The Foolproof Solution to Eliminating Smelly Drains
Smelly drains in your house can be caused by various plumbing issues, including a buildup of food particles and grease in the pipes, mould and mildew growth, a blocked vent pipe or improper grates and drains. If left unchecked, the buildup of organic matter in the pipes can lead to the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms, which can cause a foul odour, just like a bad-smelling bin. A blocked vent pipe can also cause smelly bathroom drains, as it can prevent the release of gases from the plumbing.
To address your plumbing issues, including smelly shower drains, identify the root cause of the problem: inspect the pipes, scan your grates and drains for signs of buildup or blockages, check for leaks, and clean thoroughly.
Most Common Drain Issues
According to a report published by Global Insurer Chubb, “internal water damage in Australian homes is now a more common and costly risk than fire and burglary.” Beyond water damage caused by heavy rain or flooding, more common problems like blocked pipes, clogged drains, and old or worn-out plumbing result in all sorts of drainage issues, including smelly drains in your house.
Another study conducted by QBE in 2021 also found that burst or blocked pipes make up 46% of insurance claims as the leading cause of water damage, followed by old or worn-out plumbing, overflowing baths, sinks and showers, clogged drains and Flexi-hose issues with appliances.
Other common causes of blocked drains and pipes in a house include:
- Hair can accumulate in the drain and cause blockages, particularly in bathroom sinks and showers.
- Soap scum can build up in the pipes and cause blockages.
- Food particles can accumulate in the drain and cause blockages, particularly in kitchen sinks.
- Pouring grease down the drain can cause it to solidify and block the pipes.
- Foreign objects such as toys, jewellery, or other small items can fall into the drain and cause blockages.
- Tree roots can grow into the pipes and cause blockages or damage to your plumbing.
- Over time rust and corrosion can build up in pipes, causing blockages, which can impact the durability and longevity of your plumbing.
- A large amount of toilet paper and sanitary products can cause blockages in the pipes.
- Flushable wipes are not flushable and can cause blockages in the pipes.
By being mindful of these common issues, you can take steps to prevent blockages and keep your drains and pipes functioning correctly.
Check The Sewer Gas Trap
A vital component of any internal plumbing system is the sewer gas trap where water is stored. A sewer gas trap, also known as a P-Trap, stops sewer gases from entering your home through the pipes. When you use your sink or shower, the old water is flushed away and replaced with fresh water.
If you look at a pipe and see where it dips down into a U-shape, you can quickly identify the P-trap and possibly the source of the smell.
Common Sewer Gas Trap Issues
- Improper Water Storage
Gases may enter your home if water is not correctly seated in the P-trap, allowing them to pass through the pipe.A leak is typically the main offender here. Verify the area of the floor closest to the sink or drain for water damage. Call a plumber if you can’t adequately pinpoint a leak so they can look into it further.
- Infrequent Usage
Your sewer gas trap can dry out if your sink or shower isn’t used often (guest bedrooms are often where this occurs), which will cause unpleasant odours to come to the surface.Make careful to run water through fixtures that are not frequently used to replenish any water that may have evaporated over time to assist in eliminating this reason.
You may have a broken or clogged sewer line if you’ve detected foul odours and loud gurgling from several drains in your home. Call a plumber ASAP!
Clearing Blocked Drains
One solution for dealing with a buildup of organic matter in the pipes is to use a drain-cleaning solution, such as baking soda and vinegar, to break down the buildup and flush it out of the plumbing. Another solution is to use a plumbing snake or auger to remove blockages from the pipes.
It’s also important to note that mould can grow due to moisture and humidity in the air. Thus, it is a good idea to ensure that your bathroom and kitchen are well-ventilated to prevent mould growth. Smelly bathroom floor drains are a common culprit and should also be monitored for odours and blockages.
If you cannot identify and fix the problem, you may need to call a professional plumber to diagnose and repair the issue.
Home Drainage Cleaning Solutions
To prevent smelly drains in the future, you can also take steps to prevent blockages and buildup in the pipes with these home drainage cleaning solutions.
- Baking soda and white vinegar: Mixing equal parts baking soda and vinegar can create a natural drain cleaner that can help to break down and remove buildup in the pipes.
- Drain cleaning solutions: These products typically contain chemicals such as sodium hydroxide or sulfuric acid that can break down and remove buildup in the pipes.
- Plumbing snakes or augers: These tools can be used to remove blockages from the pipes.
- Enzymatic drain cleaners: These are specially formulated to break down organic matter and can be an effective solution to remove build-up in pipes.
- Plunger: A plunger can be used to remove blockages in the pipes and be especially effective for minor blockages.
- Biodegradable drain cleaners: These are specially formulated to break down organic matter to remove build-up while remaining safe for the environment effectively.
It’s important to remember that some of these products may have different instructions for use and precautions, so it is essential to read the label and instructions carefully before use.
Keeping Bathroom and Shower Drains Clean and Clear
There are several ways to keep bathroom and shower drains clean:
- Use a hair catcher: Installing a hair catcher in the shower or bathtub drain can help to prevent hair and other debris from going down the drain and causing blockages.
- Be mindful of what you put down the drain: Avoid putting harsh chemicals, grease, or other materials down the drain that can cause blockages or buildup.
- Run hot water down the drain: After each use, running hot water down the drain can help flush out debris and prevent blockages from forming.
- Clean the drain regularly: Clean it by pouring a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the drain, then flush it out with hot water.
- Schedule regular maintenance and cleaning: Scheduling regular maintenance and cleaning of the pipes with a professional plumber can help to prevent blockages and buildup and ensure that your plumbing is in good working condition.
- Ventilation: Ensure your bathroom is well-ventilated to prevent mould growth, which can cause unpleasant odours and damage to the pipes.
- Use a shower drain cover: These can help to prevent hair and other debris from going down the drain and causing blockages.
- Dealing with drain flies: also known as sink flies, these tiny but annoying bugs are drawn to decomposing organic matter and stagnant water, which is why they love blocked and smelly drains in your house for laying their eggs. Drain flies multiply quickly and can cause a foul smell if there’s a large amount of them. Keeping your drains clean and clear will prevent drain flies from taking up residence near your pipes. Bug spray also helps, too.
By taking these steps, you can help to keep your shower and bathroom drains clean and functioning correctly.
Finding Local Drain Suppliers
Local Australian suppliers are ideal for ordering high-quality grates and drains for internal and external applications. It’s even better when their products are always in stock, with 24-hour lead times and reliable courier dispatch. Reach out to your local drain supplier to access a wide range of drainage hardware and supplies that are suitable for your shower, bathroom or kitchen.