Are you dealing with putrid drains? Can’t quite figure out what’s causing the problem? At Drain Blaster Bill’s Sewer and Drain Cleaning, we know drains better than most because drain cleaning is literally all we do. So, to help you tackle persistent drain effluvia, we’ve put together this brief overview of common odor-causing culprits. Read up, and when you’re ready to eliminate the stench for good, go ahead and give our team a call.  


Is a Dry or Missing P-Trap the Culprit?

One of the most common causes of putrid drains is a dry p-trap, which also happens to be one of the easiest issues to remedy. Don’t know what a p-trap is? It’s the u-shaped or curved section of the pipe beneath the drain that’s designed to hold a small amount of water. This water creates a barrier, which prevents sewer gases from wafting up through the pipe and out of the drain.


When you use a drain frequently, water regularly enters the p-trap, which maintains the odor-blocking barrier in the pipe. But, if you have a guest bathroom or other drains throughout your house that see infrequent use, the water within the p-traps will gradually evaporate. When it does, there’s nothing to stop stinky sewer gases from traveling up through your pipes and wafting into your home. To fix a dry p-trap, all you need to do is run water down the drain to re-establish the barrier in the pipe.


Sometimes, though, you might find a drain that does not have a p-trap. This situation is unusual, but if your plumbing contractor did sub-par work, he might not have installed a p-trap under the drain. If you’re dealing with a missing p-trap, chances are this isn’t the first time you’ve noticed an odor emanating from the drain. Unfortunately, the stench will persist until you hire a plumber to install the trap.


What Else Causes Stinky Drains?

If it appears your p-trap is full of water, but your drain still smells disgusting, we’ve broken down a few different odor-causing situations that can affect the various drains throughout your home. If you’re struggling with any of these issues, your best course of action is to have a professional drain cleaning service take care of the issue. When you’re dealing with filthy, odorous drains, at-home DIY fixes rarely cut it.   


●        Kitchen Sink Drain Odors

Unpleasant odors wafting from your kitchen sink drain are usually due to one of two causes: grease accumulation within the drain or trapped food in your garbage disposal. In some cases, both issues can play a role in the development of foul-smelling drains, which makes it difficult to discern what exactly is causing the stench.


You can try running a few ice cubes through your disposal to dislodge decomposing food particles, but if that doesn’t eliminate the smell, it’s time to call in the drain cleaning professionals. An experienced technician can perform a high-definition camera drain inspection to locate the source of the stench, and then clear away buildup with advanced cleaning techniques such as high-pressure water jetting.


●        Shower Drain Odors

There’s nothing quite like a hot, steamy, stinky shower, right? Wrong. If taking a shower leaves you on the verge of gagging after steamy sewage odors assault your nostrils, you’re likely dealing with one of two problems: biofilm accumulation or a backed-up sewer drain.


Biofilm is simply bacterial growth that accumulates inside the drain over time. When hair, soap scum, and other substances get stuck in the drain, bacteria feed on those materials. Certain bacteria can also thrive in the fetid water inside your shower drain’s p-trap. There, they produce hydrogen sulfide gas (which smells like rotten eggs) as they metabolize various sulfur compounds for energy.


To remedy the problem, you can try removing and cleaning the drain strainer to see if that eliminates the odor, but most times, the issue extends farther down into the pipe. To tackle persistent shower drain odors, a professional drain cleaning service is your most effective option. And if you think you’re dealing with a backed-up sewer drain, the same holds true: contact a drain cleaning company ASAP.


●        Bathroom Sink Drain Odors

Much like shower drain odors, smelly bathroom sink drains are often the result of biofilm accumulation. Though, sometimes, a rotten-egg-type stench may be due to issues with your water supply.


To determine if your water is the culprit, fill one glass with cool tap water and one glass with hot tap water. Take both glasses of water outside your home and smell them. If you smell sulfur, your water supply is probably the culprit behind your stinky drains. If you only smell sulfur in the hot water sample, the issue may stem from your hot water heater. If, however, you detect no unusual scent from your tap water, your drain is definitely the problem.


You can try eliminating the odor yourself by removing the drain stopper and clearing any hair and buildup from its trap. But, much like your shower drain, biofilm accumulation typically extends farther into the pipe. In most cases, to completely eliminate the odor, you’ll need the expertise of a professional drain cleaner. 








Drain Blaster Bill’s: Your Source for Professional Drain Cleaning

At Drain Blaster Bill’s Sewer and Drain Cleaning, we’re drain cleaning experts because that’s really all we do. If you’re dealing with malodorous drains anywhere in the Twin Cities metro, our professional, experienced team is here to serve you. We specialize in mainline sewer drain clogs, shower drain blockages, sink drain cleaning, toilet drain cleaning, and more, so you can rest assured that your plumbing system will be odor-free when you work with us. To learn more about our drain cleaning services or to schedule your appointment, give our team a call at 763-913-8719 or send us a message on our contact page. Want a free estimate first? Fill out this form, and we’ll be in touch!