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Reasons for Stinky Plumbing Problems

Feb 10, 2020
Reasons for Stinky Plumbing Problems

Are rotten egg smells driving your family crazy? Have you become embarrassed to host friends or family because the guest bathroom smells like sulfur? At Neighborhood Plumbing, we enjoy helping local Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area home and business owners find ways to improve the safety and efficiency of their plumbing system. We want you to enjoy the same results for your property. Our team of experts have helped countless clients with their stinky plumbing issues, and we want to offer some helpful advice. Here are the most common causes of bad smelling pipes, drains and fixtures, and what you can do to fix the issue once and for all. 

Dry P-trap
A P-trap is a “P” shaped pipe located beneath your sinks, tubs and similar fixtures. They are designed to hold a small amount of water. This water will seal off the air coming from your drain line, preventing sewer gas and sulfur smells from rising through your drain. However, when a P-trap has dried out, the barrier is removed, and the odors can begin to seep into your home. This usually happens in a guest bathroom, laundry room or in an area where the plumbing doesn’t get used as often. Preventing this is simple, just be sure to run a little bit of water in the sinks and tubs that you use less frequently. 

Sewer Line Leak
Sewer line damage is another common reason for stinky plumbing problems. If you notice signs of water damage near the area where the odor is strongest, then this is a good indication of a drain line or sewer line leak. Outdoor leaks or sewer line collapses will cause bad smells in your yard. You may also see puddles of water forming on the lawn, even on clear sunny days. Whether the smells are coming from inside or outside your home, it’s important to call a plumber Pittsburgh PA right away. Exposure to raw sewage could put you and your loved ones at risk of serious illness, so you’ll need to find a solution as soon as possible. 

Dirty Drains or Garbage Disposal 
Food debris, soap residue, oils and grease that have accumulated on the interior walls of your drains, pipes and garbage disposal can create what is called “biofilm”. This film attracts bacteria since it is a good source of nutrients for microorganisms. The bad smell is the byproduct of these microscopic pests. The best way to avoid this is to clean your drains at least once a week with hot water, baking soda and white vinegar. It’s also helpful to schedule an annual or semi-annual professional drain cleaning to keep buildup at bay long term. 

Water Heater Tank
There are two common reasons why sulfur smells are coming from your hot water. The first possibility is that your anode rod has worn out, and chemical reactions are occurring between the corroded rod and naturally occurring sulfate in the water supply. If this is the case, then replacing the rod with a new one should solve the problem. The second potential cause is the accumulation of bacteria inside the tank. Some strains of bacteria emit hydrogen sulfide gases, which will make your hot water smell like rotten eggs. If your rod is in good shape, then this is the likely reason for your stinky showers. You will need to drain and thoroughly clean your water heater tank to remove the bacteria. 

Do You Need Help from a Certified Plumber? Call Neighborhood Plumbing Today
Is it time for your next drain cleaning, sewer line repair, plumbing inspection or maintenance service? Then call the experts at Neighborhood Plumbing. Our certified, licensed and insured plumbers are ready to help. Contact our office to learn more about our wide range of residential and commercial plumbing services or to schedule an appointment in Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill, Cranberry Township, Murrysville, Fox Chapel, Upper Saint Clair, Moon Township, O’Hara Township, Allison Park, Pine Township, Pennsylvania or a surrounding metro area city. 

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