sink1Your sink stinks. It’s the first thing you notice in the morning. It welcomes you to your abode after work. It keeps you up at night. In fact, the smell is so pervasive that it has made its way into your dreams. Or are they nightmares? Okay, it’s not that big of an issue, but it is off-putting to cook your food in the same room as that stinking sink. It’s time to make a change. That’s why today, for our plumbing blog, we’re going to assess why your sink stinks (and for our next blog, we’ll address how to fix stink sink).

Why Your Drain Stinks

In short, your drain stinks because of bacteria. Unless you’re sending sweaty shoes down the drain, your drain sinks because there’s a mass of bacteria thriving in it. If you have a garbage disposal, bacteria can thrive there. Or if you have a sink trap that’s leaking (or dried out), your nose may trace the issue. Also, you may have an issue with your plumbing vent. Bacteria can make itself known if your plumbing has encountered any of those three issues.

dreamstime_xxl_141943Stinky Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal is tasked with tearing through meals that you haven’t finished (and on occasion, it’ll devour a rag or mangle a fork). However, it’s not self-sufficient when it comes to keeping clean. In fact, garbage disposals are a safe haven for bacteria. They hold liquids and food material in a stagnant, warm environment, and that’s an equation for bacteria proliferation. So if you have a stinky sink, it’s likely that your garbage disposal is the culprit.

Bad Sink Trap

First of all, what is a sink trap, and how does it work? Well, the sink trap is that U-shaped piping that’s directly below the drain. Here, the U shape in the pipe holds a bit of water. This water keeps sewage fumes from escaping your sewer lines, and it keeps your sink relatively clean and stink-free. However, if the sink trap has dried out, if it is leaking, or if you lack a sink trap altogether (some poor plumbers still neglect to install sink traps), then you’ll have a smelly problem on your hand. Again, we’ll cover solutions to these problems in our next blog.

Inoperable Plumbing Vent or a Backupsink2

Drainage pipes ought to be connected to plumbing vents. These vents keep pressure from building within your sewage line. See, there’s a problem with sewage: it produces gas. That added pressure seeks a way to escape, and if it can’t find a plumbing vent, it’ll bubble up through your drains; that’s just downright gross. If you find that your drain stinks, it’s likely that your plumbing vent is clogged.

On the other hand, it is possible that your sewer line is backed up completely. This is an even worse issue, and it’ll require immediate attention. If sewage is backing up, it’ll make it’s way back to the lowest accessible drain in your home. Then, you’ll have actual sewage seeping up through your sink. Talk about a plumbing emergency! If you’re caught with a backup, give us a call here at InSink, we offer emergency plumbing services throughout much of Illinois.

Now you might be able to address your specific sink-stink scenario. Check out our next blog to learn the best way to fix sink stink!