When your plumbing works properly, it’s something you don’t even notice or think about. Water and waste go down drains, and that’s all there is to it. It’s almost invisible, incredibly convenient, and it works.
When something goes wrong, though, that’s when things need to be fixed fast. A smell coming from your drains or your water, for example, isn’t just unpleasant, it can potentially be a health problem that puts residents at risk.
Fortunately, some of these smell-related problems don’t require big, expensive fixes, and here’s what you can do on your own to deal with the problem.
If the smell is coming from a drain, especially if it’s just one drain, then you may be having one of the most common plumbing issues around, the empty p-trap.
This is a very easy problem to fix and anyone can do it for themselves quickly and absolutely free, which is why we always recommend trying this method first before resorting to professionals.
Your p-trap, or the pipe under your sink, is supposed to contain a layer of water that acts like a vapor barrier, keeping sewer gas out of your home.
If you’re smelling sewer gas from a drain, there’s no more water there, so all you have to do is pour more in, and you’re done. A very easy fix that anyone can do.
Water that smells bad may initially make you think you should start worrying about your water supply, but this isn’t always the case. If turning on the tap only produces a smell when you use your hot water, then the problem might lie in your water heater tank.
If your water heater tank has the temperature set too low, you have inadvertently created a “just right” environment for bacteria that is dark, moist, and neither too hot, nor too cold.
It’s the bacteria infestation thriving in your tank that’s causing the smell. Fortunately, bacteria aren’t especially robust, and changing conditions even a little bit can kill them. Just turn up the temperature to between 135-140°F to eliminate the problem.
Sewage Line Odor
With sewage line issues, there can be many causes and even many locations for problems to occur, which require a bit more inspection and analysis.
On the simple side of things, a ventilation/sewage problem could simply mean leaves are blocking a vent, and you can easily clear this out yourself.
If the problem runs deeper than that, such as a blockage in the pipes, you’ll need a professional to solve this issue.
Try inspecting as much of the plumbing as you can reach, and if you still see no obvious sources, it’s time to bring in an expert.