5 Common Causes Behind Stinky Plumbing Problems

5 Common Causes Behind Stinky Plumbing Problems

Sometimes, plumbing stinks. That’s just a fact of life! If you notice an unfortunate stench emanating from your drains or pipes, you aren’t exactly alone. The problem is much more common than you think.

Plumbing and septic systems can be complex, and stinky plumbing problems can happen for all kinds of reasons. If you start to notice certain unpleasant odors coming from your drains and pipes, the Plumbing Works is here to identify five common reasons this might be occurring.

Bacteria Buildup

Often, the simple-yet-troublesome issue of bacteria and biofilm buildup could be the cause of a particularly smelly plumbing situation.

Just think about everything you rinse down your drains. Everything from food, to hair, to dirt, to personal care products like shampoo and soap can get stuck in the pipes and turn to smelly gunk with time.

Clearing your pipes is the best way to rid your system of this issue. At the Plumbing Works, our experienced and certified plumbers can clean out your drains with grace and ease!

Issues With Your P-Trap

The appropriately-named “p-trap” is the “p” or “u” shaped portion of pipe found underneath your sink, shower, or other plumbing fixtures. It is designed to hold enough water to prevent sewer gas and odors from emanating from your drains.

However, if you have a shower, toilet, or sink that you use infrequently, the p-trap can dry out. In turn, this could allow smelly sewer gases to rise up through your pipes and infiltrate your home.

To fix this problem, all you have to do is remember to cycle water through these rarely-used fixtures with relative frequency. Try running the water and letting it drain whenever possible.

Clogged or Missing Vent Pipes

Did you know that your home’s drain pipes are connected to a larger network of vent pipes that allow wastewater gas and odor to escape while cycling in clean air? This system is specifically designed to keep things fresh throughout your home’s plumbing. Altogether, this is known as the drain-waste-vent (DWV) system.

Usually, the vertical vent pipes exit through the roof of your home, away from windows and other vents. If clogs develop in the main stacks however, a number of stinky issues can develop.

It is possible that your vent pipes are significantly clogged, but it may also be possible that your home is missing these vent pipes entirely. In either case, speaking to a professional plumber from the Plumbing Works is the best way to resolve the trouble.

It Could Be Your Garbage Disposal

Many modern homes are equipped with garbage disposals, a handy device built into your kitchen sink that allows you to eliminate organic waste and food matter as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately though, a lack of regular cleaning and maintenance of these devices could spell disaster.

Without regular attention, food scraps left to rot inside a garbage disposal are naturally inclined to cause a stink after a time. Some simple ways to clean your garbage disposal include running cold water over the disposal as it runs, running ice cubes through the disposal to help clear the food, or by throwing in some citrus peels and allowing their natural acids to dissolve the debris and mask the smell.

If you think you would benefit from a more in-depth cleaning, be sure to unplug your disposal first! After that, a little dish soap, water, and a warm sponge should be all you need.

There May Be Breach Problems in Your Sewer Line

While all types of issues can cause smelly issues with your sewer line, one of the most concerning possibilities is that of a pipe breach. This is when your pipes are plagued with cracks or holes as a result of high-pressure clogs, probing tree roots, or the line itself sinking into the ground and splitting.

The main accompaniment of a broken sewer line is leaking sewage, and leaking sewage stinks! If you notice a strong sewer smell coming from your drains or outside of your home, this is a likely sign of a sewer breach. You may be able to confirm this issue by looking closely for clogging toilets, gurgling drains, and pest problems.

Unfortunately, there are no simple or easy fixes for a sewer line breach. To repair a sewer line breach, you will need to call the professional plumbers at the Plumbing Works as soon as possible in order to limit expenses and avoid larger issues as much as possible.

If you suspect that your home plumbing system may be in need of professional service of any kind, be sure to contact the Plumbing Works at your earliest convenience. We look forward to assisting you!