Why Your Drain Smells

We’ve all been there: We go to wash our dishes, take a bath, or wash our hands, and we’re hit with a terrible stink coming from the drain. You’ve probably wondered whether or not it’s safe to clean that drain, whether or not it’s safe to use the water from the pipes, and whether or not this constitutes a plumbing emergency. There are a few reasons why your drain might smell, and we’ll go over them today.

Broken P-Trap

The P-Trap is rather recognizable as the curved portion of pipe under your sink. This pipe seals off smelly sewer gasses with water. If the P-Trap isn’t working, then the sewer smell will probably travel up the pipe and out of your sink.

Empty P-Trap

Sometimes your P-Trap isn’t broken; it’s just dry. This happens if you haven’t used a sink in a while, which means the water evaporates, and the seal disappears.

Blocked Air Vent

Another area of your sink that may be broken is your air vent. These air vents help backflowing gasses escape, so if the vent is blocked, the gasses will be trapped and forced to escape through the sink instead.


Most clogs are caused by organic matter or residue getting stuck and building up over time. Rotting food, soap scum, grease, and more can turn into nasty clogs that don’t just prevent water from coming in or out. They may also release foul-smelling odors due to the bacteria all of this matter is attracting. This can also happen with decaying food getting trapped in a garbage disposal.

Professional Plumbing Help

Smelly drains aren’t the end of the world, but some plumbing issues will seem like they are. Whether you’re dealing with a leak, a clog, low water pressure, or something else entirely,

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