Have you ever noticed a foul smell resembling sewage or rotten eggs coming from your bathroom or kitchen sink? Most of us will experience this as it is a common plumbing problem. JWC Plumbing & Heating have put together some handy information on what causes this foul smell and how you can get rid of it.
What Makes Your Sink Smell?
All plumbing systems are designed with a waste trap, often referred to as a U-Bend. This is implemented to help stop sewer gases traveling up your pies and coming into your house. They work by trapping a small amount of water in the bend in order to block the gasses form coming back up the pipes. This system only works though, when the trap is properly ventilated so that the pressure inside the pipes can equalise. If there is no proper ventilation, then high pressure can build up in the drains and result in gases being released into your home. Another cause could be low pressure in your drains which will make the trap ineffective at blocking the gasses. Also, a small blockage in your pipes can lead to the U-Bend being ineffective and bad smells entering your home.
The most common cause for the bad smells is usually foreign objects in your plumbing such as, food, fats, oils, grease and hair, that shouldn’t be there. Allowing small pieces of food to wash down your sink can cause a blockage in the U-Bend therefore causing your sink to smell, the same goes for all other things such as, toothpaste, hair, oils and fats, all things that shouldn’t go down your sink but still end up there!
When these foreign objects get trapped in your sink, they can start to decay in turn causing a nasty smell. When hair gets stuck down your plug hole this can also act as a trap and collect other substances that will eventually start to smell.
What To Do If Your Sink Smells
If you think your sink may be blocked, then it’s worth trying to use a plunger to shift the blockage. If you think the smell may be caused by a build up of debris in your pipes, then you can follow these simple steps to clean them out:
- Put a bucket directly under the U-Bend in order to catch any water
- Loosen off the nuts that are holding the U-Bend in place
- Scrape off and black residue from inside the pipes, and use a pipe brush to clean them out
- Reattach the U-Bend
- While the bucket is still in place, run water to ensure the U-Bend is fitted securely and there are no leaks.
If you have tried both of these steps and you are still having problems with smells then it could mean that there is a further problem with your pipes and it would be worth calling out a plumber to come and investigate and resolve the issue.
How To Prevent Your Sink From Smelling?
Here are a few tips you can try out to help prevent your sinks smelling in the first place:
- Ensure food doesn’t go down the sink by scraping all food waste into the bin before washing up.
- Regularly clear hair out of the sink, or shower to prevent it going down the drain.
- Try not to let anything go down your sink that isn’t water or washing up liquid.
- You could buy a drain basket which will catch any food in your sink before it goes down the drain.
- If you don’t already have one, call in a plumber to install a soil vent pipe which will redirect foul smells away from your home.