Nobody wants to have foul, sewer-like odors wafting through their house. When you detect these kinds of smells emanating from your home's drains, you'll definitely want to do something about it. But to know what needs to be done, you need to first understand what is causing these smells in the first place. There are a number of possible sources for this problem, each with different solutions. Here are three of the most common ones:
1. Dried p-trap
The p-trap is the U-shaped bend in the drainpipe underneath a sink or other drain. The purpose of this pipe shape is to trap a plug of water that will prevent odors from decomposing sewage from rising up the drainpipe and into a house. If you notice bad smells coming from only one drain-a drain that hasn't receives much use-then the problem is probably that the p-trap has dried out. Run water down the drain for a few minutes to restore the water barrier and that should take care of the problem. (If it doesn't, call a plumber.)
2. Excessively dirty drains
You should have professional drain cleaning at least once a year to clear out all the organic deposits that will develop along the inside of your drainpipes, especially in the kitchen. Not only will these deposits create rotten odors, they will also lead to slow drains and eventually full blockages. Professional drain cleaners use advanced equipment, such as hydro-jetters, to eliminate these deposits.
3. Sewer line issues
If multiple drains are giving off sewage smells, then the problem may lay deeper in the drainage system. You may have blockage or even a break in the sewer line from your home. This is a major issue that needs immediate attention from experienced plumbers.