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Fixing A Smelly Shower Drain

by | Nov 12, 2021 | Uncategorized

Getting Rid Of Smelly Shower Drains

Nothing can be compared to getting ready to take a peaceful shower or bath, only to be met by a smelly shower drain. However, it can worsen once you discover that the water is not draining once you have already towelled off. A blocked shower drain is inconvenient, primarily if it occurs regularly. Whether it’s soap scum, long hair, or something else (like mould) blocking your pipes or producing a stinky shower drain, this is an issue that cannot go away on its own.

Therefore, you must address it right away. Fortunately, most shower drain smell and blockage problems are simple to resolve. However, while suggestions on how to deal with shower drain issues are helpful, it is always preferable to take preventive precautions. After all, it has continuously been proven time and time again that prevention is most definitely better than a cure.

You need to realise that if you are unable to get rid of shower drain smells on your own, or if the water is not draining or, worse, backing up, there might be a problem with your sewage or septic tank. This is most certainly not a do-it-yourself remedy, so seek expert assistance. Just be sure that the plumber you hire is both licensed and insured.

Just about every person prefers to see their bathroom as a tranquil, spa-like retreat. But that’s impractical if your bathroom drains are emitting a foul odour. This article will serve you if you find yourself having to hold your nose when bathing. Continue reading to discover some of the most frequent causes of a stinky shower drain and what you can do to effectively resolve the issue.

Remove Or Not To Remove Shower Drain Cover

Most odours indicate that a blockage has developed behind the drain cover. Begin by assessing the flow rate down the shower drain. You can also remove the drain cover to figure out what’s causing your stinky drain. This isn’t required, but if your drain stench is due to a blockage, it’s probably further up than you believe. Therefore, doing so could assist you in removing your blockage with far less product and time.

Based on the kind of shower cover you have, you can use a screwdriver and a counter-clockwise movement to take it aside for easy access to the source of the stench. Ensure that you remove any hair or other obstacles that are in your reach. This will enable you to reduce the chances of future problems occurring deeper inside your plumbing system.

If you do not open the drain cover and the water flow is slow, you can use a drain snake, also known as a drain auger. In case you are wondering where to obtain a drain snake, visit any local hardware store. It is important to note that a drain auger of about 25-foot would be enough for most households and will be less damaging to your pipes when compared to harmful chemical cleaners.

As you untwist the snake and slide it farther into the pipe, it will dislodge any minor obstructions within it in a couple of minutes. Now run water for around 30 seconds to one minute to assess the drain snake’s efficacy. Heavy-duty blockages that cannot be removed with a drain snake or plunger might necessitate the use of a professional who uses a pressurised spray of water called hydro-jetting.

Causes Of A Smelly Shower Drain

The P-trap has a Problem

If you check behind the smelly shower drain, you will notice a U-shaped pipe through which water flows. It is known as a P-trap, and its purpose is to store just the right amount of water all the time to prevent sewage fumes from travelling back up the pipe and into your bathroom.

In the event that you have not used your shower in a while, the water in the P-trap could have evaporated. However, don’t fret, as this is a simple fix: simply run water in the shower for a few minutes to replenish the P-trap and eliminate the odour.

However, if you have just used your shower but still detect an odour, it might indicate a leak in the P-trap. If this is the case, the pipe must be replaced to eliminate the odour and avoid future water destruction to your property.

Commonalities of Old Homes

Plumbing that has been damaged by cracks or rotting is frequent in older homes or properties that have been unoccupied for an extended duration. You will notice the intensity of the scent if you acquire ownership of a residence of this type. Plastic plumbing is typically devoured by rats, whereas iron plumbing rusts, wears, and leaks.

As a result, sewage gases are discharged into your shower. Regular upkeep and basic maintenance can help to prevent these problems. Learn how to reintroduce a pleasant fragrance into your home by reading on.

Biofilm Formation

Biofilm is a thin, slimy covering of germs that may form in the shower drain from the water, soap, shampoo, and body oils that gather inside the pipes. Not only does this appear disgusting, but it could also smell awful. So, how can you effectively get rid of biofilm? Try one of the following home remedies listed below to kill the bacteria:

Method One: Bleach

Pour one part bleach to one part water down the drain and let the solution do its job.

Method Two: Baking Soda

Start by dumping about one cup of baking soda down the drain. Then, pour in around a cup of white vinegar. As the mixture fizzes, cover the drain and flush with hot water.

NOTE: If hair becomes clogged in the drain or pipe, it can exacerbate the biofilm problem (not to mention start a clog). If you can eliminate the hair, the scent will, in turn, go away. You do not have to put up with a stinky shower drain. If you try the above-mentioned do-it-yourself remedies and the odour lingers, contact a professional.

When Your Shower Drainage Smells Musty

If you have detected the smell of mould growing in your shower drain, you need to do something about it ASAP. Active mould spores emit small puffs of gas with a characteristic musty odour as part of their metabolic process. Worst of all, the gas could be hazardous as it can induce headaches, nausea, dizziness, and tiredness if inhaled.

What you will need to get rid of mould:

  • Baking soda
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Boiling water
  • An old toothbrush

Step One: Create a cleaning paste

Make a paste with equal parts baking soda and water.

Step Two: Apply the paste

Apply the paste to the shower drain with the toothbrush.

Step Three: Let the solution sit

Take a break of around ten minutes as you let the paste do its magic. Then, using the toothbrush, thoroughly clean the whole shower drain. Repeat as needed to dislodge any mould around or beneath the shower drain.

Step Four: Boil water

Boil around 10 litres of water, allow it to cool, and then slowly pour it down the drain.

TIP: Boiling water (100 degrees Celsius) can destroy PVC pipes. Therefore, the hot water should be between 60 and 65 degrees Celsius as it is hot enough just to eliminate mould.

Step Five: Pour vinegar into the drain

Gradually pour a cup of vinegar down the drain. Now pour around 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain.

Step Six: Call the professionals

If your drainage still smells like mildew after all this, or if the smell fades and then reappears, this could be a sign of a significant mould problem that must be cleaned professionally.

How To Clear Out Your Drains

You have the option to buy chemical cleaning supplies, but the chances are that you have everything you need in your kitchen to deal with your drain odour problems right away. Start by pouring about half a cup of bleach down the drainage and letting it sit for about an hour.

Next, pour about two cups of water down the drain. If you have PVC (plastic) pipes, consider that boiling water can cause severe damage, so double-check beforehand. If that is the case, just use hot water from your tap. After that, pour a quarter-cup of baking soda down the drain and then add a cup of white vinegar.

You should notice a fizzing sound from the reaction of the baking soda and vinegar. Wait a few minutes before pouring the remaining boiling (or hot) water down the drain. After that, run the hot water for a few minutes. It should eliminate both the odour and its cause.

How To Repair A Dried-Out P-Trap

Firstly, beam a flashlight down the drain of your shower. Is there water at the base of the pipe that connects to the drain? If this is the case, your issue is much bigger than a dry P-trap, and you will need to hire an expert to examine your drainage system for additional issues.

On the other hand, if you do not see any water, you probably have a dry P-trap. As such, this shouldn’t be a cause for concern as you will find tips on remedying the situation. But first, you need to understand what a P-trap is and why it is harmful when it is dry.

A P-trap is a U-shaped pipe that connects to all of your home’s drains. It is intended to retain a tiny amount of water, preventing sewer fumes from entering your house. However, P-traps can sometimes dry out and release foul-smelling sewage gases into your home. Fortunately, there is a simple solution.

To repair a dry p-trap, follow these steps:

Step One: Pour water down the drain

Pour about one or two cups of water down the drain and let it sit for an hour.

Step Two: Leave for an hour

After the hour lapses, check whether you can still see water down the drain.

Step Three: Pour more water into the drain

Pour around 118 millilitres of mineral or cooking oil into the drain if the shower is rarely used. (This delays evaporation and keeps the water in the trap for a longer time).

It is possible for the vent piping to be shorter. If the vent pipe is too short, a sewage odour could escape from the shower. It is also possible that the odour stems from another section of the house, yet it emanates from the shower. Therefore, it is critical to check for any leaks as they occur around the house to rule them out.

Keeping Shower Drains From Smelling

Avoid Use of Oil and Grease

Oils and grease are well-known causes of drain blockages. You might be wondering how such things got into your shower drain. Simply put, your body generates oils, which are washed down the drain when you shower and rinse. Furthermore, when using specific shower and bath products, residues can build up and clog your drain. Avoid allowing significant volumes of oil or grease to infiltrate your drains by using them sparingly.

Daily Rinse Out

Blocked drains grow over time; therefore, one technique to avoid clogged and smelly shower drains is to clear the drain out daily to prevent the accumulation of residue and debris.

After bathing, do some little drain cleaning to remove any visible debris, such as hair, and keep the hot shower water running for a few minutes. The hot water pressure will assist in flushing things down the drain, which in turn prevents clogs and odours.

Make Use of a Drain Cover

Hair is the most prevalent cause of blocked shower drains. Loose hairs fall out and wash down the drain when you shower. All that hair can accumulate and completely plug your shower drain over time.

Therefore, prevention can be beneficial. A drain cover can be used to prevent hair from reaching the drain. This traps the hair before it can be rinsed away. Drain covers are available in stainless steel or silicone styles.

Smelly Drains Might Need Professional Help

A multitude of factors might determine the unpleasant odour emanating from your shower’s smelly drain. The recommendation for homes is to constantly participate in appropriate plumbing system service and upkeep, which involves using filtration or softening devices to prevent instances of pollutants or germs.

Contact a plumber to check the pipes or other components if you detect any warning signs, such as odours and leaks in need of emergency plumbing. Aside from that, always ensure that you keep your shower drains clean and clear of debris by applying effective tactics such as dousing the draining with hot water once a week.

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