How to tackle unwanted drain smells.

So you have Smelly Drain Problems!

Smells omitting from your Drains usually point towards a blockage or a venting issue within your system.

So how do you remove the smells from your drains ?

Lets start With the causes of drain smells.

As mentioned above blocked drains or the need for drain cleaning are normally the main cause of smelly drains. This ranges from partial blockages to caught up or obstructive foreign objects in a drain line, or a build up of hard limescale which waste and tissue can catch up on and then emit airborne smells to your property via waste overflows pipes, vents and openings.

Most properties are fitted with vent pipes and drain valves to disperse any smells from your drain system and to keep it at the correct air pressure which in turn assists the flow of waste until it reaches the public sewer or septic system.

A faulty or blocked vent can also cause drain smells. The bad air that is pressured within the drain and wastepipes can be forced past the water sealed traps to your internal facilities such as sinks, baths and toilets.

Most drain systems will have one or more of the following to combat drain smells.

  1. SVP Soil vent pipes or vented soil stack pipes. These can be either external or internal vertical drain pipes between all levels of your property to the drain system below. They are usually installed to reach above the guttering of your property and within minimum distances from window openings etc.
  2. AAV’s Air admittance valves can be found in conjunction with soil pipes where a stub stack is present internally. They can also be found on wastepipes and in specialised modern waste traps.
  3. Drain chamber or manhole vents. These are common especially with Victorian drains to have a cast iron vent pipe at the boundary drain of a property. This works the same as an SVP by dispersing bad air and regulating the pressure of your drains.
  4. Drain gully. This is a pot style underground trap that holds an amount of waste water before it enters the drain line. This serves two purposes. It acts as a water sealed trap the same as a toilet bowl does, not allowing the bad air back up from the drains. It also collects any flushed debris that can be easily accessed and removed before causing a blocked drain. These are typically found on external walls as an inflow from kitchen and bathroom wastepipes.
  5. waste traps usually a p-trap or bottle style trap found on sinks, urinals and so on.

4 Drains drain  image. copyright
An example picture of a soil stack leading to an open vent above roof height.

Things to do to prevent drain smells.

If yours drains are blocked or scaled up its advised to have them cleaned thoroughly by a professional company like 4 Drains. But in regards to general maintenance to prevent drain smells you can do some of the following.

  1. Using plug strainers. This will stop food parts, hair and general unwanted solids from accumulating in your drain pipes.
  2. Try to use environmentally safe cleaning products such as enzyme sticks. These are placed once a month into the plug hole of a kitchen sink and as water passes them they break down and attack grease and grime whilst combating odours also.
  3. Remove and clear out any accessible traps which are designed to hold any solids washed away by mistake.
  4. Only flush tissue and human waste through your toilet. Sanitary products, dental floss, wipes, cat litter and so on will give you a blocked drain and drain smells.
  5. Invest in a water softener if needed hard scale build up causes a lot of issues. A water softener will save you money in the long run and help with the annoyance of hard water and scale that damage appliances.
  6. Have a company carry out regular checks and cleaning. It can be a lot cheaper to maintain a drain than it is to call on emergency drain services. Usually once a drain has had an initial clean and has been brought back up to scratch, it will continue to work flawlessly for a long time as long as there are no underlying issues and the system is being used correctly.
Example picture of a high pressure water jetting nozzle. Used to de scale and flush clean any debris or build up within a drain line.

If our services for Drain smells are needed and you live in the southeast of England (UK) Please contact our staff and we will be happy to help.

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