Have you ever walked into your kitchen or bathroom and noticed a rotten smell? If you smell something awful coming from the sinks, it could be due to hydrogen sulfide gas. The gas is produced by bacteria that can come from contaminated water and sewage.
It's a totally unpleasant experience for homeowners, but thankfully one that can normally be fixed easily. Sometimes diagnosing the source of the problem is also simple, all you have to do is use your nose, but other times you may need a professional.
We've written this article to help homeowners discover the source of this nasty smell, and what they can do about it. Are you dealing with a contaminated water supply, or do you need a simple drain cleaning? Here's are the details on why your plumbing might smell rotten.
Your Sink Could Be Contaminated
To find out if your water is contaminated with bacteria, you need only conduct a few simple smell tests. Start by filling a glass of cold water from the smelly sink, taking it outside and giving it a whiff.
Next, do the same thing except fill the glass with hot water. Afterward, conduct the same tests with water from another sink in your home.
If every glass of water had the same nasty odor, it's likely your water supply is contaminated. If only the hot water had an odor, the problem could be with your water heater. If no glasses of water had any smell, the problem might simply be with the original offensive smelling drain.
In this case, you might have a buildup of hair, food, soap or other materials in the pipe that is rotting. You'll need to remove the blockage and get a proper drain cleaning. Prevent the issue from arising again by installing a garbage disposal, clearing scraps into the compost, and using hair traps.
There are a few measures you can take if your water is contaminated. If your hot water smells, it could be due to magnesium in the anode rod reacting with the bacteria. It can be fixed by replacing the rod with an aluminum one and disinfecting the water in the device with hydrogen peroxide.
If the cold water is affected, and you use well water, the pressure tank could be contaminated. If so, you can try disinfecting the water by adding household bleach, one gallon per every 1,000 gallons of water. You may have the clean the well, too. Water softeners may also be the source of contamination, in which case you would need to replace the filter.
There May Be Sulfur in the Drain
If you find the foul smell comes from one sink, it's merely a matter of drain cleaning.
You can eliminate the odor and kill any bacteria by pouring half a cup of bleach down the drain.
If you'd rather not use bleach, you can instead pour down the drain half a cup of baking soda then a cup of vinegar and let it fizz for a few minutes before rinsing with hot water.
What Should You Do Next?
If none of the above solutions have permanently resolved the issue and it persists, you should contact a Livonia, MI professional plumbing company.
They will have the tools to detect the underlying problems, decontaminate your water supply, or conduct drain cleaning services.