe and other problems. Once a part of your system is not working right, a bad smell can start to develop. You can easily figure out if this is the issue by asking the same plumber to return to your home and check their work.

3. Mold

Mold and mildew are common problems. As long as moisture is present, mold can begin to grow. Unfortunately, some pipes can leak small amounts of water without anyone realizing it. Once this water reaches wood and other building materials, it can cause mold to grow.

If you notice a bad scent near your sink, you should immediately look for a leak. You can also listen to see if you can hear the sound of running water. When there is a leak, you will often hear the water running when all of your faucets are turned off.

4. Sulfates

An easy way to tell the source of your problem is to check for the smell of rotten eggs. This is generally a sign that there is too much sulfate in your home’s water. While this is not a fatal issue, it can cause digestive ailments if you drink it. Additionally, excess sulfates can damage your clothes and cause clogs in your pipes.

5. Clogged Sewer Vent

From time to time, your sewer vent can become clogged. This can cause gasses to build up in your pipes. Other than leading to foul odors, a clogged sewer vent can also cause drainage problems to develop. This kind of issue is especially common in vacation homes because they are not used frequently enough to prevent clogs from forming.

6. Grease in Your Drains

When it comes to protecting your plumbing, the most important thing you can do is keep everything other than water out of your drains. Fats, oils, and grease can end up congealing in the lower pipe, drain, or garbage disposal. Once this happens, they can trap other food items that get dropped into your drains.

Eventually, the grease and debris in your drains will start to decompose. Before long, this will cause a foul scent to develop. You can try to remove the rotting smell by mixing a cup of baking soda with another cup of vinegar. Then, let this mixture sit in your drains for 10 minutes. Afterward, pour a pot of boiling water into your sink to flush everything out.

7. Dirty Garbage Disposal

While many homes are made with garbage disposals, garbage disposals are horrible for your pipes. Scraps of food can end up getting stuck in the disposal’s blades and in your plumbing system. This is especially common if you use your garbage disposal frequently or have an older disposal. To prevent issues, you should run hot water down your drains whenever you use your garbage disposal.

In order to fix this problem, you can start by measuring out a cup of salt and two cups of ice. Run the cold water in your sink for 20 seconds while you simultaneously run the garbage disposal. Next, pour the ice and salt into the disposal. You should leave the disposal on until all of the ice cubes and salt have disappeared. Afterward, some people also like to run the disposal with orange, grapefruit, or lemon rinds to give it a nice scent.

8. Trap Problems

Your kitchen sink has a trap located directly underneath the basin. The purpose of the trap is to stop sewer gas from escaping into your home. Normally, this trap contains some water to block gas from getting out.

If you smell a foul odor, it is because the water inside the trap has dried up. This typically occurs if you have not used your sink for a long time. Once this happens, the smelly gas can come out of your pipes and into your kitchen. You can easily fix this problem by running water in your sink to fill up the trap again.

Sometimes, this is not enough to get rid of the scent. For challenging odors, you may want to remove the trap in order to clean it with an old toothbrush and dish soap. After you replace the trap, the scent should be gone. If you are still having problems, you can always call All Seasons Toledo and ask a professional plumber to inspect your pipes.

What Causes Sump Pump Odors?

Your sump pump could also be responsible for some of the foul odors in your home. During the dry part of the year, the sump pump’s pit can evaporate. Once this happens, smelly gasses can be released into your home.

If this is the issue, you can fix the problem with some bleach. Add a cup of bleach to a gallon of water. Afterward, pour the bleach mixture into the sump pit. If the drains and pipes are not covered with water, you can add extra water to get the pit back to the right level.

During the dry season, you may also struggle with stagnant water. If the water starts to stagnate, it will breed mold, bacteria, and mildew. Fortunately, the same bleach solution can help kill bacteria, mold, and mildew.

How to Clean Your Sump Pump

To keep your sump pit smelling nice, you should clean it out once or twice a year. You should wear long sleeves and gloves to protect your skin. Once your protective gear is on, use the following steps to clean it.

  1. Turn off the power to the sump pump.
  2. With a wet or dry vacuum, you should remove all of the standing water in the pit.
  3. Then, use a hose to clean off the pit’s equipment, edges, and bottom.
  4. You can use a scrub brush to clean off anything that was not removed by the hose.
  5. After the pit is completely clean, you can refill it with water.
  6. Finally, you can turn on the sump pump’s power again.

How to Get Rid of Foul Odors in Your Drains

If you are dealing with a bad smell in your drains, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Toledo can help. A professional plumber can inspect your property and find the source of the scent if you are not able to. In addition, you may need professional help if you are dealing with sulfates or a major clog.

Sometimes, you can diagnose and treat a problem on your own. First, try to figure out where the scent is coming from. You can troubleshoot by trying different treatments to see if they work. Some of the following techniques can help you remedy minor problems.

Hot Water and Dish Soap

One of the easiest plumbing repair techniques is drain cleaning. You can use hot water and dish soap to remove mild odors. If you have not cleaned your sink for a while, a dirty sink may be the basis of your problem.

To get started, you just have to fill up your sink with a few inches of extremely hot water. Next, you can pour some dish soap into the water. Agitate the water until it becomes bubbly. Afterward, you simply have to let all of the water drain out of the sink.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Another do-it-yourself (DIY) trick is to use vinegar and baking soda. Initially, you should boil hot water on the stove. As the water warms up, you can pour a cup of vinegar and a cup of baking soda into your drain. This mixture can sit while the water finishes boiling.

Roughly 10 minutes later, you can pour the boiling water down the drain. Then, run cold water down the drain as well. If you are dealing with mold and bacteria growth, this DIY trick should immediately remove the underlying problem.

Lemon Peels

This trick involves lemon peels, ice, and salt. It works best if your garbage disposal has pieces of rotting food inside of it. You simply have to add some coarse salt and ice cubes to your drain. Then, you should run your garbage disposal until the ice is completely gone.

Once the ice disappears, you can toss in the lemon peels. Continue running the garbage disposal until everything is gone. While lemon peels can get rid of the bad smell, salt and ice are useful for removing physical residue.

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Get Help With Plumbing Repair Today

Whether you want an inspection of your sump pump or drain cleaning, All Seasons Toledo can help. Our team has years of experience in the industry and a proven track record of excellent customer service. To learn more about how we can troubleshoot your drain issues, reach out to Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Toledo today.