4 Types Of Plumbing Smells You May Encounter

As you may know, plumbing work often involves solving clogs, smelly drains, and similar nuisance issues for homeowners. Keeping your drains clear and fresh isn’t always as simple as you’d like. Here are some types of plumbing smells that could arise from a variety of sources in your home plumbing system.

1. Strange-Smelling Water

A fishy, musty, sulfuric, or rotten-egg flavor or smell to your water can be very alarming. Water smells can come from elements in your water, such as contaminants, naturally occurring minerals, metals from your pipes, or (if you live in the city) chemical treatments.

If you notice your water has a flavor or smell that’s not normal, you should get it tested right way before you drink any more of it. Other signs that your previously clean water could be contaminated include:

  • More cloudiness than usual
  • Sediments such as black specks in the water
  • A different coloration, such as greenish or yellowish water

Some water contaminants are more dangerous than others, so be sure not to drink any water that could potentially include unknown contaminants. Moon Valley Plumbing can come out and do a test on your water’s hardness and suggest different filtration systems to help with this problem.

2. Sulfuric-Smelling Drains

Does the drain smell like sulfur or sewage? In that case, you could have a problem with a P-trap or a plumbing vent. If it just smells like the pipes haven’t been cleaned recently, sending some baking soda and vinegar down the drain might help.  If that does not clear up your problem, have one of our friendly plumbers come out and show you how to treat your drains with Total C.

If your drains start to smell and to back up, you may have a sewer line or septic issue behind it. Or, if the problem is limited to one drain, it could be a more localized drain clog.

3. Sewage Smells Outside

If you have a septic system, this can be an especially expensive problem. Sewage smells outside your home may mean that something is wrong with the wastewater system. As a homeowner, you are responsible for the sewer line from your house to where it ties into the city line. Call Moon Valley Plumbing to help determine if there is a problem on your side or the city side of the line. We can help walk you through the process.

With a septic system, the smell could come from the septic tank or the leach field or anywhere in between and could indicate a simple pipe leak or a complete leach field failure. In other words, if you smell something like sewage outside your house, you need to call a septic or sewer line expert right away.

4. Smelly Hot Water Heater

If you notice an odd sulfur-like smell during water heater maintenance, you’ll likely realize that the issue is localized to the heater and doesn’t come from the water supply. But if you notice the odd smell while running your water faucet, this may not be as obvious.

If you do call Moon Valley Plumbing to assess water that smells like rotten eggs when you run your faucet, he or she may discover that the water heater is the source of the smell. This can be due to a reaction that takes place when a specific type of water with odor-causing bacteria sits in the tank with a specific type of metal (typically the type found in the anode rod) nearby.

Your plumber can also replace the anode rod with a different type of anode rod that contains different metals and won’t react with the bacteria.

Plumbing smells can be discouraging, alarming, and sometimes even a sign of hazardous conditions. So if you notice any odd smells in the air around your plumbing, don’t wait. Call a friendly local plumber such as Moon Valley Plumbing and Rooter. We provide a full range of plumbing services, and we can help you get to the bottom of the odd smells in your pipes or drains.