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Why Do the Drains in My House Smell Bad?

Posted on: May 31, 2016

You work hard to make sure that you have a clean and attractive house. So when you start to notice foul smells wafting from one or more of the drains—unpleasant sewer odor smells—you’ll want to find out what’s wrong and have it taken care of right away.

There are a number of possibilities to explain bad smells coming from drains, ranging from simple problems you can fix yourself to serious repair issues that take the best in professional care and equipment.

Dried P-Trap

Is the bad smell coming from only one drain? And is it a drain in a sink that doesn’t often get used? Then the likely reason for the odors is that the p-trap in the sink has gone dry. The p-trap is the curved section of pipe directly under the drain, which contains a plug of water that prevents sewer odors from rising back up through the drain. Run water down the drain for a few minutes to restore the water plug, and that should stop the bad smells.

Blocked Drain Vents

To prevent the buildup of pressure inside the drainage system of a house, drain vents allow sewer gas to escape through openings on the roof. Should the vent pipes or the vents on the top of the house become blocked, it may force the sewer gas up through the p-trap and into the house. Professional plumbers will need to repair this.

Sewer Line Problems

The blockage or damage may go even farther down the plumbing system to the sewer line itself. If the sewer line develops blockage from root infestations, or the the line breaks, it will create a backup. Eventually sewage may start entering the house, but the first sign will be escaping sewer gas. This work requires special sewer cleaning or sewer repair/replacement services.

When you need drain and sewer help in Durham, NC, contact Bud Matthews Services. We’re ready 24/7 to assist you!

See What Your Neighbors Are Saying

“Many heartfelt thanks to the people I talked with on the phone late this afternoon who were concerned enough to send Pat over to check on our frozen pipes and dripping shower. Pat was so kind and professional and fixed...”

– Rindi

“Bud, I want to send my thanks to your company and especially to Scott. He got into more than he bargained for on our project yesterday. He went out and got different parts and went the extra mile to make...”

– Dave W.

“They were professional, honest, and cleaned-up after their work, and even took the shop-vacuum around the living room for good measure (we have a GSD - say no more)! Nice folks.”

– Judith A. – Pittsboro, NC

“Bud Mathew responded to our call even though it was made during the weekend. Plumber came to the house, identified the problem, gave us a temporary fix and suggested we wait until Monday to fix it. (That saved us some...”

– Gloria C. – Carrboro, NC

“They replaced a number of parts in my old Maytag dryer. It has been very reliable for 26 years and I want to keep it rather than buy a new one. Works great now!”

– Jane S. – Chapel Hill, NC

“Repair people were punctual and cordial. They troubleshot a problem, trying different approaches when the first try didn't work to clear the line. They explained everything they were doing as they did it while we watched. They were very efficient...”

– Diana B. – Efland, NC

“We were very happy with the process and outcome. Noah was very responsive. If he couldn't answer his phone when I called, he quickly returned calls. Everyone was very polite and respectful. They did a great job. Noah made good...”

– Jeffrey H. – Durham, NC

“They fixed my LG Front Load Washing Machine, which was leaking. They also helped me level it properly. They were on time, they provided clear estimates, they were professional, and they clearly explained every step of the process to me...”

– Lindsey S. – Chapel Hill, NC
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We recognize that our services are of a special and often emergency nature, and we remain fully committed to fulfilling the needs of our community even as potential demand for our services may increase with more families either choosing to or being required to remain home for extended periods of time. More importantly, the safety of our employees and customers is always our highest priority, and we recognize that heightened diligence and focus on health and safety is required during these challenging times. We are actively monitoring updates from the CDC, WHO and local health officials; and we have been proactively and continually implementing measures and developing plans to prioritize the health and well-being of our employees and customers. Including:

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