Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

Why is there a Strange Smell Coming from My Sink?

It’s a question you never want to ask: “why is there a strange smell coming from my sink?” Plumbing problems come in all shapes and sizes, and not all of them involve water pooling across your kitchen floor. When it comes to plumbing, Rockville, MD residents can expect all kinds of issues to pop up, including suspicious smells. The good news is that a trained plumber can usually get to the bottom of it fairly quickly, and the causes of the smell typically have a very simple explanation.

If you check the plumbing underneath your sink, you should see a pipe with an odd curve in it. It looks a little like a “p” turned on its side, which gives it its name: the p-trap. At first glance, it doesn’t look like it makes any sense. Why include a little loop like that? The loop helps keep water from overflowing into your sink, but it also serves a much more important purpose: it serves as a barrier between your home and the sewer line. The vent system linked to it keeps the pressure equal, letting noxious gases escape through the vent into your home. That depends on the p-trap staying wet and maintaining the seal. If it dries out, the sewer gas moves up the pipe and you get that horrible smell.

In most cases, the p-trap dries out only after you haven’t used the sink in a while (if it’s in a spare bathroom, a vacation home, or somewhere similar). In those cases, you can usually resolve the problem by pouring a little vinegar and baking soda down the drain, letting it sit for an hour or so, then slowly flushing it with hot water. (It works best if you fill a big pot with hot water, then slowly pour it down the drain.)

If it happens in a sink you use on a regular basis, however – or if the efforts described above don’t work – then the problem requires a professional. When you’re in need of plumbing service in Rockville, MD, trust in a reliable company such as Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing. If you’re asking “why is there a strange smell coming from my sink?” give us a call to have a look. You’ll be glad you did!