If you’ve got issues with your drains and/or your water, you already know that a by-product of that problem is a foul odor in your home. But do you know what is causing these odors? What’s more, do you know what to do about it?
For a quick solution, call your plumber. In the meantime, try these DIY diagnostics to determine if any of these top 3 reasons sound like what’s going on in your home.
1. Check Out Your P-Trap
If your plumbing has been done to code, the P-trap is easy to find.
It is the curved piece attached to the piping underneath your sinks in your bathrooms and kitchen.
The P-Trap serves an important purpose. It keeps debris from entering the pipe and clogging it.
Similarly, it prevents smelly sewer gases from entering your home. It does this by placing a barrier of water inside the P-trap.
If that trap empties out, either because the seal is broken or because the sink hasn’t been used in a long time, then there is nothing preventing smells from entering your home.
Run the water and see if the smells linger.
2. It Might be the Water Heater
If the odor resembles rotten eggs and if it is the water that smells as opposed to the drains then you should check out the water heater.
As your water heater is warm and moist, it’s a given that it will grow bacteria. However, when that bacteria proliferates to high levels, it sets off a chemical chain reaction with an important part of your tank: the anode rod.
The anode rod is in place to prevent rusting. As the anode rod is primarily made of magnesium, when it encounters high levels of bacteria (or other imbalances in the water composition), it releases smelly sulfuric gas.
As a start, replace the anode rod. It may be a good idea to switch to an aluminum one if this is a chronic problem.
3. Sewer Line Situation
Of all the potential problems, this one could be most serious. A breach in your sewer line could mean that your home is at risk for a burst pipe and flooding.
If the odor is musty and is present at multiple locations in your drains throughout the house, that’s a good indication that the sewer line isn’t bringing wastewater away from your home effectively. Don’t delay. Get this fixed today.