Don’t Live With Plumbing Odors — Potential Causes for Those Foul Smells
It’s impossible to miss unmistakable plumbing odors. If you’re tired of keeping your nose plugged, consider these possible causes and how to remedy them.
Leak in the plumbing fixture’s trap: The “S” shape in the plumbing beneath the sink, shower, tub or toilet holds water to create a barrier between your home and outside sewage. If no water is sitting in the trap, sewer gases can come through. Fix the leak and you remove this source of plumbing odors.
- Garbage disposal: Grease and food particles build up in the garbage disposal and kitchen plumbing. As they rot, they become a breeding ground for bacteria, which could be causing the plumbing odors. Pour one-half cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of vinegar to cut through the bacteria. Let it foam for a few minutes, then flush out the pipes with hot water.
- Broken seal around the toilet base: Check around the toilet and see if it’s securely attached to the floor. If the seal is broken, plumbing odors could be seeping through. Repair or replace the seal and see if that fixes the problem.
- Clogged vent pipe: This is what vents sewer gases outside. Snow can block the vent opening, and rodents or birds can also build nests near the opening, which blocks airflow as well. Inspect the pipe and unclog the vent if necessary.
- High humidity: All pipes have some amount of grease or decaying materials built up. When the humidity rises in the summer, odor-causing bacteria grow that much faster, producing the noxious smell you dread. Flush the drains using the baking soda/vinegar approach. Then, run a dehumidifier in the summer to control humidity and keep plumbing odors caused by bacteria at bay. Sewer gases are repulsive, but they can also be dangerous. Don’t expose your family to harmful fumes by ignoring the plumbing odors.
Instead, contact Sobieski Services for additional help and information. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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