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What Do Those Bad Smells from My Drain Mean?

A sewage-like odor emanating from one or more of the drains in your home is hard to miss. Not only is it unpleasant, but it may indicate a more serious problem with your plumbing that will need the assistance of plumbing professionals. In some cases, the trouble can be fixed in only a few minutes…in others, the work might require a few days, but you can’t afford to ignore the problem.

Since 1960, the team at Larry & Sons, Inc. has helped Middletown, PA with drain repair services and other sewer line and septic services. If you have bad-smelling drains and the simple solution (which will explain below) doesn’t correct the problem, contact us as soon as you can and we will send one of our experienced plumbers to look into the problem and find an answer.

Reasons for Bad-Smelling Drains

  • Dry p-trap: “P-trap” is the name for the curved pipe section directly beneath your sink. The shape of the pipe is designed to trap a plug of water between the down pipe sections and the drain opening, and this prevents rising sewer gas from escaping up into the house. However, if a sink is not used for a long stretches (this can often occur in the bathrooms of guest houses) the water in the p-trap will evaporate and allow noxious gas to get through. This is easy to fix: run water down the drain for a few minutes to restore the water level in the p-trap.
  • Blocked drain vents: To prevent a build-up of sewer gas pressure inside pipes, drain vents move the gas up to openings on the roof of your house. Should these vents become blocked because of debris or animal nests, it will force the sewer gas back down the pipes; the pressure will be sufficient to push the gas through the water in the p-traps. If you hear a gurgling sound in your drains along with the bad smells, then clogged vents are probably the cause of the problem. Don’t climb up to the roof to unblock the vents yourself! Stay safe and call for professional assistance.
  • Sewer line issues: This is the most serious of all possible causes for bad-smelling drain. Should the sewer line that takes the wastewater from your home out to the municipal sewer system in the street or to your septic tank become blocked from root infiltration or burst, it will start to back up sewage into your drains. If the bad smells are coming from multiple drains, it is likely that the sewer line is responsible. You need to call for help immediately, since this problem can lead to sewage flooding your basement or your home’s foundations.

Larry & Sons, Inc. is a trusted source for drain and sewer services in Middletown, PA. We also handle septic systems and many other plumbing services. If you think that those bad drain odors mean you have repairs that must be taken care of right away, make us your first call.

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20 Hump Rd, Hagerstown, MD 21740

Phone: (301) 733-5428 | Fax: (301) 733-4376

905 W. 7th Street #206, Frederick, MD 21701

Phone: 301-799-2931

Serving Washington County, Frederick County, MD; Franklin County, PA, Berkley County, WV

MD Lic. HVAC #9368 • MD Lic. Plumber/Natural Gas Fitter #16532 • Electrical Lic. EC #10962

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