Walking into the bathroom or kitchen and being hit by a bad odor is not uncommon, but if the smell lingers beyond a normal amount of time, it’s time to locate the source of the smell. If the smell is undeniably coming from your sink, the next step is to determine the cause of the odor. There are a few reasons why your drain could be emitting smells. The first and simplest cause is a clogged drain. Secondly, gunk from food, hair, or makeup items could be stuck to the lining of your drain. Lastly—and most dangerously—is that the drain trap has dried out, emitting harmful sewage odor into your home.
If The Drain Doesn’t Drain, You’ve Got A (Smelly) Clog
The easiest solution to your problem is to determine whether or not your drain is clogged. Start by pouring water down the drain. If the water sits at the bottom of the sink or drains too slowly, you have a clog issue. You can fix this with a simple homemade solution or call us. We often advise not to use Drano or add bleach to the mix.
No Clog In Sight, But The Smell Lingers On
If your drain still smells, even though the water flow has improved, you probably have excessive debris attached to the lining of your drain. The first—and easiest—step you should take is to pour boiling water down the drain. If you previously used Drano, that plus the hot water should have done the trick. Alternatively (but never together), pouring bleach alone, or a homemade concoction of lemon juice and baking soda can help to sanitize and freshen a nasty drain. This is especially true if the smell is coming from your kitchen garbage disposal. Remember though, that different chemicals can cause a dangerous reaction when used together.
It’s All In The Drain
If you’ve cleaned, unclogged, and/or bleached your drain, but odors continue to flow up from a sink, the issue could involve the drain trap. Each drain (including your toilet) has a trap that keeps water in the pipe in order to keep sewage gases from leaking into your home. If the smell you keep finding closely resembles a sewer, it’s possible that the trap has dried out. In other words, there’s no more water sitting in the P-trap (the part of the pipe that looks like half an ‘s’) and nothing to trap out the gases. Lifehacker shares some tips to help you determine whether this is the cause, and some solutions on how to fix it.
Finally, if you’re still not sure what’s causing the smell, or don’t feel comfortable tackling the problem on your own, give Roto-Rooter a call at 208-232-2458 for a free estimate.