A smelly drain can really foul your mood when you enter a room. If your drain smells like rotten eggs, you’re experiencing a very common – but potentially dangerous – plumbing issue. You’re not smelling literal eggs; you’re getting a strong whiff of sulfur. There are several causes behind this commonplace problem, including a sewer gas leak. It’s important that you address your stinky drains promptly, as you don’t want to leave a potential danger present in your home.
Not every cause of this terrible smell is endangering, but you’ll still want to check it out anyway. After all, nobody wants to live with the stink! Here are 5 reasons why the drain in your kitchen or bathroom may reek of sulfur.
5 Reasons Why Your Drain Smells of Rotten Eggs
You don’t recall making or eating any eggs, so why does your home smell strongly of it all of a sudden? There are several reasons that can be the culprit behind the foul odor of sulfur coming from your bathroom or kitchen drains. Here are 5 of the most common reasons why your drain might be putting out that smell.
If your drain smells like rotten eggs, you may have contaminated water. If your water has been tested and is confirmed to be contaminated, you may need to replace your anode rod. The anode rod contains magnesium, which may react to the water and cause this smell. It’s as simple as replacing the old anode rod with an aluminum one. To banish the existing smell quickly after making the replacement, you can disinfect the water with hydrogen peroxide (a gentler alternative to bleach).
Gunk in Your Garbage Disposal
If you don’t follow the right practices with your garbage disposal, food remnants and grease can linger behind and start to rot or mold. Whenever you use this valuable appliance, make sure to run cold water before, after, and while the disposal is in operation. This aids in washing away food, grease and oil. It also helps to extend the life of your disposal!
Sometimes this isn’t enough, especially if you’ve neglected this practice for some time. Try putting a few ice cubes into the disposal and crush them down. This not only sharpens the blades, but also helps beat away stuck-on debris inside of the disposal.
Absence of a Drain Trap
If someone installed your sink without a drain trap, there’s nothing preventing the sewer smell from getting into your home. In the absence of a drain trap, you can be confident that this problem is the sole cause behind the smell. Hire a trusted plumbing contractor to install the drain trap that should have been installed in the first place.
Empty Drain Trap
While we’re on the subject of drain traps, let’s discuss what happens if your drain trap is completely empty. If you haven’t used the drain in a while, such as in the case of a vacation or secondary property that you don’t use often, the water inside of the drain trap will evaporate. This, in turn, lets foul-smelling sewer fumes into your home. Fortunately, the solution is simple: Just run the water! Running the water will refill the drain trap and put an end to the smell.
Greasy or Fatty Drains
Easily one of the most common culprits behind the rotten egg smell is the presence of grease or fat that’s stuck inside of a drain. If they are left to congeal to the sides of the pipe, grease and fat will start to decompose, producing a sulfuric scent. You should avoid pouring either substance down the drain.
If your drain smells like rotten eggs because of grease or fat, pour some baking soda down the drain and follow it up with some vinegar. This will break down the offending material.