Reasons Behind Stinky Plumbing Problems


Every home, no matter how seemingly clean and proper, will need to have some plumbing work done upon it at some point. A slew of issues may ensue if the work is not done right the first time, so the right plumber must be hired for the job.

One of the telltale signs to look for in order to determine if a plumbing job was botched is repugnant odours. In milder cases, the smell may simply be unpleasant.

In severe cases, however, the smell may be so repulsive that it may force you to leave your home to get some relief. Below, we will go over some of the main reasons why your bathroom and pipes may have lingering odour issues.

P-Trap Problem

Stinky smells are often caused due to a problem with the P-trap. The P-trap is a pipe that connects to the sewage conduit that is found underneath your bathroom or sink.

It is shaped like the letter “P”, and is designed to hold a set amount of water. The P-trap essentially serves as a barrier, preventing raw sewage odours from emanating or wafting into your kitchen or bathroom.

However, if you do not use your toilet or sink that often, then your P-trap may eventually dry out. When this happens, the odours from nearby sewers may enter your home.

Breach Issues in Your Sewer Line

The odours that emanate from your drains might be a red flag that indicates that your sewer line has been compromised. Bug infestations, strange gurgling noises coming from your drains, and clogged toilets are signs that something is amiss with your sewer line.

Unfortunately, there are no do-it-yourself solutions for a breached sewer line. Therefore, you should hire a licensed and bonded sewer repair service in your area so that they can safely investigate the matter on your behalf.

Biofilm Buildup

If your shower drain smells funny, then biofilm accumulation may be the culprit. Waste products or byproducts can quickly accumulate over time in your shower. The residue from soaps, shampoos, conditioners, oils, lotions, and body washes can build up over time and form biofilm.

Once a sufficient amount of biofilm has built up in your drain, naturally occurring bacteria will begin to attach to it.

That unpleasant smell is actually from the bacteria itself. The good news is that the bacteria can be removed using a cleaning agent. We would suggest a natural cleaner, as they tend to be less abrasive than their chemical counterparts.

Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal unit that is built directly into your kitchen sink can allow you to eliminate food and organic waste in a quick, safe, and effective manner.

However, your garbage disposal unit will need to be maintained and cleaned on a regular basis. Failure to do so may lead to serious problems down the line. For example, leftovers may become lodged in the unit and may begin to attract bacteria due to rot. The smell that lingers from rotting food can make you nauseous and dizzy.

Water Heater Problems

Bacteria are also attracted to water heaters, unbeknownst to many homeowners. Moisture is yet another problem to look out for when dealing with water heaters.

Bacteria that are allowed to grow in a moist, dank, and dark environment may fester to the point that they cause unpleasant odours.

Resolve this issue as soon as possible by calling a licensed and bonded plumber in your area. Water heaters are delicate, and tampering with them may cause extensive damage that can flood your entire home in some cases.

Get Rid of the Smell for Good

There are many reasons why you may be dealing with stinky plumbing issues. As already noted, a buildup of biofilm may be the root cause, or there may be a serious issue with the P-trap. Breach issues in the sewer line can also cause your drains to smell quite unpleasant

Regardless of the source of the issue, these smells will only get worse with time. Therefore, we would recommend that you call a plumber in the area so that they can investigate the matter. Many companies provide emergency plumbing services as well, so do not hesitate to call them in the middle of the night or during the weekends.

You do not have to suffer in silence. Clogged drains, improper ventilation, drain leaks, and sewer line issues can be resolved easily with the help of a professional plumber.

However, ensure that the plumber is licensed and bonded, and check to see if they provide a guarantee in writing on all of the parts and labour that they provide for peace of mind. Once the cause of the repulsive odours is discovered, you can prevent the issue from occurring again in the future via preventive maintenance.

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