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Serving Carrboro, Chapel Hill & Durham
As Well As Pittsboro & Apex
919-942-5171
Serving Carrboro, Chapel Hill & Durham
As Well As Pittsboro & Apex
919-942-5171

Mysterious Home Odors? Suspect Hidden Plumbing Problems

Suspect Hidden Plumbing Problems
Rotten smells occur in the home due to everything from spilled milk on the carpet to un-emptied trash cans. Some pungent odors in the home are caused by more serious issues, and they don't go away unless you address their causes.
Many times, strong odors indicate you have problems in your plumbing system. Read on to discover the reasons why plumbing pipes get stinky:

Clogs Are Often the Culprit

When people aren't careful about the materials they let wash down their kitchen drains, waste materials accumulate and begin to block pipes. Fats and oils coat the sides of waste pipes and snag other food particles on their way down the drain. The fat buildup on the inner walls of the pipes becomes a mass of old raw meat bits, rotting vegetable scraps, and crumbled eggshells. 
As they decompose, these clogs and partial blockages let off a rank smell. Food bits can also get caught in the curved drain pipe under the kitchen sink and send up smells before they finally rot and are washed away.
To solve this problem, use a drain-cleaning treatment once a week to flush your kitchen-sink drains. Some people use a few cups of hot water, some use baking soda and vinegar, and some use commercial products designed to keep pipes clean. You should use a product that's recommended for the type of pipes you have.
Once drains are clean, stop pouring grease and oil down the drain. Use drain screens religiously to limit the food particles that escape down the drain.

Sewage or Septic Line Issues Can Really Stink

When the waste from your toilet gets stuck on its way to your septic tank or municipal sewage lines, the smell can be overwhelming. You'll often have some warning that your toilet waste lines are becoming clogged. If your toilet drains slowly, you hear gurgling sounds when you flush, or water starts flowing up through the bath drain (in some systems), suspect a clog in the sewage lines.
Clogs may be in the S-curved drain of the toilet itself. Soap, toys, "flushable" wipes, and other materials get caught in the drain and won't allow stinky waste to drain away. The use of a toilet snake—or a call to the plumber—is in order when the toilet itself is blocked.
Your main septic or sewer line may be the cause of lingering waste odors in and around your home. These extra-wide pipes often extend the length of your home and must slope down at a precise angle to properly drain away water and waste. If the line moves position, develops dips in the middle, or changes slope, it can clog, drain slowly, or fail to wash away solid waste.
Sewage and septic lines also freeze and burst in extremely frigid temperatures. Tree roots and rodents invade and block toilet-waste lines. If you suspect your sewage or septic line is the source of odors in your home, call a plumber to get the lines flowing freely again.

Suspect Vents When Pipes Are Clear

Your plumbing system is designed with special drains and vents to prevent gas from your waste lines from flowing into your home. Sometimes these vents don't work properly, and the smells seep up through the drain pipes.
Your roof vent may be in a location where the outside air doesn't carry odors away, but actually flows down into the vent, forcing rotten smells back into your home. Extending the height of the roof vent usually solves this issue.
In some cases, the roof vent was installed to be flush with the roof and was later accidentally covered up with roofing material. Roof vents can collapse or suffer damage from storms and pests, causing them to fail to remove foul air from the plumbing system.
Remember that drains that prevent gassy back flow rely on a little water in the pipes to function properly. If you rarely use a bathroom or other drain in your home, it may have dried up, letting a bit of stinky air come back up through the drain. Once a week, run water through sinks and flush toilets in unused bathrooms to avoid this smelly problem.
If you're experiencing nasty odors in the home, and you suspect the source of the stink is in your home's pipes, contact Sparrow & Sons Plumbing today to assess the situation. They have the tools and skills to get your home smelling sweet again.