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If Your Home’s Drains and Water Smell Awful, Here are the Reasons

The trick with plumbing problems is not to let them grow on you. What starts as a small leak somewhere may eventually turn into a broken pipe that needs a costly repair. The same is true when you start to smell something coming from your plumbing.

Whether it’s the water in all your taps or a smell that’s coming from one particular drain, this is not an issue you should ignore. A smell means that something unhealthy is penetrating your home, and it could even mean that your health is at risk.

However, there are some quick, easy fixes for these problems if you know what the cause is.

If It’s Your Water

If you’re noticing a smell from all of your water taps, don’t blame it on the city water supply. The fault may lie with your water heater tank.

Bacteria may have made their way into the tank, and, because it wasn’t too hot, have now found a dark, moist, warm environment in which to start a successful colony.

However, in addition to a bad smell, some of the bacteria that can be found in water heater tanks can be health hazards, causing illnesses like

Legionnaire’s Disease

To deal with this problem, you only have to turn up the heat. Bacteria aren’t that hardy, and even a small change in temperature may make an environment unlivable for them.

Just adjust the temperature of your tank up to around 135-140°F, and that’s enough to kill harmful bacteria and get rid of the smell.

If It’s A Drain

When you detect a smell coming out of a single drain, the likely culprit is an empty p-trap. This is the pipe under your sink that should normally hold a certain amount of water.

When present, that water acts like a vapor barrier against gases from the sewers drifting into your home.

All you have to do is pour more water into the sink and this issue will be quickly resolved.

While the smell may be alarming, this is an easy fix that all experts recommend you try first before resorting to more professional and expensive solutions.

If It’s The Sewage Line

Unfortunately, a problem with your sewer line can potentially run the gamut from easy DIY fix to complex problem that only an experienced professional can address.

On the easy side of things, a smell may simply be a case of a blocked vent due to leaves or other debris, in which case, you can clear it out yourself.

On the difficult side of things, you may have a partial blockage or even small breach somewhere deep in your sewage line as it runs out to the main sewer system.

You are unlikely to have the tools or the know how to identify and fix a problem like this, so you’ll need to have an expert come down and professionally assess things.

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