Taking a shower is usually a relaxing part of a person’s day. You can’t think of anything better than getting in the shower after a long, stressful day at work and letting the water wash away all your worries. But there is another side to showers that can be quite embarrassing. A smelly shower can be caused by a lot of different things.
Figuring out where the smell is coming from
When you notice strange new smells coming from the shower drain that makes you wrinkle your nose in the bathroom, the first thing you should do is write down what kind of smell it is so you can figure out where it’s coming from.
1. P-Trap: Clean or Dirty?
If your shower drain smells like sewage, it means that your P-trap isn’t doing a good job of keeping sewer gases from leaking into your bathroom. If your P-trap is still clogged and the smell is mustier or more general, it probably needs to be cleaned.
What is a P-Trap in a Shower, and How Can It Make Odors?
A P-trap is an extra drain fitting that comes with a lot of bathrooms. This piece of plumbing, which is meant to keep sewer gases from coming back into your home through your drain system, is often the cause of smelly shower drains. The trap itself has water in it, which makes a seal that keeps the smells from coming back up into the house.
If there is no water in the P-trap or if it has dried out, smells can easily come up through the shower drain and land around your feet as you use your bathroom. This makes it easy to check because you can just shine a flashlight on it and see if it looks dry or full of water.
How to Clean the P-Traps in Showers
To clean out this section of pipe, look in its trap to see if there is any trash. If it looks like something is stuck inside, get an old cloth or paper towel and scoop out whatever is in the way.
Once you’ve cleaned out the P-trap and made sure there’s no debris in it, fill the bathroom sink tub with cold water and pour it into the P-trap until it’s full and there are no air pockets. This can help flush out any other kind of blockage that could be causing the bad smell.
2. Leaky Pipes
If your shower smells like rotting eggs or sulfur, it’s usually because there’s a leak in the drain lines under your house. Some of the most common reasons why shower drains smell like this are broken valves, corroded pipes, and faucet joints that leak.
What can cause pipes to leak?
These leaks can cause the worst smells in your shower because they let sulfurous gases, which can smell like rotten eggs, rise up through your drain system. Some of the most common reasons for a smelly shower drain are corroded pipes and loose joints, like those on your sink faucets or under your toilet seat.
How to Repair Pipes That Leak
To get rid of shower smells coming from your drain system because of leaking pipes, you’ll need to tighten every corroded joint and replace sections of pipe that could be rusting away. This can be a hard job, but it has to be done to keep the bathroom safe to live in.
3. Biofilm Buildup
If you can’t clear a clogged drain with a plunger, it’s likely that biofilm has built up inside the bowl and is blocking the flow of water. This is a common cause of smelly shower drains because when water doesn’t flow through the pipes in the bathroom, things start to rot and decay more quickly, giving off bad smells.
What is a Biofilm?
Biofilm is a film that forms on the inside of drain pipes when hair and other debris start to break down and decompose. Dirt, dust, and other foreign objects can form a sticky layer inside your home’s drain system, which can lead to a smelly shower drain like this.
What to Do to Get Rid of Biofilm
Once you’ve found where the smell is coming from in your home, you’ll need to clean out all of the pipes under your bathroom sink and between these points. Most people have trouble getting rid of tough blockages or smell in this part of the drain line because it’s hard to get to.
To break down the biofilm, you’ll need a particular enzyme-based solution that targets bacteria and germs in general, as well as a few more tricks under your sleeve. Some of the most common reasons for smelly shower drains are not keeping these areas clean, which can lead to buildup.
4. Blocked Drains
If hair or other things are blocking your drain line, you’ll need to fix it right away before the smell gets worse. Some of the most common reasons for smelly shower drains are clogs and leaks. When water sits under the house for too long, it starts to rot and decay much more quickly.
What causes the shower to get clogged?
Clogs in your shower drain are usually caused by heavy use or overflow from the bathtub, but they can also be caused by dirt and other foreign objects that get stuck in your home’s plumbing system. Drains often get clogged because there are many things that can cause them, such as:
- Little things
- Soap scum
- Mineral Deposits
How to Clear a Clogged Drain
To clear out a clogged drain, you’ll need to take the face shield off your plunger so you can hold it better before plunging it into the clog. Common reasons for a smelly shower drain can be hard to fix because you have to put one hand in the dirty p-trap and use the other hand to plunge, which is at best awkward.
West New York Plumbing and Heating is a local expert in plumbing
If your shower smells bad, we’ve got you covered. Call our team at (201) 977 – 6775 to talk to them right now. Our team of experts will be happy to help you and turn your shower back into a place to relax.