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Coming home to find that a strange smell is coming out of your kitchen sink or bathroom shower is never good. Not only can that smell quickly stink up your house, but you also have to figure out what is causing the problem, determine how to fix it, and maybe even call a plumber.

Drains are a necessary part of our plumbing systems, so whenever there is a potential problem with your drains, you want to act as quickly as possible. A strange smell could be indicative of a more serious problem, such as a blocked pipe. Ignoring that smell could mean you’ll soon be facing more serious problems, such as a drain backing up.

Causes of drain odor

There are several reasons why a foul odor might be coming from a drain. One common reason is a clogged pipe. Over time, hair, food particles, and other gunk can become stuck in pipes. As this debris builds up, bacteria begins to build up as well. This results in a foul odor coming from your drain. Some clogs also lead to a musty smell.

Occasionally, a smell could indicate something more serious than a clog. For example, a rotten egg smell could mean there are problems with your water heater. And a sewer smell could indicate that there is a sewage pipe blockage or it could mean you have a natural gas leak.

Taking care of musty drain

If you suspect the strange smell coming from your drain is because of bacteria or mold you’ll need to clean the drain. While there are drain cleaners you can buy, there are also some home remedies you can use that are free from harsh chemicals.

One solution you can try is creating a mixture out of vinegar and baking soda. Pour the mixture around your drain, then rinse your drain with hot water. Some people also add salt to the mixture to add more abrasion. If you notice visible mold growing around a drain, you may need to scrub at the mold with a toothbrush or a sponge to get the drain clean.

Taking care of sewer smell

If the sewer smell is accompanied by a slow drain, you could have a clog. If you don’t have a slow drain, the smell could indicate a problem with your sewage system. It could mean you have empty drain traps. To fix this problem, all you need to do is run water down all of your pipes.

If that doesn’t work, you will need to call a plumber to inspect your sewage system. There could be hydrogen sulfide in your pipes. Even if the smell comes and goes, get it inspected. Prolonged exposure to this natural gas could lead to health complications, including but not limited to: headaches, sinus infections, dizziness, and pneumonia.

Helping a clogged drain

If a cleaning solution isn’t helping the clog dislodge, it could be time to call a plumber. A search such as “blocked drains Tonbridge” can help you locate a plumber near you. If you find a plumber that you like, you should also keep their number handy in case you ever have an emergency plumbing situation.

Plumbers will have the right equipment, such as pipe cameras and plumbing snakes, that can help take care of the clog. They may even have a solution that will help you get rid of the lingering smell from the clog. If you’ve tried to unclog your drain yourself and failed, a plumber is your next best solution.

Preventing smells in the future

Once you’ve cleaned or unclogged your pipes, there are certain precautions you can take to help prevent future smells. The best solution is to find a way to prevent bacteria and mold from growing in your pipes.

This means preventing items from entering your pipes to begin with. Never allow hair or sticky food particles, such as coffee grounds, to wash down your drains. You can use a mesh drain cover to help catch unwanted debris from entering your pipes.

Also, make cleaning your drains a regular habit. This will help loosen junk before it can build up. Some people even sprinkle baking soda down their drains every time they wash the dishes!

In summary

Once you notice a strange smell coming from your drain, try to figure out what is causing the smell and take the steps to eliminate the smell. Sometimes, simply cleaning or unclogging the drain will help eliminate the smell. Other times, you may need a plumber to fix the problem.