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What’s That Smell? 3 Common Causes of Plumbing Odors

June 30, 2021
By:
 Santana Bros Plumbing
Woman sitting at a kitchen counter and holding her nose.

Is something smelling a little off in your kitchen or bathroom? It could very well be one of these 3 common causes of plumbing odors. Read on to find out how to stop the stink!

Product Buildup

If your shower has been smelling funky, it may be that the products you use in the shower have created a buildup of biofilm that is causing the odor. Biofilm caused by shampoo, body wash, and other shower products creates an environment that natural bacteria cling to and feed on, and those bacteria cause the odor you’re smelling. To clean away the biofilm (and the bacteria with it), flush your drain with hot water, then pour 1 cup of white vinegar into it. Wait a couple of hours, then flush the drain with hot water again. This should get rid of any product buildup and leave your shower smelling fresh again.

Dry P-Trap

The P-trap is the P or U-shaped pipe located underneath plumbing fixtures like sinks and showers. If you notice an unpleasant smell coming from a fixture that you don’t use frequently, a dry P-trap may very well be the culprit. If P-traps don’t have enough water flowing through them on a regular basis, sewer gasses can rise up and cause odours. Simply run water through your sink or shower a few times to wet the P-trap and see if that fixes your problem. If it doesn’t, call a plumber.

Food scraps and other debris get stuck to the mechanism of your garbage disposal over time. Those food scraps will rot and smell. Not very appetizing, huh? When you start to notice a bad smell emanating from your garbage disposal, it’s time to give it a good scrub. Before cleaning your garbage disposal, always disconnect the power first. Cleaning a garbage disposal with the power on is very unsafe because if it were to unexpectedly turn on you could badly injure your hand. Once the power is disconnected, use a sponge and some gentle dish soap to scrub out the garbage disposal. You can also use a little vinegar to neutralize the smell. After you’ve finished cleaning the disposal, flush it with water and turn the power back on.

If none of these solutions gets rid of the odor coming from your plumbing, there is probably a more severe problem that requires professional repairs. At Santana Bros, our plumbers have extensive experience with plumbing problems of all kinds and are dedicated to providing high quality service.

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Alexa Seleno
@alexaseleno
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