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If you can smell your plumbing system, there’s a strong possibility that something is wrong. Plumbing odors can occur for many different reasons–none of them quite good. Sometimes a minor clog is at the root of the problem. The clog might not cause a noticeably slow drain but its components could fester and release a powerful smell. Some plumbing system odors emanate from the sewer, and these could indicate a plumbing emergency. If you notice unpleasant odors coming from drains or your faucets, contact your Arlington, TX, plumber at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. You don’t want to ignore an odorous plumbing situation.
While many plumbing problems do necessitate a call to your professional plumber, some can be tackled by residents if they’re not averse to getting a bit dirty. The p-trap is the u-shaped section of your pipes that sits beneath your sink. The kitchen p-trap is notorious for getting clogged with food particles and gunk. If food gets lodged in your p-trap, it won’t be long before you notice a rotting smell. If you’re open to tackling a p-trap clog, you can unfasten this section of your pipes and clean out the p-trap before replacing it. Be sure to place a bucket beneath the p-trap while unfastening it as water and gunk are sure to pour out.
If you remove the p-trap only to find that it is not clogged, you may have a particle food clog up the line. In this case, it may not be so easily accessible. At this point, you should contact your plumber to troubleshoot the problem. You definitely want to make sure that the odor isn’t coming from the main sewer line or the problem could be more serious. If food or other smelly debris is trapped in the pipes, your plumber can use a hydro jet to wash it through. However, if the clog is caused by a broken or collapsed section of pipe, more extensive repairs will be needed.
Garbage Disposal Issues
The garbage disposal is one of the most common places for smells to originate. If your cleaning and maintenance routine has lapsed, you might wind up with a foul smell that permeates throughout your home. Without routine cleaning, food debris can build up within your garbage disposal, rot, and cause powerful odors.
Luckily, you can typically eliminate the odors once you get rid of the food debris. To clean your garbage disposal, always unplug it first. In most cases, you shouldn’t need anything but soap and water to clean out the disposal. On the other hand, it helps to use baking soda and vinegar for more stubborn odors. After your garbage disposal is clean, you’ll want to clean it regularly to prevent the same problem from occurring. Also, you should keep lemons or oranges on hand; you can send their peels down your garbage disposal for their natural cleansing properties and the pleasant odors they release.
Biofilm in the Drain
Another common cause of plumbing system odor is biofilm in your shower or tub drain. Biofilm buildup occurs as the buildup of a wide range of products like soaps, shampoos, oils, conditioners, etc…that people commonly use when bathing. Over time, these products can get trapped in the drain along with hair, and that prevents them from flowing out to the main sewer. Biofilm buildup can cause unpleasant drain odors, especially if not dealt with right away.
Fortunately, you don’t typically need to contact your plumber for this type of situation. You can eradicate biofilm and its odor-causing bacteria with a natural cleaner such as vinegar and baking soda. For instance, pouring about ten quarts of hot water (not boiling) down the drain followed by a half cup of baking soda and one cup of white vinegar is a tried-and-true drain cleaning method. Finish off with another round of hot water after a couple of hours. This should eliminate the problem and leave you with a refreshingly clean drain. If this doesn’t solve your odor issue, you should contact your Arlington, TX, professional.
Blocked Drain Vents
Many people don’t associate the drain vents on their roofs with their plumbing system and, yet, these are crucial system elements. If these vents get clogged by leaves or debris, a common problem in the fall, you can experience plumbing problems, including unpleasant odors. Your roof’s drain vents are necessary for minimizing sewer gas pressure that occurs in the wastewater pipes. When the vents are functioning as they should, you won’t be bothered by smelly sewer gas. However, damage to the vents or a clog can prevent the healthy elimination of sewer gases. The gas has to go somewhere and it usually is back up through your drains.
If you suspect a blocked drain vent, contact your Arlington, TX, plumber from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. Although you may choose to climb up to your roof to remove the debris yourself, you should allow your plumber to handle the task so they can inspect your vents while cleaning them. They can ensure that they’re in optimum working condition and haven’t suffered any damage from falling tree limbs or other debris. It’s not uncommon for these drains to become damaged owing to burrowing animals who use the vents for shelter. If damage has occurred, your plumber can recommend the ideal fix.
Sewer Line Problems
A sewer line problem is always a cause for concern. If your plumbing odor is caused by a sewer line issue, it may be the least of your concerns. A clog can cause your sewer line to burst or block the flow of water. In either case, you could experience wastewater backup–and that’s often an odorous situation. But other problems can also plague your sewer line and lead to unpleasant smells that emanate from your drains.
For instance, small breaches in your sewer line can be infiltrated by tree roots that sense the water flowing through it. As the roots enter and grow into the line, a blockage can occur. The first sign of an emerging blockage is often a slow drain. If you have multiple slow drains, you should contact your plumber to perform a sewer line cleaning.
A broken sewer pipe can occur because of tree roots, a clog, or even ground conditions. Once your sewer line is damaged, it will leak sewage. The rotting sewage will stink and that odor will drift back up the line and through your drains into your home. This isn’t a DIY type of job, but your experienced plumber should be able to address the situation.
If your sewer line has tree roots, your plumber may be able to simply root out the drain or use a hydro jet to clean out any existing debris. Often, this addresses the problem. However, keep in mind that once your sewer line has been infiltrated with tree roots, you’ll have to contend with the same problem periodically as the roots are sure to remerge in time. Some people choose to have their sewer line professionally routed every year or two to prevent clogs from occurring because of those unruly roots.
On the other hand, a broken section of the sewer line is going to require a professional fix. Sometimes your plumber can provide trenchless sewer repair. That means, they can fix the sewer line without having to dig up your property. On the other hand, sometimes it’s necessary to physically access the pipe by digging up the yard. Although this tends to be a big job, it’s a necessary one if your sewer line has ruptured. Once the new pipe section is in place, you should be able to breathe easier.
Remember, the sooner you deal with this type of situation, the better. A broken sewer line can lead to messy backups. You can wind up with wastewater backing up through your floor drains, tub drains, and even your sink drains. Wastewater contains harmful bacteria. You definitely don’t want this water or the odors associated with it coming into your home.
Toilets are a leading cause of household odors. If your toilet becomes clogged, it will certainly smell. Residents can generally take care of most toilet clogs themselves using a household plunger. However, if this doesn’t do the trick, there may be a more extensive problem such as a clog within the plumbing system. If you can’t unclog your toilet using your plunger, you can call your plumber. They have professional tools that can easily clear most clogs.
However, some toilet clogs occur because items have been introduced into the line that should never be flushed. Always avoid flushing items such as sanitary pads/tampons, diapers, wipes, or cotton balls. It’s not uncommon for households with children to find that toys are the culprits of toilet clogs. Small toys such as rubber balls can easily cause a stubborn toilet clog. It’s best to let your professional plumber deal with this issue so that you don’t inadvertently damage your fixture or pipes trying to clear the clog.
A damaged toilet seal can also cause a smelly plumbing problem. Each toilet is sealed with a wax ring beneath it. The ring prevents leaks and odors from entering the room. However, the wax can age and loosen. When this happens, smelly odors and leaks are the usual results. While this is a relatively common and minor fix, it’s also a cumbersome job. Your plumber can remove the dysfunctional wax ring and replace it with another with relative ease. It’s best to let your plumbing pro manage this job because if you don’t seal the toilet just right, you’re going to have the same problem even though the seal is new.
Finally, another toilet issue you may have to contend with is summertime bacteria. During the warm season, bacteria in your sewer line can grow more quickly. These bacteria can seep into your toilet and cause bad odors. This problem is easy to fix though. Simply add some bleach to your tank’s flush valve and flush. The bleach will eliminate the smell-inducing bacteria, and that should end your odor problem.
Contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth
If you have a plumbing system odor that’s too stubborn for DIY methods like orange peels or bleach, you should contact your experienced plumber from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing. We serve customers in and around Arlington, TX. While many minor plumbing problems can be addressed by homeowners, how do you know if your issue is a minor one? Unless you are certain that it’s your p-trap that’s causing an issue or some other small problem, you could actually cause more damage to your system.
In many cases, the safest course of action is to contact your Benjamin Franklin Plumbing professional. Don’t dump a bunch of chemicals down your drains to mask odors. The odors are actually a warning sign that should alert you that something is wrong with your plumbing system. Remember, too, that sewer gases are unhealthy and can pose health risks to the occupants of your home. Don’t wait to address a plumbing system odor. In most cases, the odor will actually worsen if you don’t tackle the issue or contact your plumber.
The professional plumbers of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing content with plumbing odors and other problems on a routine basis. They not only have the know-how to efficiently manage these problems, but they have the proper tools for the job too. Instead of guessing what’s causing your plumbing system odors, let your Arlington, TX, plumber troubleshoot the issue. They have tools like inline cameras that allow them to accurately diagnose a plumbing problem. With their help, you can keep your plumbing system functional and odor-free.