Smelly Kitchen Sink Sewage Odor

Sewage Odor? No Worries, We Have You Covered With The Solution!

An unpleasant smell in your home often suggests something is wrong. Bad smells coming from your bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room might hint at something more significant than a minor plumbing issue. It could stem from the sewer line, prompting swift attention. However, it could be something as minor as a dried-out P-trap causing the trouble; a quick fix, such as running water from the faucet, could suffice. In the case of a broken vent pipe, seeking professional assistance guarantees a swift and effective resolution.

While a strange sewage odor may initially seem unpleasant, it’s crucial to recognize its potential health implications. Among the gases present in sewage, methane stands out, and in excessive concentrations, it can pose a health hazard. Untreated sewage can release methane into your living space, so prompt attention is vital. While uncommon, extended exposure to methane can lead to sewer gas poisoning, resulting in symptoms such as weakness, headaches, dizziness, coordination difficulties, nausea, vomiting, and even loss of consciousness or suffocation in extreme cases. 

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Seeking Professional Assistance May be Necessary

If you detect a sewage odor in your home, you must take immediate action. Identifying the source of such odors may pose challenges. Still, looking beyond the obvious is essential because there are various water systems throughout your house, including showers and washing machines. To assist you in pinpointing and addressing the source of the sewage odor, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide. Once you’ve identified the cause, we’ll provide troubleshooting steps to help resolve the issue. However, for complex sewage problems, seeking professional assistance may be necessary in some cases.

Pinpoint the Source of Sewage Odor in Your Home

We’re probably not curious about identifying sewer gas smell unless necessary. The gas is often described as having an unpleasant odor reminiscent of rotten eggs. You may have heard about natural gas before. So, in both cases, treat the smell with urgency. The scent of sewer gas is a byproduct of natural human waste decomposition, with hydrogen sulfide being the culprit behind the distinct rotten egg smell. To pinpoint the source of the sewage odor in your home, follow your nose to where the odor is most potent.

The Culprit Behind that Unpleasant Sewage Odor

Surprisingly, the toilet isn’t always the culprit behind that unpleasant sewage smell in your bathroom. Instead, if you detect such a smell, turn your attention to the shower drain. Typically, you can attribute a smelly shower drain to one of four common issues: the buildup of biofilm, commonly known as black slime, a clogged drain, an issue with your P-trap, or leaking pipes.

Biofilm Releases a Sewage Odor Due to Bacterial Debris Decomposition

During our showers, we generously use products like body oils, conditioner, shampoo, soap, and shaving cream. While these help us feel clean and rejuvenated, they also flow down the drain along with natural debris such as skin cells and hair. Over time, these elements tend to gather along the P-trap and vertical pipes beneath your shower, forming a biofilm.

Despite its less-than-ideal name, biofilm accumulation is a natural occurrence. As it develops, the biofilm releases a sewage odor due to bacterial activity and debris decomposition. The bacteria produce a sticky substance, enabling them to adhere to the pipe walls, which can be challenging to remove without specialized products.

As the process continues, the sewage odor may spread beyond the confines of the shower or bathtub, affecting the entire bathroom. However, with proper maintenance and cleaning, you can effectively manage and prevent such odors from permeating your space.

Drain Maintenance, Sewage Odor

Here’s How You Can Tackle the Issue without a Plumber

Say goodbye to those unpleasant sewage odors in your bathroom by simply addressing the root cause: the biofilm buildup in your shower drain. Here’s how you can easily tackle the issue without needing a plumber. Say goodbye to those unpleasant sewage odors in your bathroom by simply addressing the root cause: the biofilm buildup in your shower drain.

Craft your own DIY, all-natural cleaner using hot water, baking soda, and white distilled vinegar, or buy a recommended drain cleaner designed to remove biofilm. Follow these simple steps to rid your pipes of biofilm:

  1. Start by using a screwdriver to remove the shower drain.
  2. Use a metal coat hanger with a hook at the end, then fish out the ball of hair accumulated in your drain.
  3. Add one cup of baking soda to the drain pipe and slowly pour a cup of white distilled vinegar over the baking soda. 
  4. After fifteen minutes, flush the drain with a gallon of boiling water.
  5. Finally, use a drain brush to clear out any remaining debris from the drain.

Buy Yourself a Gallon of Liquid Plumbr® Gel or Drano® Gel

These products have been sold in our grocery stores for over 60 years. Despite plumbing companies and plumbers telling everyone they will eat your drains away, they are wrong. They have no scientific evidence that would ever happen. However, SC Johnson and Clorox have scientific evidence that these products will not harm your plumbing. In fact, we don’t care for either company, but the truth is the truth. And the products have stood the test of time and they can save a customer a service call without harming their drains. Use only as directed. Furthermore, you can use them as a drain maintenance. This is a commonsense approach to keeping your drain clean and biofilm-free. 

If, despite your efforts, the sewer gas smell persists, it’s time to seek professional assistance. Contact a plumber to examine your plumbing system thoroughly. With these proactive steps, you can enjoy a fresh-smelling bathroom once again.

Residential Drain Cleaners

Easy Way to Unclog a Bathroom Drain and Eliminate the Sewage Odor

Encountering a clogged drain can be a bit frustrating, but no worries, we have you covered! You might be dealing with a clogged bathroom sink, especially if you have a slow-moving drain. These pesky clogs hinder proper water flow and can accumulate grime over time, which is very similar to the shower drains.

Various substances and debris like dirt, hair, mineral deposits, sand, soap scum, and even small items might be contributing to the clog. It’s common for these materials to bind together, forming a more stubborn blockage that impedes water flow.

But here’s the good news: By clearing the clog from your drain, you can also eliminate that unpleasant odor. With a bit of effort and the right approach, you’ll have your shower drain flowing smoothly and smelling fresh in no time!

Here’s How to Fix the Problem: 

  1. Let’s skip the vinegar and baking soda because it cannot break down hair, which is the main culprit in clogged bathroom drains.
  2. Bathroom sink drains are very similar to shower drains. In this case, however, you will need to remove the stopper from your sink. This is the challenge if you have never removed a stopper before. See the diagram below or visit this Home Depot link to remove a stopper from your bathroom sink.
  3. Once the stopper is removed, use a metal cloth hanger with a hook at the end or a small plastic drain snake. You can purchase them online or at your local home center. In most instances, there is a ball of hair that has accumulated around the stopper; remove it.  
  4. Run a hot water kettle down your drain, then use a toothbrush and detergent to clean it as far down as possible. Run another kettle of water down the drain. 
  5. While you can use a mix of baking soda and vinegar for regular maintenance, a drain cleaner used for the purpose of keeping your drain clean and clear is better advised. 

Our advice on drain cleaners is to use only branded ones such as Drano® or Liquid Plumr®. If you choose a more natural drain cleaner, try Drainbo Natural® or Green Gobbler®. 

Clearing Black Slime From Your Sink. Remove the Sewage Odor

P-Trap Plays a Critical Role in Unwanted Smells

One common culprit is a dry P-trap. The P-trap, shaped like a U or a P, and serves a crucial role in preventing sewer gases and odors from entering your home. The P-trap holds water, creating a barrier against unwanted smells. However, if you don’t use your shower or sink frequently, the water in the P-trap can evaporate, leaving it dry.

But here’s the good news: Simply running your shower or sink regularly can solve this issue by replenishing the water in the P-trap. If, despite regular use, you still notice the sewage odor persisting, it might indicate a minor leak in the P-trap, which is easily fixable with the help of a professional. So, keep your shower running and your worries at bay!

If you notice a sewage smell lingering in your home, don’t fret! While your first instinct might be to check the bathroom, the source could be hiding in your laundry room. When that sewage scent seems to emanate from your laundry area, your trusty washing machine might be to blame. Common culprits behind this unwelcome odor include improperly installed P-traps and pesky drain or vent blockages.

P-Traps Must Be Installed Properly for the Right Results

Let’s tackle the issue of an improperly installed P-trap. P-traps aren’t exclusive to bathrooms; they’re crucial for washing machines, too. However, installation errors can occur with modern machines boasting flexible drain hoses. If the hose is pushed too far into the drain box, it hinders the P-trap’s function, allowing odors to invade your space.

The solution is simple. Adjust the washing machine drain hose, making sure it’s inserted about eight inches deep into the piping. This tweak will allow the P-trap to do its job effectively, keeping those unwanted sewer gases at bay and leaving your laundry room smelling fresh and clean.

Let’s ensure your laundry setup is functional but also safe and efficient! Instead of connecting your washing machine’s drain hose to just any drain line, let’s focus on the proper setup to prevent water overflow and unwanted sewer fumes.

Vital Sewage Odor Coming from your Drain Pipe?

  1. Standpipe: These pipes, ideally at least 2″ in diameter, serve as the connection point for your washing machine’s drain hose. Choosing a standpipe that can accommodate the size of your machine’s hose is crucial. Additionally, ensure the standpipe’s height exceeds the washing machine’s overflow line, typically around 30-36″ tall or 18″-30″ above the trap.
  2. P-trap: P-traps are vital in protecting your home from hazardous sewer gases. These traps should be installed 6-18″ from the floor to block gases effectively. Maintaining the correct pitch in the horizontal pipe connecting the trap to the waste stack is also crucial for proper functionality.
  3. Vent: Ventilation is key to preventing overflowing and gas release. For laundry standpipes, vents should have a diameter of at least 1 ½” and be positioned within 5 feet of the trap.
  4. Clean Pipe: For months if not years, of dirty wastewater and soap scum going down the standpipe, that can create a vial sewage odor coming for your drainpipe if not cleared and cleaned. The solution is to clean the pipe with a cleaner or, in this case, vinegar and baking soda mix with a couple of kettles of hot water.  

Ensuring these components are correctly installed and maintained allows you to enjoy a smoothly functioning laundry room setup without any worries about water overflow or unpleasant odors. Your vent pipe, P-trap, and standpipe all work harmoniously, keeping the sewage odor in check. If the smell comes from the P-trap or vent, it is best to have a plumbing professional complete the task. 

We Can Proactively Identify and Resolve Sewage Odor Issues

Guaranteeing that our home remains free from the unpleasant sewage smells it’s essential for maintaining a comfortable and healthy living environment. From addressing common culprits like biofilm buildup in shower drains to properly installing and maintaining essential components in our laundry setup, such as standpipes, P-traps, and vents, every step plays a crucial role. We can effectively keep sewage smells at bay by proactively identifying and resolving issues like dry P-traps, clogged drains, and improperly installed fixtures. 

Additionally, utilizing natural cleaning methods and seeking professional assistance further contribute to a fresh, odor-free home. With dedication to regular maintenance and a proactive approach to addressing any potential sources of sewage smells, we can ensure that our home remains a pleasant and inviting space for ourselves and our loved ones. So, let’s take the necessary steps to eliminate sewage smells and maintain a clean and comfortable living environment for all.

Brandon and Family, Licensed plumbing contractor

Family Owned & Operated

My name is Brandon Mageno. I'm the founder, President, and CEO of Big B's Plumbing Company. As the founder, I never thought about being average or good. My passion for being the best plumbing company in Southern California has always been the same. Providing plumbing services to this great county is simply in my DNA. Nothing makes me happier than to see a satisfied customer. Learn More About Us

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