Most of the time, your plumbing is the quiet superstar of the residential environment. It functions flawlessly without much attention as it preserves the cleanliness and sanctity of your home. Its ingenious design not only allows for the sanitary disposal of waste, but it does so while preventing the backup of unhealthy sewer gases into your living spaces. However, there are a few common plumbing problems that can undermine the system and leave you with a foul smell emanating from your usually odor-free plumbing.

Fortunately, the presence of foul odors coming from your drain doesn’t always mean you need to contact an emergency plumber in Woodstock, GA, to provide you with an immediate fix. In some cases, the causes of drain odors can be capably mitigated by a handy homeowner. In more severe instances, a plumber may indeed be needed to fix the root cause of the sewer smells. If you detect foul odors that originate from your plumbing, the first step is isolating the problem and identifying it. Keep reading to learn more about some of the common causes of offensive plumbing smells.

Dry P-Trap

The P-trap is a simple plumbing fixture that is used to prevent dangerous sewage gases from backing up into the house from the sewer main. As the name would indicate, it’s simply a P-shaped bend in the pipe that’s beneath the drain. The curve in the P-trap captures a small amount of water that acts as a plug to prevent gases from seeping back from the sewer main into the house. When a sink hasn’t been used for a long period, the water in the P-trap can dry up, leaving no barrier between the sewer main and the drain hole. That allows gas to seep out. If you notice a smell from a sink you don’t regularly use, simply run water into it periodically to replace the water in the trap.

Sewer Main Problems

While refilling the P-trap is an easy fix, there are also major problems that manifest themselves in smelly drain odors. When your sewage line is damaged or clogged, it can cause foul odors that may not be isolated to one drain. When there’s a clog or break in the sewer line, you’ll notice foul odors coming from all the drains. You may also observe slow drains or gurgling sounds when attempting to flush the commode or drain water from your tub. If that’s the case, contact a plumber, as you’ll need professional assistance to remedy the situation.

Vent Problems

While the traps between your drains and sewer main are one way to prevent dangerous gases from seeping into your home, your sewage vents offer another method of protection. Vents are usually found on the roof, as they are necessary to facilitate drainage of your plumbing without external pressure. They also provide a way for gases to rise freely into the atmosphere above your home instead of being forced to percolate back inside. If the vents are improperly installed or become clogged, that can cause gases to enter the home instead of venting harmlessly outside.

Drain line pipe

Bacteria Growth

Sometimes foul smells don’t come from the sewer, but from the drain lines between your shower, tub, sink, or appliance and the sewage main. The drains that service your washer, dishwasher, tubs, and sinks can become the perfect breeding ground for bacteria that feed on decomposing oils and organic material that adheres in a thin film on the inside of your plumbing. The byproduct of that bacteria growth can be the release of foul smells. A mixture of vinegar and baking soda is usually all that’s required to remove the offending growth and get rid of the associated smell.

Foul smells coming from your drains can be the result of minor issues that are correctable by the homeowner or major plumbing issues that will require professional attention. If you are experiencing plumbing problems in Woodstock, GA, contact Plumb Doctor LLC at (770) 912-8922.