Skip navigation

24/7 Emergency Service Available

24/7 Emergency Service Available


Serving the Northshore and Northwest Chicagoland Area


Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Blog

Bad Smells From Your Drains? Here’s What It Might Be


Nobody wants their home to smell like sewage or anything else rotten. It’s frustrating when you keep your home clean and tidy, but then you begin to notice unpleasant odors wafting from your drains.

What’s going on? Why is this happening, and what can you do about it, both immediately and in the long-term to prevent it from occurring again? We’ll look at some reasons for foul drain odors in this post. We offer high quality plumber services in Skokie, IL and throughout the Northshore and Northwest Chicagoland Area, and we’re ready to help stop any of your bad-smelling drain troubles.

Sources of Bad-Smelling Drains

Organic material accumulation

A buildup of organic material, such as food waste, is a common source for kitchen drains and garbage disposals smelling awful. Organic material begins to rot, and the development of bacteria in decomposing organic material releases powerful odors. You can’t solve this problem using chemical drain cleaners, which are ineffective at actually “cleaning” the interior of the drainpipes. We recommend calling us for professional drain cleaning services that will scour the drainpipe interior to pristine condition.

Dried p-traps

The p-trap is the curved pipe section under a drain. This curve captures water that blocks sewer gas from moving the wrong direction up the drainpipe. If a sink isn’t used often, the p-trap water will evaporate, removing any barrier against sewer gas. This is easy to solve, however—just run water down the sink for a minute to restore the water plug.

Blocked drain vents

Drain vents are vertical pipes attached to wastewater lines in your home that allow sewer gas to escape up through the roof. If these vents become blocked, the sewer gas pressure will build up until the gas forces its way through the water in the p-trap and into the house. You may notice your drains gurgling along with the rank odor. Professional plumbers will find out how the vents became blocked and get them open again.

Sewer line troubles

If you start to notice foul odors coming from drains all around your house, then it’s a strong possibility that there is a problem in the sewer line that connects your home to the municipal sewer system. The line could be excessively dirty, blocked with tree roots, or broken. You want to have any sewer line troubles solved as soon as possible before sewage begins to back up into your home.

How to Prevent Future Problems

Once our plumbers have helped fix your current smelly drain disaster, we recommend you think about ways to prevent future problems like this:

  • Avoid putting organic material down your kitchen drains. Only place it in the disposal. 
  • Don’t pout fats, oils, and grease down any drain. When these liquids cool down, they become solids and lead to trapping other organics.
  • Occasionally run water down any sink you don’t use often (such as in guest bathrooms).
  • Schedule routine drain and sewer line cleaning with our team. This preventive measure not only stops smelly drains, it prevents clogs and helps drains and sewer lines last for longer.

For expert plumbing service, installations, or maintenance contact Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Our knowledgeable plumbers serve the North Shore and Northwest Chicago suburbs. Rely on Reliance!

Comments are closed.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter: