Where Is That Rotten Smell Coming from? It Could Be Your Plumbing


Have you noticed at any point that your plumbing smells rotten? Sometimes the stench is so strong that it can make you queasy while you perform simple tasks such as cooking and cleaning. What you’re probably smelling is hydrogen sulfide gas, which is produced by bacteria from contaminated water and even sewage.

Despite how much it reeks, you might be surprised to know the stench is easy to eliminate. The solution in many scenarios can be as simple as disinfecting the area that has been compromised or conducting a thorough drain cleaning. Here’s what every homeowner needs to learn about finding the smell and getting rid of it.

There Might Be Bacteria in the Drain

At the outset, you’ll need to determine whether the problem has to do with a contaminated water supply or if it’s limited to one drain. There’s an easy way to test for which it is. Start by filling a cup with cold water from the stinky sink, bringing it outside and taking a whiff.

Next, fill another glass with hot water from the same sink, and smell it once again. Finally, conduct the same trial and error with water from a different tap in your home. If the water in each glass had a foul stench, it’s the water supply that is contaminated.

If only the hot water samples were smelly, then you’ll need to take a closer look at your water heater. If you didn’t smell anything bad, it’s possible the problem is with one drain. If after testing you have determined the source is limited to a single drain in your home, a simple drain cleaning can eliminate the odor.

Pouring a half cup of bleach down the drain should do the trick. If you don’t have bleach, you can instead drop half a cup of baking soda into the drain and follow it up with a cup of vinegar. Let the mixture fizz for a few moments and rinse it out.

If the Water Has Sulfur

Now, if you think your water supply is contaminated, there are several solutions to the problem. If your water heater is the source of the contamination, it’s likely caused by magnesium in the anode rod reacting to bacteria.

You can remedy this by replacing the rod with an aluminum one and disinfecting the water with hydrogen peroxide.

If the water throughout in your home is affected, and you get your water from a well, it’s possible the pressure tank has been infected. You can disinfect the water by pouring bleach.

Be sure to use one gallon of bleach for every 1,000 gallons of water. We also suggest cleaning and disinfecting the well itself. It may also be good to know water softeners are common help for contamination, so you should regularly change the filters to avoid smells in the future.

What to Do If It Still Smells?

If none of these fixes work and the problem persists, you should contact a trusted Louisville, KY plumber.

You can rest assured they have the tools to diagnose the cause of the smell and the expertise to do any work or repairs that are needed.

You can call them for a thorough and routine drain cleaning as well.


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