With plumbing, one of the unspoken rules that everyone accepts is that whatever goes down, stays down. If something actually comes back up, especially if it’s something we haven’t even seen before, then there’s a big problem, and it needs to be solved.
Even though you can’t see it, smells coming from your drain or water are one of those problems. While the smell itself may be unpleasant, what’s more, pressing is that it is a symptom.
Something else is causing that smell and whatever it is may pose a health risk. Luckily, even with serious problems like smells, the solution isn’t always expensive.
An Empty P-Trap Could Be Causing the Odor
There are different types of odor problems that may come from drains, but if you can track down the problem to just one drain, then you probably just have an empty p-trap.
What is the P-Trap?
The p-trap is the distinctive series of bends in plumbing pipes that are built just under your sink. The p-trap, when it works properly, is designed to hold a quantity of water, which then acts a vapor barrier for your home.
Sewer gas naturally drifts throughout sewers, up sewage lines and into plumbing itself, where it usually meets that layer of water and is stopped dead in its tracks.
How to Fix the Problem?
If your p-trap is empty, then all you need to do is get more water and pour it down the drain in question to restore your vapor barrier.
Your Water Heater Tank Could Be The Culprit
If the problem you’re having is everywhere you turn on the tap, don’t panic. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an issue with a bad water supply. In fact, the cause might be right in your own home, with your water heater tank.
Bacteria are a lot like Goldilocks in that it doesn’t want water that’s too hot, or too cold, but “just right.” Combined with a dark, safe, moist environment like a water heater tank, you may be playing host to a bacterial colony.
How to Fix the Problem?
While it’s true that this can pose a health risk, it can quickly be handled. Just turn up the temperature on your water heater tank to somewhere in the neighborhood of 135-140°F, and that will be too hot for bacteria to survive.
The Sewage Line May Be The Issue
When we come to the sewage line, things may or may not get more complicated. A smell can be caused by a simple obstruction of your ventilation, and an outdoor inspection can reveal leaves blocking a vent, which quickly solves the problem.
However, if you’ve checked every portion of your plumbing that you can gain access to and still find nothing obvious, then your problem might be deep in the sewage line itself.
A partial blockage, maybe even caused by a breach of tree roots into the sewer pipe is a big problem, and only a professional can properly fix it.