Why Does My Kitchen Sink Smell? | Alvarez Plumbing & AC

Why Does My Kitchen Sink Smell?

Foul smells haunting you in your kitchen even after you have cleaned and taken out the trash? The culprit may surprise you – your kitchen sink. Food particles can find themselves trapped in the pipes or in your disposal, if you have one. Another possible culprit is gas escaping from a drain trap or vent and making its way up into your kitchen. Luckily, there are ways to attempt to solve this problem at home.

To Rid Smells From Food Particles

Food particles, grease, and oil can end up down the drain (even though they aren’t supposed to, it happens). After sitting in the pipe for a while these particles begin to rot or even grow mold, hence the bad smell.

There are a few solutions to rid your kitchen of this smell:

Bio-enzyme cleaners are effective and not as harsh on the pipes as chemical cleaners or drain clog removers.

Another natural cleaner is a combination of baking powder and vinegar. First, sprinkle half a cup of baking powder into your drain and wash it down with a cup of white vinegar. The combination of the two will cause foam to expand back up the pipe, like it does when used to make a science fair volcano. Allow the foam to sit in the pipe for a few minutes and wash it down with hot, not boiling, water.

If it is your disposal that is the issue, run ice cubes and some citrus fruit pieces through it. The ice will help to knock food particles from the blade while the citrus pieces will leave a fresh clean smell in its wake.

Sewer Smell From Traps or Vents

If you have tried the above tricks but the smell still remains, you may be smelling sewer gas that escaped from a sink trap or sewer vent. A sink trap is the “U” shaped pipe found under your sink. A small amount of water can typically be found in a trap at all times; it helps prevent the gas from traveling up the pipe. The standing water found in a trap can evaporate after a period of time of non-use, such as a vacation or empty house for sale. All you have to do is run some water back down the drain to re-establish the standing water inside the trap. If you haven’t been gone for an extended period and use your sink regularly, there could be a leak in the trap, dropping the water level and allowing the gas to escape. Fix the leak-remove the smell.

Another possibility is that the smell is coming from a plumbing vent. Water pressure in a home fluctuates; high water pressure leaves more water in a sink trap, and low pressure leaves little water in the trap. Because of this, homes have plumbing vents, which run vertically up your home and empty out onto the roof to allow for the fluctuation in pressure without the risk of escaping sewer gas. A blockage in your drain vent can prevent it from functioning properly and cause the smell in your home.

Our technicians are well equipped to handle stinky pipes and get your home back to normal, so if you are having an issue, contact us today for a solution to your problem.

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