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What’s That Smell? 5 Common Causes of Household Plumbing Odors


A woman pinching her nose because she smells something bad.

Nearly every homeowner has experienced it at some point: You catch a whiff from a drain or fixture, and it smells terrible. Any smell at all coming from your household plumbing probably makes you at least a little worried, and for good reason. In a home where all the plumbing is working right, you shouldn’t smell anything coming from your kitchen or bathroom plumbing fixtures.

In this article, we’ll discuss five sources of household plumbing odors and how to get rid of them.

1. Clogged Drains

Clogged drains are one of the most common sources of foul plumbing odors. Even if you avoid letting grease, eggshells, coffee grounds, or hair go down your drains, some buildup with inevitably form in your pipes.

This issue can be quickly resolved with professional drain cleaning services. This service will clear any blockages and eliminate the odors they produce. Plus, it’ll prevent further plumbing issues caused by clogged drains, like backflow or burst pipes.

2. Dirty Garbage Disposals

A dirty garbage disposal can make your entire kitchen smell. The ground-up residue from food can quickly become host to all sorts of smelly bacteria. In some cases, you might even have mold or mildew growth in your garbage disposal.

Regularly cleaning your garbage disposal with baking soda and vinegar can help in some cases, but you might need to schedule professional plumbing services if you can’t resolve the issue yourself.

3. Broken Toilet Seals

Below your toilet, where the toilet connects to the drainage pipe that runs to your sewer, there’s a seal that keeps gases from getting into your home. Even minor damage to this seal can quickly result in your bathroom smelling like an open sewer. And unlike some other bad smells on this list, this one can be hazardous to your health.

If you smell sewer smells from your toilet or have any other reason to suspect a broken toilet seal, request plumbing repairs ASAP!

4. Dry P-Traps

If you’ve ever had to clear a clogged sink yourself, you potentially had to unscrew the P-trap and clean it out. P-traps connect to your sinks, showers, or bathtubs and hold a pocket of water that keeps sewer gases from coming up through the drain.

If your P-trap is dry, sewer gases can rise through the pipes, causing awful smells. Pouring water into the offending drain might solve this issue, but if the P-trap is leaking or poorly installed, you’ll need to request help from a plumber.

5. Sewer Line Issues

If your sewer line is clogged or damaged, you’ll likely notice a foul sewage smell around your property, especially near your drains. If you notice odors, unusually high water bills, or lush patches on your lawn, you may need sewer line repairs. This will eliminate the sewage odors and prevent other costly issues, like backflow or backed-up plumbing fixtures.

How To Fix Smelly Plumbing Problems

If you notice bad smells coming from your plumbing fixtures and nothing you’ve tried has worked, you need to make an appointment with a local plumber. A professional will be able to pinpoint the source of the odors, determine whether you have a larger plumbing issue, and complete any necessary repairs. You can also prevent future smelly plumbing problems with routine plumbing maintenance.

Grapids Home Services Can Fix Smelly Plumbing Problems for West Michigan Homeowners

Whether you’re dealing with a smelly, clogged drain or a damaged toilet seal, you can rely on the professionals from Grapids Home Services for help. We provide prompt, thorough solutions that will have your home smelling fresh again in no time. 

Our team offers same-day plumbing repairs, so don’t wait to reach out if you notice foul plumbing odors around your home. You can also take advantage of our special offers to save money on our services.

Call Grapids Home Services at (616)-453-1099 now to schedule plumbing services in Grand Rapids, MI!

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