Remedies for Stinky Pipes

A necessary but unpleasant home maintenance task is dealing with smelly pipes and remedying the problem. This is a guide about remedies for stinky pipes.

Man Ready to Deal with Stinky Pipes
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Question: Bad Odor Coming from Bathroom Plumbing

By masor30 1

I had a problem with the sink and bath, where when you turn the taps on water comes through the bath and there is a smell. I had someone out and they changed my pipes under the bath, but when the working man came and changed the pipes he said the pipes are backwards. After he did all the pipes the water from the sink that went through the bath has stopped. Now I can smell a horrible smell like sewers, but I don't know where the smell is coming from. Any help as to why?

By Becky

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Most Recent Answer

By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

March 15, 2014

You could have some problem with your vents or with the sink traps. However, this is not something that you can fix yourself. Call the plumber again. If you were not happy with the first plumber, get referrals from your friends and neighbours and try a different one.

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Question: Stinky Pipes

I've done a search on Thrify Tips for stinky drain pipes, all I can find is to use vinegar and baking soda. I've been doing that for the last 6 months and it used to work but doesn't anymore. The smell has gotten much stronger and is driving me out of my home. Does anyone have any ideas? Please!

Ellen from Maricopa, CA


RE: Stinky Pipes

Here are some homemade recipes for your problem.

Baking Soda Drain Cleaner: If water hasn't backed up yet, pour 1 cup baking soda followed by 3 cups of boiling water down drain. Repeat a few times.

Washing Soda Drain Cleaner: If water isn't going down the drain, pour 1 cup washing soda over the drain and let set for awhile to work it's way down. Once clog loosens use the Baking Soda method above.

WARNING: Don't overuse washing soda if a commercial drain cleaner has recently been used as tehy will react together. Don't overuse washing soda if you have PVC pipes as the caustic nature can slowly damage the plastic.

To keep drains clear of hair in the bathroom sinks such as shower/tub, pour 1 cup of washing soda down pipe followed by a thorough flushing of water a few times a month. Hope this works for you. (10/17/2006)

By Lambchop Western Australia

RE: Stinky Pipes

If you own your home, you might check to see if tree roots are in the sewer line making them get backed up. If your pipes smell and you can't get them to stop with drain cleaners (natural or otherwise), then I would suspect the sewer system. You might try those yeast additives like Rid-X. If you have a jar of bakers yeast, that helps too. (10/17/2006)

By Carla

RE: Stinky Pipes

Have you checked the s-trap to see if there is something stuck in it? (10/17/2006)

By mef1957

RE: Stinky Pipes

I wonder if your problem could be caused by a blocked vent pipe on the roof. I've been told that this will send strong odors and gasses into the home and can be dangerous. Our vent pipes weren't very long and we just had additional lengths added to them so that they won't get covered by snow in the winter. (10/18/2006)

By Roberta

RE: Stinky Pipes

Each drain in the house (every sink, tub, shower, floor drain) HAS to have a little section of pipe that I believe is called a "S trap". That little "loop" of pipe is constructed so that there is always water standing in the little bottom loop. That water blocks the sewer gas from backing up and entering your home. Often drains that rarely have water run into them will dry out (evaporate) and the sewer gas will come in and stink up the place.

I have to remind myself to routinely pour a quart of water into the floor drain in my garage because I never run water down it and it dries out. Another possibility would be that some "do-it-yourself handyman" did not understand the necessity of using a "S trap" of pipe and just ran a straight section of pipe from the sink to the sewer pipe. If that is the case it won't matter how much cleaner you pour down your drain. The sewer gas will still come in and stink! If one particular drain seems to be the stinky one, I would check it to make sure it has the weird little looped section of pipe under the sink. (You know the piece your husband has to take apart when you drop your ring or earring down the sink drain!) :)

Hope this helps! (12/11/2006)

By Grandma Margie

RE: Stinky Pipes

Try using a plunger and plunging in the kitchen sink. It worked for us. (02/16/2007)

By kg

RE: Stinky Pipes

When I had copper drain pipes and chrome fittings under the sink, we never had sink stink. But now we moved into a new home where I did the plumbing. I used plastic pipe and plastic under the sink. We now have sink stink. If I place chrome piping under the sink, sink stink stays away for a very long time. I believe that sink stink is caused by a chemical reaction between drain water and plastic pipe. (08/27/2008)

By Paul

I tried everything from baking soda and vinegar, checking to make sure I have "S" traps throughout the entire house and making sure the vent on the roof isn't blocked. My house went from smelling like stinky farts to rotten eggs. It was truly unbearable. Eventually I figured out that the drain in my garage was bone dry. I poured a bucket of water into it and the smell is now gone. (10/18/2008)

By Sil

Editor's Note: Have you had any experience with stinky pipes? If so, please leave us feedback telling us what you have tried and any advice you might have.

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Most Recent Answer

By Ethel Gerberick 6 37 Flag

April 5, 2014

I solved my problem with Stinky Pipes by pouring some Clorox down the drain. I did use the plunger before I poured the Clorox in the drain. It was amazing how much dirt came up when I plunged

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Tip: Fixing Stinky Pipes

The plumber put one trap on two sinks. The piping after the sink and before the trap started to stink. My solution was to place a trap on each sink, close to the sink itself, and pipe the two traps together after the discharge of the traps.

Problem solved; no more stinky pipes.

By Paul from Cincinnati, OH

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Home and Garden Repair Home PlumbingMarch 27, 2014
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