Woman at the kitchen sink holding her nose due to smelly drains

Smelly Drains – Top Causes of Stinky Bathroom and Kitchen Drains

Woman at the kitchen sink holding her nose due to smelly drains

Stinky bathroom and kitchen drains? It may be poorly plumbing….. 

Smelly drains can be a hit to the nose, but they can also be a signal to the overall health of your plumbing 

There are a variety of reasons why you may discover a smelly drain in your home. Let’s explore the two main areas where the waft can be strong – and what can be done to fix it.  

Smelly Bathroom Drains

There are a few drains in your bathroom to check so you can determine where the smell is coming from. Each bathroom will have a:  

  • Shower waste 
  • Basin waste 
  • Bath waste  
  • Floor waste – grated drain in the middle of the bathroom floor 
  • Toilet waste 

The shower, basin and bath wastes will connect to the floor waste in your bathroom. Each waste will have a trap with a sole purpose to prevent sewer gases from escaping the drain. This is achieved with a water seal as the trap will fill with water each time the fixture is used, preventing sewer gases escaping through the grated drain. When the trap is dry – which means there is no water in the trap – this can allow sewer gases to flow through the bathroom causing a smelly drain.  

It’s good practice to check the water seal on your shower waste and floor waste as it should always have a water seal. If you can’t see water at the bottom using a torch, and it won’t reseal when water is poured down it, there may be a plumbing issue that will require further investigation.  

Plumber removing built up grime from smelly bathroom drain

Smelly drains can also be caused by congealed hair, shampoo, soaps, and toothpaste which can sit like a sludge at the bottom of the drain. Over time it can cause smells to seep out. A natural drain cleaner of bi-carb soda and vinegar can assist in breaking up this sludge so it can be flushed away. Alternatively, a drain cleaning machine can be used by a plumber to clean out the drains in your home.  

Smelly Kitchen Drains

Food preparation and rinsing plates after use can cause a similar affect to the sink drain over time. The trap on the sink waste can accumulate with food, coffee grounds and sauces which can cause the kitchen drain to smell rather pongy.  

A food disposal system can assist. However, these can also store their own smell. Crunching up lemon rinds in the disposal system can help refresh the scent coming out of your disposal system. Alternatively, prevent food bits from going down the drain by using the sink drainer and scraping food into the bin before washing up or placing in the dishwasher.  

Are smelly drains are causing a pong in your North Sydney home?
Call Gladesville Plumbing. We’re only too happy to investigate the source of the smell and help fix the cause.  


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