Smell. Of all our senses, smell can be the most useful--and also the most frustrating, unpleasant, and disagreeable. We rely on smell to tell us a lot about our world. Smelling smoke could save your life if the scent gives you advance notice and you manage to make it out of a burning building in time. Smelling something sour could save your taste buds from bad milk. It's not just you that your sense of smell takes care of, though. Smelling something that seems odd or unpleasant can also help you identify problems in your house itself--specifically, in the plumbing.
Of course, when you smell something bad coming from the drain, all you think about is getting rid of the smell; still, your sense of smell saved the day.
Drains and Smells
It's never good news when there are strange odors coming from the drain. It could be a big issue; it could be a small issue--it might even be a small issue that, if left alone, will turn into a big (and expensive) issue. The moral of the story is that odors coming from the drain are warning signs, and, like any plumbing problems, they need to be taken seriously. The first step is to try and identify some small, safe details about the odor. Is it close to the surface, or does it seem to be farther down? Is the smell familiar--like food or soap? This information can be helpful in identifying the real problem. Most of the time, these odors are detrimental only to your nose, but sometimes they can cause issues for your plumbing or the drain itself.
What Causes Drain Odors?
So, you've identified the odor, and your sense of smell saved the day. What is the cause, and what is the solution? Here's a quick look!