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Causes of a Smelly Shower Drain

It is, of course, normal for a bathroom to be home to weird smells. Most of these odors go away fairly quickly, and where they originated is clear. However, if you have a stinky shower drain, you may not know what’s causing it. Shower drain smells, especially a rotten egg smell, can indicate a problem, so it’s important to determine the cause and take care of it.

The Problem with a Malodorous Shower Drain

The first thing you will want to do is to figure out what’s causing the stinky smell. If it’s a rotten egg, or sulfur smell, it is likely caused by hydrogen sulfide gas, which is produced by unwanted bacteria. Musty bathroom drain smells could indicate the presence of mold. How do these things get into your drain? Let’s look at some reasons for a smell drain.

  • Your drain is clogged. If the drain is clogged, debris can become trapped and begin to rot, causing a foul odor.
  • Your P-trap is dry. If the bathroom smells like sewage, the P-trap may be the problem. A U-shaped pipe designed to contain water and keep sewer gases from backing up into the shower, the P-trap doesn’t work if it’s dry.
  • Your pipes are leaking. If your pipes leak, they can allow gases to escape, causing that sewer smell. If the broken pipe is part of your sewer line, it’s an even more serious problem. Sewer pipes can leak because of tree roots breaking through the pipes, because of corrosion, or because of water freezing and expanding within the pipes. Your other plumbing pipes can freeze and burst, too, and both pipes and sewer lines can become clogged and leak.
  • Your water smells. To determine if this is the problem, run a glass of water from the tap you think may be causing the issue. Take the glass outside and smell it. Then repeat this process, using a glass of water from a tap in another room. If both glasses smell bad, you could have contaminated water, causing a hydrogen sulfide gas smell. If they don’t, or only the glass from the bathroom smells bad, it’s probably your drain.

Plumber fixing Shower in Utah

How to Keep Your Bathroom Clean

Of course, the first step in getting rid of bathroom odors is to give your bathroom a deep cleaning. Scrub the sink and shower and/or tub, wipe everything down with disinfectants, clean the floors, and spot-clean anything that seems to need some extra care. Once you have cleaned the bathroom, it should have a fresh, clean smell.

To keep it smelling good, you will need to clean it regularly- at least once a week. Scrub all surfaces carefully, particularly faucets, drains, the shower and the bathtub, with disinfectant cleaner. It is also important to keep your bathroom clutter-free so that it will be easier to keep it clean between deep cleanings. Use a fan or open a window to clear out odors and moisture, and this will also help to prevent mildew growth.

How to Fix a Smelly Drain, and Why You Should

Often, a smelly drain is just a symptom of a larger problem. If your drain is clogged, it can harbor bacteria that may cause illness or allergies, along with causing odors. However, a clogged drain can also cause a backup into your home, and flooding. Fortunately, in this case, knowing how to clean a shower drain may be as simple as using an augur or drain snake. Once it’s clear, you can keep it that way by periodically pouring a half cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. Cleaning the drain regularly this way can keep it from developing clogs or bad smells.

If the smell is coming from a dry P-trap, that is often an easy fix. You can typically resolve this issue by running water down the drain from time to time if the shower is not being used regularly. That way, the P-trap stays full, and the odors stay out of your shower.

If your water smells bad, the problem may be with the anode rod in your water heater. An unwanted plumbing smell can occur when the anode rod reacts to bacteria. You have the rod replaced with an aluminum one, then disinfect the water with hydrogen peroxide.

If your problem is caused by leaky pipes, whether interior pipes or your sewer line, contact a professional plumber as quickly as possible. A sewer line leak can be particularly dangerous, because it exposes you and your family to harmful microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses. It can also cause property and structural damage, as well as leaching toxins and pollutants into the groundwater and soil, causing environmental damage. Fortunately, a professional plumber can perform a sewer line camera inspection to identify the source of the problem, in order to determine the best course of action to repair it.

Contact Us For Help with All of Your Plumbing Needs

Whether something has gone awry with your drain, or you need help with another aspect of your plumbing, you can trust Triple-T Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing to keep your system in great shape. If you have a water leak, we will use the most up-to-date leak detection technology, including infrared and acoustic equipment, to pinpoint the exact location of the leak, so that our experienced team can repair it. Since 1974, our family-owned and operated business has been committed to serving our community, providing the very best heating, air conditioning, air quality, and plumbing services. We’re dedicated to customer satisfaction, and we continually train our employees so that we’re always up to date with the latest technology. When you’re ready for “Service Beyond Expectations”, contact us for all your plumbing, air quality, and HVAC needs.