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Why Does My Drain Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

What's that smell?

Posted 16:47 October 08, 2022
Last Updated 16:50 October 08, 2022

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Most of the time, plumbing systems are highly reliable, but issues arise now and then. The most common are leaky faucets, a bad hot water heater, running toilets, and weak water pressure.

Another common homeowner problem is a rotten egg smell coming from a drain or a tap. When you smell this, you're smelling a gas called hydrogen sulfide. It smells like rotten eggs.

Food is trapped in the drain


The most common cause of a sulfur smell coming from a drain is food stuck in the drain itself. As the stuck food decomposes, it emits gasses that just smell bad. Your first course of action is to try and clear any clogs or partial blockages that may be present in the drain. The common household plunger is great for this.

Your drain trap is dry or it needs replacing


All drains have a u-shaped part called a drain trap. It's usually located right below the drain itself. The drain trap fills with water, and this water causes a natural barrier that will block bad smells and gasses from entering the home. If the drain trap wasn't properly installed, has failed, or it is dry, this could be the source of your foul smelling problem.

It's been a while since the drain's been used


This is one way a drain trap can go dry. If you don't use a drain (sink or tub) on a regular basis, the water in the drain trap can evaporate. This lets foul gasses escape into your home. Run a little water for a few seconds to replace the water in the drain trap.

The plumbing vent is clogged


Although this is more unlikely, it can sometimes cause a problem. Up on your roof there is a vent pipe sticking out. It provides air which allows water to flow freely down the drain and sewer lines. It is essential to keep this plumbing vent clear. If the vent becomes obstructed in any way, water drainage will be impeded and any gasses trapped in your lines will vent into the house.

Check the vent for leaves, dirt, nests, and even small animals. Makes sure there are no blockages.

A common telltale sign that your plumbing vent is partially or fully obstructed is gurgling sounds coming from your drains.

If you still can't located the source of that sulfur-like smell, contact the plumbing professionals here at All Trades. We service Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, and most parts of Clark County Nevada. We offer same-day service in most cases.

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