Bringing clean, potable water into the home is essential for keeping clean under the shower and for many of our daily duties, so it should smell and taste just like water naturally does: odourless and flavourless. If your water does have a stinky smell, it may be a good sign that there’s a plumbing problem. Here’s how to deal with stinky water in your home:
Why Does Water Stink?
A foul odour, perhaps akin to rotten eggs, typically comes from gases emitted by rotten food or bacteria in the basin. Small chunks of food or crumbs carelessly discarded into the sink may accumulate in the sink’s P-trap or deeper down in the plumbing. The rotten food then develops into a non-toxic sulfate bacteria which has a distinctly foul odour.
Other debris such as paper, cooking oil, and more may or may not contribute to a foul odour, but they can certainly contribute to the blockages which permit food to later decompose and emit the smell.
Where’s That Smell Coming From?
In the case of bacteria, the smell typically comes from the sink’s P-trap, which is the U-shaped section of pipe found underneath the sink itself (clearly visible from the cupboard or encasing). Although the purpose of this trap is to retain a small quantity of water at its bottom as a ‘trap’ against odours making their way back out through the sink, it is possible that the P-trap has dried out, thus releasing any smells coming from underneath.
It may also be possible that the odour is emanating from deeper down in the plumbing, perhaps at a blockage point. Accumulations of fat and bacteria can disrupt the proper flow of water, create unpleasant smells, and potentially lead to bigger problems if ignored.
How to Deal With the Stink
One way to kick the stink is by simply pouring a little water down the drain. Often, this is all that’s needed to replenish the P-trap and to maintain that barrier against stinky smells.
This is particularly useful for sinks and washbasins that are infrequently used, such as a basin in the guest bathroom or in the basement. Kitchen sinks and other frequently used areas don’t normally have this problem, so alternatives may be necessary.
If it were always that easy, it wouldn’t really be a problem, which is why in some cases it’s time to switch to the bigger guns. A compound of white vinegar and baking soda poured down the sink’s drain can help dislodge any little ‘fatbergs’ that may have accumulated in the P-trap or deeper down. As these two substances come into contact with one another, as surely we all remember from secondary school science class, they expand and scrub away anything in their path.
If the problem won’t go away with a little DIY elbow grease, it is probably a good idea to get in touch with a qualified plumber. Plumbers can diagnose, isolate, and treat the problem at its source effectively, which can help you get a good night’s sleep and perhaps a little less nervous to have guests over in your stinky home.
Ensure your home plumbing is done properly and efficiently with the services of Endeavour Plumbing. Our friendly team are available to assist you in Melbourne, so don’t hesitate to give us a ring.