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Do You Have Stinky Drains and Water? Here are Possible Reasons

Do You Have Stinky Drains and Water? Here are Possible Reasons

Plumbing is designed to be as efficient as possible, and the actual network of pipes laid out throughout your home has no moving parts. That usually means decades of reliability and solid performance, but that’s no guarantee that things can’t go wrong from time to time.

Even something as elegantly simple as a pipe network can still run into trouble, and when it does, you need to address it quickly. Small problems can quickly ramp up if they’re ignored, and if it’s something like a smell in your pipes, there’s a health consideration as well.

Luckily, some of these issues can be quickly addressed by homeowners themselves, and here’s how.

The Drain Smells Bad

If you’re able to track down a smell to just one drain, regardless of whether the tap is in use or not, you’re probably smelling sewer gas.

In a way, this is normal, as sewer gas drifts throughout an entire sewer network, including the pipes leading into your home.

What is not normal is you being able to smell it.

Under normal circumstances, you have a vapor barrier in place that keeps this gas from coming up your drain.

That barrier is called the p-trap, and it’s actually just a quantity of water sitting in the bend in the pipes that is directly under your sink.

If you’re smelling sewer gas, this means your trap is empty, so refill it with more water.

The Water Smells Bad

When there’s a smell at every single water outlet, but it only happens when you turn the water on, this is a very different situation. If you only notice the smell when the hot water is running, you can rule out the water supply being the problem, and instead, you should focus your efforts on your water heater tank.

If you’re still using a tank rather than a tankless system, the temperature of your water heater is probably the culprit. If it’s too low, then bacteria coming into the tank may find a safe, protective, nurturing environment.

This can be solved easily enough by just readjusting the temperature to a higher setting. 135-140°F should be enough to kill the bacteria.

Somewhere in the Sewage Line Smells Bad

A problem that may be located somewhere along your entire sewage line is a much more difficult proposition to identify and track down.

Clogged pipeThere’s a chance your problem may be simple, such as a vent that is blocked. Clearing out the debris yourself will allow the gas to escape naturally, as intended.

If the source of the smell is deeper in the sewage line, due to a partial blockage or break, then this is going to require a professional to handle.

With problems this complex, you need someone with the right equipment and technical expertise to properly solve the issue.


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