November 23, 2016
That stench that’s ruining your showers has got to go. But in order to get rid of it, you need to determine what kind of smell it is.
First off, if your drain smells musty, you most likely have active mold growing underneath the drain cover. But if your drain smells like rotten eggs or sewage, you’re either smelling:
So, go back to your drain and take one last big whiff to identify which of the above problems is causing your drain to stink. Once you’ve identified the smell, skip to that section below for advice on how to get rid of that stink for good.
Not interested in DIY advice? Just Call us and we’ll send a Denver area plumbing expert over immediately to get rid of that stench.
...you’re most likely smelling mold that’s growing in your drain.
As part of their metabolic process, active mold spores release tiny puffs of gas that have a distinct musty smell. What’s worse is that gas can be dangerous. If inhaled, it can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue.
So, how do you get rid of those active mold colonies? Well, according to the EPA, if the mold infected area is less than 10 square feet, you should be able to handle the cleanup yourself. Just follow the steps below.
What you’ll need:
Steps to remove mold from shower drain:
If your drain still smells like mildew after this or if the smell disappears then returns, you may have a larger mold problem that requires professional cleaning.
Word to the wise: While Colorado is predominantly known for having a dry climate, there is a high possibility that black mold will reappear even after professional drain cleaning. That’s because mold needs food, moisture and warm temperatures to thrive, all of which are offered inside your shower drain. Ask your plumber for professional prevention techniques to keep the mold away.
...you have one of 2 issues:
Let’s take a look at both problems.
First off, run your shower water for 2-5 minutes. Do you have a slow drain?
If so, that smell is the buildup of bacteria and decomposing debris inside your drain called “biofilm.” And that bacteria emits a sticky, glue-like substance that allows them to stick to almost any surface. Gross, right?
To get rid of that smell, you’ll want to get rid of the clog and debris that is trapping (and feeding) all that bacteria. Follow the steps below to do just that.
Don’t have a slow drain? Skip the sewer gases section below.
What you’ll need:
Steps to clear a clog in your shower drain:
If you still have a clog after this, you’ll need to have a professional plumber clear your drain.
If you don’t have a slow drain, you most likely are smelling sewer gases, also known as hydrogen sulfide.
Don’t worry, the amount you’re breathing in isn’t dangerous to your health. But the smell does indicate that you have problems somewhere in your drainage system. You see, your drain pipes are designed to prevent any hydrogen sulfide from wafting back into your home.
The problems you could have include:
Unfortunately, you can only solve the first problem on your own. The others you’ll need a professional to fix. But before you call your plumber, try the following steps to see if your problem is just a dry P-trap!
How to fix a dry P-trap:
First, shine a flashlight down your shower drain. Do you see water at the bottom of the pipe connected to the drain?
If so, you don’t have a dry P-trap and will need a professional to inspect your drainage system for other problems.
But if you don’t see water, you most likely have a dry P-trap. Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to fix that. But first, what’s a P-trap and why is it bad if it’s “dry”?
A P-trap is a U-shaped pipe that attaches to every drain in your home. It’s designed to trap a small amount of water that blocks sewer gases from wafting back into your home.
The P-trap (the black curved pipe) contains a layer of water that acts as a seal. That seal blocks sewer gases from seeping into your home.
But, sometimes, those P-traps can dry out and leak nasty smelling sewer gases into your home. Thankfully, there’s an easy fix.
Follow these steps to fix a dry P-trap:
Note: If your P-trap becomes dry soon after this, you most likely have a cracked or broken P-trap and you’ll need to have a professional repair or replace it.
For your convenience, you can request an appointment in one of two ways: