Everyday Causes of Stinky Drains and Smelly Water

Everyday Causes of Stinky Drains and Smelly Water


Are you dealing with foul-smelling drains or mysterious stinky water? Healthy, clean drains and pipes help create a safe and comfortable home. However, there are instances that create the perfect conditions for that “rotten egg” smell to drift throughout a home.

Here are the three most common causes of stinky drains and smelly water, and the solutions to create a pleasant-smelling home once again.

1. Venting Issues

Problem: Sewer gas ventilation systems are present in most homes, and lead the sewer gas to the outside environment. However, these vents can become clogged.

When this occurs, sewer gas backs up and is forced back into waste pipes, leaving you with a foul and annoying smell. Clogs can be caused by a variety of factors, such as snow, animal nests, leaves, and other debris.

Solution: If the clogs are in an accessible and safe area, you can try to remove them on your own. If they are inaccessible, call your local plumbing expert. They have the knowledge and tools necessary to safely remove any clog, and providing solutions to avoid recurrence.

2. A Smelly Water Heater

Problem: Water heaters are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Their dark, moist interiors allow the bacteria to thrive, especially when the water supply contains sulfur. This combination creates that “rotten egg” smell that emanates throughout a home’s water supply.

Solution: Try cleaning your water heater with H2O2, commonly known as hydrogen peroxide. This peroxide kills the bacteria, and degrades to components of oxygen and water, meaning it is safe for both your water and the environment.

These bacteria, when mixed with sulfur, feed off metal components in your water heater. An anode is a common feature which is made of aluminum and magnesium, which are perfect for the multiplication of smelly bacteria. Try replacing aluminum or magnesium based anodes with one that is made of both zinc and aluminum.

3. Dried-Up P-Traps

Problem: The p-trap is the u-shaped part of a pipe, which contains a small amount of water that acts as a seal. This seal prevents sewer gases from coming up through waste pipes or toilets and instead diverts it to the ventilation system leading to the outdoors. These p-traps can dry up from a leak, disuse, or a blockage that siphons the water out of the pipe.

Solution: If you’re dealing with a smelly pipe that has not been recently used, simply run the tap for a couple of minutes. This should refill the p-trap, and eliminate the smell quickly.

If the smell is coming from a commonly used pipe, the issue might be more critical. Check for leaks or blockages if you can, and contact a plumber immediately. They can help you locate the source of an issue, and fix it in a timely fashion before more serious damage occurs.

Get in touch with S & D Plumbing today if you are dealing with smelly drains or water in your home or business. We proudly serve the entire Austin area.

Request Your Service!
  • Please enter your name.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • Help! Call S&D Plumbing!
  • We’re out of paper!
  • Who forgot to flush?!
  • Anyone got air freshener?
  • I should really stop eating so much hot sauce.
  • I call it my ‘meditation room.’
  • We gotta update our plumbing.
  • There’s a raccoon in here!
  • Your poop is our bread and butter.
  • Wow this is nice...said no one ever.
  • I don't remember eating corn...
  • Yeah, that's a captains log alright.
  • Chipotle was a mistake.
  • I'll be out in a minute!
  • How did they fit a couch in here?
  • I’ve read all these magazines already.
  • Interesting! More sinkers than floaters.
  • On a scale of one to ten urinate.
  • What do you call a country where everyone is pissed?... A urination.
  • Why did the cop sit on the toilet?... To do his duty.
  • What do you call a fairy using the toilet?... Stinker bell!
  • Is it just me, or does it stink in here?
shack door door