Sometimes it’s easy to put off getting some issues fixed around the house but a bad smell from your drains, toilet or other plumbing is hard to ignore. Here are some of the common odors we encounter around the home and how to deal with them:

Toilet Odor

Generally when you get a bad smell after flushing the toilet when it means the toilet wax ring is not sealed to the toilet or the floor. When you put water into a drain, the first thing it has to do is push air away. If you have an unsealed wax ring, it will push it between the floor and the bottom of the toilet into the room, instead of down the pipe. To eliminate that bad smell, you need to reseal the toilet to the floor.

Bathroom Odor

Plumbing systems are designed to prevent bad smells from entering the house by means of the trap attached to fixtures. Traps contain water intended to seal out those odors; that enter the house once the water seal evaporates. To solve this issue, pour a bucket of water down every sink, shower and floor drain.

Disposal Odor

When these give off a bad smell it’s usually from a buildup of food debris within the garbage disposal. To eliminate this drain odor, place ice cubes and lemon or orange peels in the disposal and run for about 30 seconds. Next, pour a little liquid dish detergent into the disposal while it is running. To clean out the debris created by the odor removal process, run cold water into the drain for about 30 seconds.

Floor Drain odor

Bad smells coming from your drain typically indicates that you have a blocked branch line or vent. You’ll need to remove the clog, either by using a hand auger or hiring a professional. When it comes to long horizontal pipe sections, liquid drain cleaners are not effective. This is because the cleaners settle on the bottom of the pipe and clean only the lower part. Acid based drain cleaners should be avoided for steel pipes. The acid would eat through the zinc coating on galvanized piping, clearing the way for corrosion.

Kitchen Sink Odor

If you get a sewer smell when you are using the dishwasher on a kitchen sink, it often means that the pipes inside the wall has a blockage in the vent or the drain. If you have a clogged vent on the roof, then the back-pressure that is created when you try to put water into the pipe, will slow the water down and it will begin to clog the pipe. There has to be an open vent on the roof of the house in order for water to enter a pipe. This is pipe is attached to the drains, but instead of running down it runs up to the roof. Both water and air take up space in the pipe, so in order to put the water into the pipe, you have to push the air aside. The vent redirects the pressure up to the roof at the same speed the water is flowing. So if you have a situation where either the drain or the vent is clogged, the water has nowhere to go without forcing the air combined with sewer gas back into the room.