An Odor Problem: Possible Reasons Why Your Drains Smell

Whatever liquid substance or leftover that we no longer need, we deposit them down the drain, washing them down with a generous amount of water, well enough for them to flush through the pipes. While this may prove to be a harmless act most of the time, there are instances where our carelessness may prove to be detrimental to our plumbing system.

Case in point, our drains may smell.

If you happen to be experiencing the same thing as of now and you want to know the possible reasons why your drains are currently emitting an unhealthy amount of bad odor, look no further than our examples below.

1. The Household Garbage

Sometimes, we may not notice right away when we accidentally fill the drain with garbage. While you may want to think of the garbage in your kitchen sink as just a harmless junk, it can contribute to the smell in your drains, especially if they are clogged.

This occurrence can be avoided easily with a little bit of common sense. Make sure that you put a garbage bag inside your sink before disposing your garbage.

2. Lack of Grease Trap

If you have a dishwasher, it is recommended that you have a grease trap for your disposal system, which can be installed easily in most home kitchens.

In the absence of this preventive measure, your garbage disposals can attract foul smells, which can later be passed on to other drains.

3. Grease Traps

If you have a grease trap, but you have not yet had the chance to clean its drain pipe, the latter can become clogged because of grease buildup, which would prevent the water from flowing down the pipe.

If you have a grease trap, but you have not yet had the chance to keep the drain pipe clear of clogs, it can cause a foul odor to appear.

4. Insufficient Ventilation of Sinks

Because of the vents in our kitchen sinks, the smell in the drains won’t always be noticeable, especially if the sink is located in an area where there is a lot of traffic.

In some instances, severe clogging can make the smell in the drains, especially those located in the kitchen sink, more noticeable. In an effort to keep the smell from being too strong, you may end up doing more damage to the drain pipes.

5. Sewage Backup

Another possible reason for an odor problem, which may be a bit more serious, is when there is a sewage backup. Aging pipes or rusty faucets can cause this, resulting in clogs and sewage spills.

While this is more prevalent in older homes, it can also happen in newer homes if the plumbing is not kept properly maintained.

6. The Plumbing System

Another possible reason for drains to smell like sulfur, which is a smell that can easily be confused for rotten eggs, is when the plumbing system is not properly flushed.

Plumbing systems need to be flushed regularly and properly to avoid clogging. When there is a lot of waste buildup, the faucets start to smell like rotten eggs, which can be prevented through proper flushing.

You do this by running the hot water in your taps for at least two minutes.

7. The Salty Water

If you are in a coastal area, this is another possible reason your drains smell like sulfur since you probably use a lot of salt in your cooking and wash your clothes.


These are just some of the reasons why drains can smell so bad. If you have been experiencing a similar problem, we hope that our list above can help you determine its specific cause in no time.

To avoid having a smelly drain system in your home, make sure that you always properly dispose of your wastewater, especially those with food particles in them, avoid clogs, and have a professional help you keep your plumbing system regularly flushed to prevent odor problems.

With all of that being said, if you are looking for drain cleaning services in Columbiana, AL, look no further than our expertise here at Professor Plumb. We are licensed, insured, and bonded with over 20 years of experience, and we offer plumbing and gas services, new installations, and repairs. Call us today and let us tend to your smelly drains in no time.

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