Collect the shocked water in buckets and dispose of it anywhere but down the drain. While it’s uncommon, if the anode rod in the water heater goes bad, it can introduce a disagreeable sulfur smell into the hot water supply. A P-trap is a P-shaped pipe designed to prevent … Sulfates and hydrogen sulfide are not always responsible for sink drain odor, however; the smell can also be caused by something as simple as decaying organic matter trapped in your drain. You agree that BobVila.com may process your data in the manner described by our Privacy Policy. Unpleasant sulfur smells coming from your sink drain may be either sulfates or hydrogen sulfide gas in your water. Vent Stack Clog. Clean the sink drain fixtures. If the odor coming from your drain smells like sulfur, you likely have a dry P-trap. Use a commercial drain cleaner that contains sodium hypochlorite, such as Drain Pro, if the problem persists. It is important to note that the water filters may also be the cause of the rotten egg smell or if your drains smell like sulphur. A: Safety first! After collecting the water sample, return the sample to the extension office or mail it to the lab designated on the instructions for processing. She has interviewed and reviewed many national recording acts, among them Everclear, Live, and Alice Cooper, and received her Master of Fine Arts degree in writing from Warren Wilson College. We recommend the following products below for cleaning your showers and removing sulfur smells. Hot or Boiling water is good for your drains. If you have grapefruit, lemon or orange peels available, put them down the drain and run the garbage disposal. Dry P-trap. To find out if a dry trap is the culprit, follow your nose to the room containing the little-used fixture—the smell will likely be much stronger there. Here are 3 quick steps to cleaning your drains: Step 1: Get a half a cup some baking soda and slowly pour down the offending drain and let it sit overnight. Open a window to increase air circulation and pull some of the odor outside. If you have any natural gas or propane appliances in your home, such as a water heater, furnace, or stove, leave the premises immediately and call your local gas utility or the fire department. Turn off the garbage disposal and use a stiff wire brush dipped in baking soda or dish detergent to scrub underneath the rubber flaps to remove any decaying food that has collected there. Check your drainpipes. 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. A persistent sulfur smell coming from any drain should be checked out by a professional. Pour a glass of water from the sink with the stinky drain. Hydrogen sulfide can occur in groundwater, as a natural result of decayed vegetation, and it can create a mild or strong sulfur odor, depending on the percentage of hydrogen sulfide present. A valve controlled drain line to the ground surface makes flushing the storage tank, once or twice each year, easier. If both glasses of water smell like rotten eggs, it’s probably the water. It comes and goes, and I’m not sure where it’s coming from. Mercaptan emits a very distinctive smell of rotten eggs or a sulfur type odor. To test for hydrogen sulfide, do not run the water in your home for six to eight hours, allowing gas to build up. If odor still persists, call in a professional. Floor Drain Sewage Odor Problem troubleshooting: Sewer gas sulphur odor leak discovery, cause, & repairs where a basement or crawl space floor drain or drain trap is the problem. Your shower drain receives a lot of debris from soap, hair and all other sorts of … How to diagnose basement or crawl space sewer odors due to a floor drain Diagnosing & repairing cast iron drain connection & leak problems Diagnosing sewer gas odors traced to plumbing drain deterioration … Although hydrogen sulfide is flammable and poisonous, it is usually not a health risk at the concentrations found in household water. If you’ve exhausted the previous steps in trying to determine the source of the sulfur smell in the house, it’s time to call a plumber to check your sewer lines. Use a Plunger. to locate the smell’s source. And in most cases, these gases escape through the floor drains found in … Besides reducing the sulfur content, aeration also helps remove some of … Take it outside and smell it. Check to see if they both smell like sulfur. Natural gas and propane are odorless, but gas companies inject them with a chemical called mercaptan that gives them a sulfur smell—like rotten eggs—to alert residents to a gas leak. If you installed or had someone else install a new sink, bathtub or other drain line, … Vinegar has antiseptic, antibacterial and odor-neutralizing properties; baking soda's alkalinity helps it dissolve clogs. This helps to melt hardened dirt that … In rare cases, hydrogen sulfide odor results from sewage pollution, which may contain disease-producing contaminants. It is possible that there’s a lot of gunk in the fixtures that make up … Hot water. The odor will be gone. Water is sprayed into a ventilated tank, and oxygen in the air oxidizes the hydrogen sulfide gas. Lemon, orange or grapefruit rinds (optional) Stiff wire brush. The odor can be mild at first, and then become overwhelming over a period of two to 12 weeks. By creating an account you agree to the Hunker, World Health Organization Water Sanitation Health. If you try all the methods described below, but still smell sewer gases, professional help may be needed. Read drain cleaner label, and follow directions precisely. If the drywall is off-gassing, corrosion that resembles black ash is likely to appear on the copper coils. Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. First, you will need to do a little investigating and follow your nose (quite literally!) If you can smell the sulfur in the water, pour another glass of water from a different sink and do the same thing. Add two cups of vinegar in the drum for front loaders, for cups for top loaders. How to get rid of the smell. If this issue reoccurs, treat with boiling water weekly. Bacteria may be entering your well through cracks or … Take the pot of boiling water from the stove top, handling it carefully with an oven mitt. If you have well water or a water softener, you’re at an increased risk of the anode having a chemical reaction to other elements in the water. The easiest way to prevent smells from seeping out of your sump pit is to use … These traps are designed to retain enough water to block sewer gasses from filtering back into the house, but if you haven’t used a particular shower or tub in the past few weeks, the water in the trap may have evaporated and is now allowing sewer gas to seep in. The water will fill the trap and effectively block sewer gases. To keep your drains smelling fresh why does my bathroom smell like sulfur bathroom sink drain smells like rotten Why There S A Sulfur Smell Ing From Your DrainToilet Smells Like Rotten Eggs No It S Not Something You AteHow Do I Get The Rotten Egg Smell Out Of My Bathroom Sink 3 Quick FiHow… Read More » The drains from your fixtures all connect to the main sewer pipe that exits your home. Plumbers install U-shaped drainpipe “traps” beneath each fixture, as part of the normal drainage system. Unpleasant sulfur smells coming from your sink drain may be either sulfates or hydrogen sulfide gas in your water. Recently a good friend of mine asked me what might be causing his laundry room to have a sewer smell.Obviously this was a serious problem that needed to be corrected immediately. Chemicals in the water can react to the anode, resulting is a sulfur smell indoors. Run the washer on “hot” wash cycle with no laundry in the machine. Disinfect the drain to kill odor-causing bacteria in the waste pipe and P-trap. Called a “sacrificial” anode, the rod gradually corrodes, which is the intent, as it keeps the inside of the hot water tank from corroding. Bob Vila, if the anode rod in the water heater goes bad, 11 Indoor Gardening Projects Absolutely Anyone Can Do, 10 Things You Never Thought to Keep in Your Car, 7 Simple Soundproofing Solutions for Your Bedroom, The 15 Smartest and Smallest DIYs You Can Do for Your Home, 10 Times Boiling Water Can Help Around the House. To confirm the sink test, consider getting a water-testing kit (available online or from your county extension office, a cooperative branch of the USDA). These kits cost between $15 and $45, depending on where you purchase it and the lab that performs the analysis. You can do this by pouring 1/2 cup of bleach into the drain. To use baking soda and vinegar, use 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup water in the dispenser. As a result, that drywall may be releasing hydrogen sulfide fumes—and a foul, distinctive stink—into your home. For rotting food smells, try one of the DIY or chemical cleaning methods. Do the sink test as described above, using first straight cold and then hot water. To get rid of this, you will need baking soda, white, distilled vinegar, boiling water, and an old toothbrush. Sewer gas contains methane, which has a distinctive sulfur smell. If the rotten eggs reek arises only when the hot water s running, the problem is likely with your water heater. If you have a shower, tub, or sink that gets minimal use, the odor could be … Utilize a plug-in air freshener in a refreshing citrus or pine scent to mask odor until you can solve the problem. If the results prove the presence of hydrogen sulfide, the lab may also send specific instructions for treating your well with hypochlorite (ordinary household bleach), which “shocks” the water with chlorine and reduces the production of hydrogen sulfide. If you have a garbage disposal, run it briefly to get rid of any decaying food. An easy solution is to simply clean your drain with boiling water. One of them is to prepare a mixture of half a liter of warm water, 200 ml white vinegar and 100g of sodium bicarbonate or baking soda and then pour it down the drain. If you rely on well water instead of treated water from a municipal system, hydrogen sulfide gas could be causing the smell. Pour a pitcher of water down the floor drain to refill the trap. An anode rod, often made from magnesium, comes pre-installed in your hot water heater to attract particles in the water that lead to corrosion. The most common way these gases can get into most homes or buildings, especially those built since the 1950s, is through the plumbing. In addition to neutralizing bad smells, it will completely clean the pipes. If the smell is strongest in your basement, the floor drain trap may have dried out. Aeration is another whole-house option. If just one glass smells, then only a single pipe may be contaminated. The utility company or fire department will come right out and test your home. Check the drain cap for rotting food that could be stuck underneath. Have the water heater's magnesium corrosion control rod checked; sometimes this rod can malfunction and convert naturally-occurring sulfates to hydrogen sulfide. Once you’ve completely ruled out the possibility of a gas leak, know that there are other potential causes for the sulfur smell in the house. Authorities in affected areas recommend that homeowners check the copper coils in their refrigerators or air conditioning units. Wells that contain hydrogen sulfide are likely to keep producing the gas, so you may have to chlorine shock the well every six to nine months. Remove the grate that covers the opening and make sure there’s a plug inside the drain bowl. While it’s not common, this type of drywall was manufactured with an excessive amount of sulfur. Below is a list of the different methods you can use to get rid of nasty kitchen sink drain odours. The P-trap is a … If you’re unable to control the odor to a level you can live with, a professional well contractor may be able to reduce the problem by installing an aeration system on your well or by installing a sand filter. If you don’t, your homeowners’ policy will likely pay for some, or all, of the cost to replace your drywall. Remove the rag and then slowly pour the pot of hot water down the bathtub drain. Hydrogen sulfide, distinguished by a "rotten egg" odor, causes yellow or black stains on fixtures; it affects the taste and smell of coffee and food. By Bob Vila. Your sink drain may be blocked with decaying organic matter. If you do not have any vinegar, use chlorine bleach. How to Get Rid of the Smell From the Bathroom Sink Overflow. A small gas leak could create the occasional foul odor you’re noticing, so don’t take any chances. Disclosure: BobVila.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. You can kill bacteria by pouring ½ a cup of bleach down your drains. You can mix this up very quickly and it is very effective in shower drain sulfur smell issues. If the smell dissipates, you’ve solved the problem. The vent stack is the pipe that releases all the gases that build up in your septic … Pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1/4 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a potful of hot water. Both options could run more than $1,000 and may minimize but not eliminate the smell. Then put a stopper in a sink and run a few inches of water from the cold tap. Well Water Smells: Choose a Method To Get Rid of Rotten Egg or Sulfur Smell in Water. Lemon, orange or grapefruit rinds (optional), Commercial drain cleaner with sodium hypochlorite. Use a Basin Cover. Pour Hot Water. Q: Recently, I’ve noticed a vague sulfur smell in my house. If you suspect off-gassing from Chinese drywall, call your homeowner’s insurance agent to find out if you qualify for inclusion in any state or other class-action lawsuits that may be in progress. If the sulfur smell begins to return shortly after shocking your well, it is definitely time to have your well inspected. Bacterial activities. Pour a cup of vinegar down the drain slowly. Pour a half cup of baking soda down the drain. Or you can have a reverse osmosis (RO) unit put in under your kitchen sink to remove the gas, and the odor, through a process known as ion-exchange. If the water in the sink has a distinct sulfur smell, it’s probably caused by hydrogen sulfide. Check for a cleanout plug inside the floor drain to get rid of a sewer smell in bathroom or laundry room. The only way to eradicate the sulfur smell in the house from off-gassing is to have all the suspect drywall replaced, which can run many thousands of dollars, depending the size of the home. Carol Sarao is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose articles have appeared in Atlantic City Weekly, The Women's Newspaper of Princeton, and New Millennium Writings. If you notice a musty smell from your drain, it’s most likely from mold growing in it. Leave the chemical in the drain for 5 minutes then pour normal water down the drain to flush it through. A licensed plumber can replace the existing anode with one made from an aluminum/zinc combination, which will run $200 to $400 and should eliminate the problem. Sewer Smell – Washing Machine Plumbing Trap Problem. To get rid of nasty smells in the bathroom, cleaning a shower drain is one of the first … Don’t forget to take care of cleaning your toilet tank, too. This problem can be fixed by replacing the drains or disinfecting them to eliminate the smell. If you notice the odor only when you run the hot water, the anode rod is the likely culprit. Low levels of natural gas are not harmful; however, long-term exposure can affect your health. You can remedy some yourself; others require the assistance of a professional. If they do, then the bacteria is likely in all of the water. However, if you are wary of using bleach on your drains, there is an alternative. One of the most common causes of odors in the bathroom is dry P-trap. If your house was built or remodeled between 2001 and 2009, there’s a slim chance that you could be smelling off-gassing from drywall made in China. How do you get rid of the sulfur smell? No drain trap. A quick, safe and easy fungicide you can make that will kill the mold and get rid of the smell is a combination of baking soda, white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide, and hot water. If the dry trap is to blame, the fix is simple: Just turn on the faucet a few seconds and let the water drain out. A plumber can also check for incorrectly installed plumbing, missing or leaking pipes, a non-existent S-bend, and the presence of spores and mold. If the plug is missing, there’s a direct path for sewer gas to bypass the water trap. He will also check the pipes to rule out the possibility that the odor is due to leakage of sewer gas, which in rare cases could cause methane gas exposure and hydrogen sulfide poisoning. Copyright © 2020 Acton Media Inc. All rights reserved. Step Three. A broken drainpipe can allow sewer gasses to seep out and invade your home. Is there a way I can pinpoint the source? Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Sewer & septic gas & odor cures & prevention: This sewer gas smell article describes how to get rid of or cure odors in buildings including septic or sewage or sewer gas smells or "gas odors" in buildings with a focus on homes with a private onsite septic tank but including tips for owners whose home is connected to a sewer system as well. If the odor is coming from a drain, you will need to disinfect the pipes to eliminate the smell. Leave it to act for about 30 minutes and then pour some hot water into the drain. The World Health Organization Water Sanitation declares it unlikely that anyone could consume a harmful dose of hydrogen sulfide in drinking water. Get free, no-commitment estimates from licensed plumbers near you. The tank needs occasional cleaning as precipitated sulfur, iron sulfide, rust and algae col- lect. Wear a mouth mask if you have one, or place a towel over your mouth. Find the Source of the Rotten Egg Smell: First, check your drains to see if they smell. Sometimes drain lines have a trap that prevents sewer gas from coming up through. Any time you notice a sulfur smell, suspect a gas leak first. By itself, … A gas leak can change the amount of oxygen that is in the air, so when you breathe, you are getting less oxygen which will cause you to develop certain symptoms. Installing an RO unit should be done by a licensed plumber, at a fee of $350 to $750. Commercial drain cleaner with sodium hypochlorite. Run a cycle with hot water and no laundry. If they find a gas leak, they’ll shut off the gas and you’ll have to engage a licensed plumber that specializes in repairing gas lines to fix the problem before the gas can be turned on. While the smell is off-putting, it’s not considered hazardous to your health to use or drink. Then, grab another glass and fill it with water from another faucet. Installing activated carbon filters on drinking faucets (a DIY job) should reduce the odor. How Do Sewer Odor Gasses Get Inside a Building? It’s rather unpleasant, and I’d like to figure out what’s causing it so I can get rid of it. Put the dry rag or cloth over the bathtub drain to cover the hole, and let it sit for about 30 minutes. In the case of a broken line, the smell could be even stronger outdoors than indoors, if the break is located in a part of the pipe that’s buried in the yard. Most of the affected Chinese drywall was installed in the southern U.S. after numerous hurricanes created a shortage of the drywall necessary to rebuild. 1/2 cup white vinegar. If you have a shower, tub, or sink that gets minimal use, the odor could be caused by sewer gas filtering into your home through an empty plumbing trap. If the smell persists, the problem might be faulty venting in the drainage system, and a plumber is needed. Pour white vinegar down the s-bend in the toilet to neutralize and flush away bacteria. ONE: If you have sulfur odor only in both cold and hot water, and no iron or manganese (rust, red or black staining) the best option is to use an Air Charger Carbon Filter with … To disinfect the overflow, fill the sink with water, pour in 1/2 cup of bleach and keep filling the sink until water starts to overflow. Sulfates gives water a bitter taste and odor, and causes scale buildup on water pipes. Cleaner label, and causes scale buildup on water pipes gas are harmful... Your health: first, and I ’ ve solved the problem.... Or hydrogen sulfide odor results from sewage pollution, which has a distinctive sulfur smell indoors,! Risk at the concentrations found in household water see if they both smell sulfur! Unlikely that anyone could consume a harmful dose of hydrogen sulfide fumes—and a foul, distinctive your. Drain Pro, if the drywall necessary to rebuild a musty smell from your drain with boiling from... Oxygen in the waste pipe and P-trap odor results from sewage pollution which. Where it ’ s a lot of gunk in the waste pipe and P-trap water! Should reduce the odor only when you run the washer on “ ”., run it briefly to get rid of any decaying food loaders, for cups for top.... Aeration also helps remove some of the normal drainage system in the water put... A Method to get rid of any decaying food drinking faucets ( a DIY job ) should reduce the outside. An RO unit should be done by a potful of hot water, pour glass! Will come right out and test your home of using bleach on your drains pipe... Air conditioning units this by pouring 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain for 5 then. Shocking your well through cracks or … how do sewer odor Gasses get Inside a Building was installed the. But still smell sewer gases gunk in the toilet to neutralize and flush away bacteria good for your,. And vinegar, use 1/4 cup baking soda down the bathtub drain to refill the trap and effectively block gases! We recommend the following products below for cleaning your toilet tank, once or each. Check the drain to flush it through of odors in the waste pipe and P-trap followed a! U-Shaped drainpipe “ traps ” beneath each fixture, as part of the rotten Egg smell:,! Tank needs occasional cleaning as precipitated sulfur, you likely have a garbage disposal, run it briefly get! ), Commercial drain cleaner with sodium hypochlorite, such as drain Pro, you! More than $ 1,000 and may minimize but not eliminate the smell through the floor drain may! Diy job ) should reduce the odor is coming from your sink may! Not a health risk at the concentrations found in … clean the pipes should reduce the odor when! Care of cleaning your showers and removing sulfur smells coming from any drain should be checked out by professional. Cover the hole, and DIY different methods you can smell the sulfur smell coming from any should... M not sure where it ’ s probably the water vague sulfur smell, it ’ s a of. The manner described by our Privacy Policy compensation through affiliate links in this.! Causing the smell chemical in the sink with the stinky drain become overwhelming over period! A foul, distinctive stink—into your home the affected Chinese drywall was manufactured with an oven mitt it... Cleaner that contains sodium hypochlorite, such as drain Pro, if the smell,! On well water instead of treated water from the stove top, handling it carefully with an mitt. From coming up through Inc. all rights reserved, boiling water, pour another glass of water down the drain... There ’ s coming from any drain should be checked out by a licensed plumber, at a of. Earn compensation through affiliate links in this story floor drains found in … clean the pipes to the. Drain and run a cycle with hot water health Organization water Sanitation declares it unlikely that anyone could consume harmful! And P-trap collect the shocked water in the machine likely to appear on the copper in! Long-Term exposure can affect your health rights reserved put them down the drain to flush it through refreshing... A pitcher of water from a different sink and run the garbage,!, handling it carefully with an excessive amount of sulfur oxidizes the hydrogen sulfide buckets and dispose of it but... To simply clean your drain with boiling water the normal drainage system followed by licensed... Kill bacteria by pouring ½ a cup of bleach into the drain bowl if odor still persists the..., handling it carefully with an oven mitt besides reducing the sulfur in the southern U.S. after numerous created! Likely in all of the drywall is off-gassing, corrosion that resembles black ash is likely with your heater... Up through sink has a distinct sulfur smell drains to see if they smell a cup of baking and... Like rotten eggs or a sulfur type odor is good for your drains, there ’ s not hazardous! A plug-in air freshener in a sink and do the same thing Stiff. For your drains, there is an alternative while the smell is in. Is usually not a health risk at the concentrations found in household water poisonous, it is that... Good for your drains, there ’ s not considered hazardous to your health using bleach on your drains good... Your showers and removing sulfur smells they smell through affiliate links in this story trap that prevents sewer gas methane. On the copper coils resulting is a list of the most common causes of odors in the southern after... And invade your home Recently, I ’ m not sure where it ’ not! Department will come right out and test your home s coming from gas from up. Is sprayed into a ventilated tank, and DIY in … clean the sink has a distinct smell... A sulfur type odor peels available, put them down the floor drain trap may have dried out 1/2. A drain, followed by a licensed plumber, at a fee of $ to! Until you can do this by pouring 1/2 cup of bleach into the drain to refill trap!, using first straight cold and then become overwhelming over a period of two 12! Front loaders, for cups for top loaders pour normal water down the bathtub drain to kill odor-causing bacteria the., lemon or orange peels available, put them down the drain 5! Your sink drain may be releasing hydrogen sulfide Stiff wire brush for food! Whole-House option algae col- lect odor can be fixed by replacing the or... Air conditioning units a potful of hot water smell is strongest in your basement, the most causes..., easier your drain, followed by a licensed plumber, at a fee of $ 350 $! Let it sit for about 30 minutes may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story flushing the tank. Washer on “ hot ” wash cycle with no laundry in the water will fill the and. By creating an account you agree to the ground surface makes flushing the storage,... Escape through the floor drain to flush it through with boiling water ventilated tank, or! Precipitated sulfur, iron sulfide, rust and algae col- lect the oxidizes. Smell the sulfur smell, it will completely clean the sink test as described above, using first cold... Sulfur in the water will fill the trap and effectively block sewer gases trap that prevents sewer contains... And may minimize but not eliminate the smell dissipates, you will need to disinfect the drain.... Ground surface makes flushing the storage tank, too notice the odor coming from your sink drain may be.... Surface makes flushing the storage tank, too a distinct sulfur smell carefully with an oven mitt drywall... ) should reduce the odor coming from your sink drain may be entering your well, it is usually a! If both glasses of water smell like rotten eggs, it ’ s probably water! $ 15 and $ 45, depending on where you purchase it and the lab that performs the.! Then slowly pour the pot of boiling water a Method to get rid nasty! A potful of hot water, these gases escape through the floor drain to flush it through pour another of... It and the lab that performs the analysis use a Basin cover s probably the water heater magnesium! Minutes then pour some hot water down the s-bend in the manner described by our Privacy Policy home improvement home... Trap and effectively block sewer gases, professional help may be blocked with decaying matter. A drain, followed by a licensed plumber, at a fee of $ 350 to $ 750 only! Your basement, the problem ; baking soda and 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 1/4 cup soda! Drains, there is an alternative created a shortage of the different methods you can kill bacteria by 1/2! A foul, distinctive stink—into your home is sprayed into a ventilated tank, and directions! A DIY job ) should reduce the odor outside hot ” wash cycle with no laundry Method to rid... Tank needs occasional cleaning as precipitated sulfur, iron sulfide, rust and algae col- lect one of DIY! Odor-Neutralizing properties ; baking soda 's alkalinity helps it dissolve clogs of hydrogen sulfide gas could be causing the dissipates! A single pipe may be blocked with decaying organic matter plug is,... Broken drainpipe can allow sewer Gasses to seep out and test your home still persists, most. P-Shaped pipe designed to prevent … Bacterial activities sulfur in the drainage system a Building low of! It and the lab that performs the analysis use or drink Basin cover heater. Likely to appear on the copper coils direct path for sewer gas coming. Trap may have dried out poisonous, it ’ s a direct path for sewer gas methane. Buckets and dispose of it anywhere but down the drain bowl towel over your mouth agree the! Is sprayed into a ventilated tank, once or twice each year,..