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Eradicate Foul Odours Coming From Your Drains

Offensive smells emanating from drainage systems is a common problem for homes and businesses. When a drain starts to smell bad, the unpleasant odour can quickly fill a room and anyone entering that room is sure to know about it!

At first you can’t always put your finger on the cause of the problem. Could it be the bins that need emptying? Or some washing up that was left uncleaned from the night before? As you approach the problem sink or drain and the smell intensifies the real cause soon becomes clear.

Your first reaction might be to run water down the sink to see if it helps the situation – unfortunately it rarely does. What steps can be taken to rid yourself of the dreaded drain stink, and why is it a problem in the first place?

“Why do my drains smell?”

There are many possible causes of a foul-smelling drain, so let’s take a look at some of the most common that we regularly encounter.

Clogs: Top of the list and the probably the most obvious culprit is some sort of clog or build up of bacteria in the drain. When you think about all the stuff that gets rinsed down a drain (much of which should never go down there in the first place!) it’s not a stretch to think that some of it has gotten stuck along the way. A short while later and this build-up of bacteria will be releasing odours.

Blockages: Close second is the drain clog’s cousin, the pipe blockage! In this scenario the clog has developed into a full-blown blockage. This one is easier to spot because a blocked drain isn’t likely to drain water, at least not at full flow. The quick test here is to simply run the tap and see if the water eventually stops draining away. If it does, you’ve got a blockage.

Gases: Sometimes the problem causing your stinking drain isn’t anything to do with the drain directly, but instead the sewer system the drain leads to. Empty drain traps can result in unpleasant smelling gas rising up through your pipes and filling your room. This is most common where the drains are used less frequently.

Leaks: Foul smelling odours coming from around your drains can be an indicator that you have a leak coming from your plumbing. Even the smallest of leaks beneath a sink, under the floor or behind a wall can lead to a build up of mould. Taking a few minutes to thoroughly check can save you a lot of time and money spent on repairs further down the line.

All of the potential causes listed above can be compounded by poor plumbing work. A poorly fitted pipe, a missing drain trap, degrading drain fittings – these can all lead to any number of issues that you could be first alerted to by a bad smell.

How to fix a bad smelling drain

The good news is when it comes to drain odours the smell is often much worse than the task of eliminating it! Drain blockages and clogs topped our list of most common causes of foul drain odours – and they can all be treated in a similar way.

Essentially, we need to clear something out of the pipes that should never have been there in the first place. No matter what the clog of blockage is (hair, food, bacteria, grease) we want it shifted. Here’s how to do it.

First off, it’s always worth trying plain old boiling water (nothing fancy here!) Boil the kettle and pour boiling water down your drain a little at a time, giving it chance to break down the blockage. You might also want to consider adding bleach to help destroy the bacteria. To do this, fill your sink with hot water and add the bleach, then let it all down the drain in one go.

Still no joy? Time to bring out our trusty drain clearing ingredients vinegar and baking soda. This option is less chemically based than bleach and can achieve even better results. Simply mix the ingredients in equal parts, rinse down the drain, follow with boiling water and let time go to work. After an hour or so your drain should be back at full flow.

Drain traps, leaks and bad plumbing

If you’ve established the cause of your drain wasn’t a blockage but rather one of the less common causes, you can still take steps to resolve the problem in good time.

Empty drain traps will fix themselves by simply keeping water running through the pipes more regularly. This could be as simple as flushing a toilet or running a shower occasionally.

Plumbing issues and leaks are best tackled by qualified professionals to avoid the risk of causing further damage to your drainage system. Getting things fixed properly means getting things fixed once, and a lot less headache a few weeks or months down the line when DIY fixes are likely to fail.

Time for the drain care professionals?

If you’ve exhausted your DIY drain unblocking options and you have a blockage that you simply can’t shift, it’s time to have a professional drainage company take over. They’ll use CCTV camera survey technology to take a closer look at the problem and then rectify it quickly and efficiently with minimum disruption or down time.

TWC Drain Care use the latest high-pressure jetting equipment to clean domestic and commercial drains, as well as offering a fast drain repair service that can fix damaged drains without the need for excavation. Call TWC Drain Care today to find out more.

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