Plumbing in the home is usually not something that residents give much thought to. Even when the discussion comes up about plumbing problems, most people will think about leaky faucets or putting a plunger in a toilet.
So when the problem is a smell coming from somewhere in the plumbing, people tend to feel a bit lost about what to do. While it’s true that professional people get professional results, some of these smell issues are best handled by you if they’re a specific kind of problem.
The Stinky Drain
If you can trace the smell in your plumbing to one specific drain, you might just have an empty p-trap. That means the DIY solution to fix this would be the exact same solution a professional plumber would employ.
A p-trap is the pipe right under your sink, and normally, it’s supposed to hold a layer of water that acts as a barrier, keeping smelly sewer line gas out of your home.
If you can smell that gas, that just means you have no water in there.
So the solution, whether you do it for free, or pay a plumber to come over and do it for you, is to get more water and just pour it down the drain. That’s it.
If you feel more comfortable having a professional run your tap and shut it off, or gather a container of water and pour it down your drain, you can do so, but this is an easy fix you can do yourself.
If the smell problem is all over your home, but you only detect it when the water is running, the water itself is the problem. This doesn’t necessarily mean that contaminated water is being pumped into your home by the water company.
You may be creating a problem in your water heater tank. Bacteria prefer safe, warm, moist, dark places.
A water heater tank with its internal temperature set too low can be the perfect environment. All you have to do is turn up the tank temperature level to between 135-140°F which is enough to kill most bacteria.
Smells from the Sewage Line
A sewage line is a very large piece of construction so things can potentially go wrong in many different locations with different solutions.
A simple fix, for example, could be that a ventilation pipe is blocked, not allowing sewer gas to escape.
So all you need to do is go outside, check the vent, and clear out a few leaves or other debris the solve the problem.
If the issue is deep in your sewage lines, such as a partial blockage or even a break, this is not something you can feasibly do on your own.
For these more serious issues, you need to get an expert in with the proper tools and experience to perform a permanent fix that won’t give you any more trouble.