The sudden arrival of unnatural or unpleasant odors in your home is never a reassuring thing, especially when the source of the smell is somewhere in your home’s plumbing system. Are my drains clogged? What if there is a harmful sewer gas leak? If I need to fully renovate my plumbing, how much will it cost me?
Fortunately, finding solutions for your home drain problems and pipe issues doesn't have to be difficult. In fact, there are many things you can do right away to resolve foul plumbing odor problems quickly.
The Problem: Foul or Abnormal Odors Coming From Drains
While you may be tempted to brush off the odors as unimportant, isolated or temporary issues (as many homeowners do), this can actually wind up making matters much more severe. There’s a big difference between a minor clogging problem and a full-blown plumbing emergency; however, sometimes the warning signs are the same for each.
There are a number of reasons your home plumbing systems may be emitting foul odors, which can range from fairly innocent food debris buildup and loose toilet fixtures, to full-scale plumbing emergencies, such as leaking sewer gases (which can have negative, serious health effects) and collapsed pipe.
What You Can Do
Fortunately, determining the exact cause of plumbing odors and resolving them can be relatively simple, given self-inspection techniques and professional plumbing services available in your area.
For starters, if the odor is strongest directly from your garbage disposal unit, there’s a decent chance the problem can be traced back to stubborn oil, gunk and food product buildup within your drains. This can be resolved fairly easily, using drain cleaning techniques such as hot water cleaning or baking soda/vinegar solutions.
That said, there’s always the chance that foul, unnatural odors in your home’s plumbing can be the result of something much more pressing; that is, pipe breaking, corrosion or collapse, which virtually always require professional repairs to resolve the issue.
For this reason, if the cause of plumbing odors in your home is not immediately clear, one of the most helpful things you can do is contact a seasoned, trained pipe repair specialist, who can properly diagnose the problem and advise you on affordable drain clearing techniques. When it comes to the well-being of your home’s plumbing, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Other Warnings Signs of Drain Clogging or Pipe Problems
If you suspect drain clogging or possible pipe damage to be the cause of foul odors in your plumbing system, there are several other warning signs you should take note of. These signs are all strong indicators of plumbing emergencies; situations that should never be taken lightly, especially given the repercussions if they’re ignored.
- Regular drain pipe clogging
- Residue or material fragments coming from water fixtures
- Decrease in water flow, pressure and amount
- Water spots, puddles or leaks around drain fixtures, or on surfaces covering pipes (walls, floors, ceiling)
Even if these additional warning signs occur temporarily, they’re still important to make note of, as they can be indicators of serious plumbing issues.
Of course, the best way to identify a major pipe problem without doubt is by contacting an expert plumbing technician in your area. These pros can use advanced plumbing inspection tools and professional experience to determine the root of foul plumbing odors, and advise you on next steps for resolving the issue before it can escalate into a major plumbing disaster.
Don’t Hesitate to Contact the Pros
When worst comes to worst, it’s important that you acknowledge the problem is severe enough to warrant outside help. This is where experienced, specially trained pipe repair and drain cleaning experts in your community can be an invaluable asset. If you feel that you would put your home’s plumbing at further risk by attempting repairs on your own, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Every year, we see hundreds of cases where homeowners, who try to desperately repair their own pipes and drains in a pinch, only wind up making matters worse, or irreversibly damaging their plumbing systems. While DIY repairs are smart things to learn, there’s only so much homeowners can do without specialized training and professional-grade tools.
If you detect foul or unnatural odors coming from your home plumbing, don’t brush the matter off, or dismiss them as normal. Contact expert plumbing technicians in your area to find the exact cause of the odor, and resolve the issue effectively (and affordably) at its roots.