Why Does My Drain Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

That nasty smell coming from your drain could be more than just a bad smell. It could be a serious sewer gas leak in your home.

So don’t ignore it! Here are a few of the reasons that this happens and what you can do to get rid of it.

Problem 1: Drain hasn’t been used in a while

All drain lines have a trap in them that prevents sewer gas from coming up into your home through the drain. Basically, it’s a U-shaped pipe that contains water. If you don’t use your sink for a while, the water in the trap can evaporate, allowing the nasty gas into your home.

What you can do: Run the water. This should refill the trap and eliminate the smell.

More info: Why your shower drain smells like rotten eggs or sewage

Problem 2: No drain trap

If you installed or had someone else install a new sink, bathtub or other drain line, was a proper trap installed? If not, this is likely the problem. Nothing is preventing the smell from the sewer from getting into your home.

What you can do: Have a professional, licensed plumber install the proper trap.

Problem 3: Grease stuck in the drain

One of the most common reasons for a kitchen sink to have a rotten egg or moldy smell is from grease or fat getting stuck in your drains. When you pour grease down your drain, it can congeal to the sides.

And then, as it begins to decompose the smell can make its way back into your home. So don’t put grease down the drain!

What you can do: Try this: put a couple teaspoons of baking soda in the drain and then pour in some vinegar. Then chase it with a pot of boiling water. The foaming of the baking soda/vinegar eats away at the junk in the drain and the boiling water helps wash it all away and sanitizes the drain.

More info: Using vinegar and baking soda to clear drains

Problem 4: Dirty garbage disposal

Scraps of food can get stuck on the blades, creating a moldy or rotting smell.

That’s why you should continue to run water over the garbage disposal for about 30 seconds after it has finished making grinding noises. That will help wash out old food scraps. But if you already have the problem…

What you can do: Try running some ice cubes through your garbage disposal. This helps knock off food stuck to the blades. Then throw a few orange or lemon slices through it for a nice, citrus smell.

Problem 5: Clogged plumbing vent

When a plumbing vent is clogged, a sewer smell can back up into your home. If you can, check the vent for obstructions like a bird’s nest.

What you can do: Remove any obstructions in the plumbing vents. To prevent future problems, you can add screens to the vents.

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Mr. Plumber is the plumbing contractor Atlanta area residents depend on for quality service. We serve Atlanta, Marietta, Roswell, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Peachtree City, Lawrenceville and the entire metro area!

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