Indoor plumbing is a true convenience, bringing us hot water on demand and sending waste away from our homes. But these pipelines work both ways. It’s typical not to think much about your home’s plumbing issues until there’s a problem. If you have a spare bathroom that is rarely used, you may be familiar with one of them – that unpleasant sewer odor leaking out of the pipes. It’s not uncommon, and this plumbing problem usually has a simple solution. Try this quick fix for smelly drain odors.
Check the Trap
If you’ve ever looked at the pipes beneath the sinks in your home, you’ve see the U-shaped bend in the pipe. It’s a water trap, and it’s designed to hold water at all times. This water creates a barrier that prevents the smells from farther down the pipe from wafting into your home. However, if this isn’t a sink you use often, the standing water in the trap can evaporate enough that sewer smells make it into the room – and your home.
Before you dump drain cleaner down there to mask the smells, try this. Run the water for ten to twenty seconds to refill the trap. Leave the room, and check in about twenty minutes to see if the odor has dissipated. If it hasn’t, the issue may be a malodorous biofilm inside the pipe. You can try cleaning this yourself with a flexible pipe brush and a 50/50 mixture of bleach and water.
A Warning Sign
If filling the trap and/or cleaning off the biofilm do the trick, great! If not, it’s time to call in a professional like River City Plumbing for a deeper clean. And here’s a tip – if you notice the same bad odor coming from more than one drain, and you’ve already tried filling the water traps, don’t wait. This could be a sign of a more serious issue. For all of your plumbing issues, contact River City Plumbing in Reno today.