plumbing tyler tx

How to Fix a Smelly Kitchen Sink

A smelly kitchen sink drain is bad enough, but coupled with the heat and humidity in Tyler, a malfunctioning sink can be a real nightmare.

Although stinky sinks are a common issue that can often be fixed with household solutions, a bad smell coming from the sink drain can sometimes be a sign of a bigger plumbing problem.

In this guide, we will be outlining the possible causes for your stinky kitchen sink, as well as solutions you can try to have your kitchen smelling better in no time.

How to prevent a Smelly Kitchen Sink

Before you have to experience the horror of a smelly kitchen sink, there are a few things you can do to give your sink a helping hand and prevent it from turning into a stink bomb.

First, keep your sink free from fats, oils, grease, egg shells, coffee grounds, pasta, and other starchy foods. That can go a long way in keeping your sink performing at its best.

If that ship has sailed and the smell coming from your kitchen sink is making your eyes sting, don’t panic. The solution to your smelly drains might literally be within arms reach.

How to Fix Food-related Smells

Considering how hard your kitchen sink works on a daily basis, it’s normal for it to get clogged up from time to time. Eventually, oil and grease that doesn’t go down the drain will create a coat on the inside of your pipes, trapping all kinds of food particles that would normally be flushed out.

If your sink smells like rotting food and the water is draining slower than usual, this might just be the reason. Try these simple methods to clean out your smelly kitchen sink drain.

Boiling Water

One of the simplest ways to remove minor blockages from your kitchen sink drain is by using boiling water.

Before you try this method, make sure to remove as much water as possible from the sink, and then simply pour around 2 to 3 liters of boiling water down the drain. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, and then follow up with 2 more liters of cold water.

This will help solidify the grease that the boiling water didn’t get, making it easier to get flushed down.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Combining baking soda and vinegar creates a fizzing solution that can help dislodge debris and particle buildup in your drain. All you need to do is pour a cup of baking soda down the drain hole, followed by a cup of vinegar.

While you wait for the solution to work its magic, boil a pot of water. After about two hours, pour the boiling water down the drain to help flush any remaining buildup.

Ice, Salt, and Citrus Peels

For this method, you’ll need to run your disposal so that the ice and salt can remove food buildup from the blades and the inside of the disposal. Place a couple of spoonfuls of coarse salt and some ice cubes in the drain hole and run the disposal for about 20 seconds.

Get your citrus peels ready, and throw them in the running disposal with the water running. The citrus peels will help keep your sink drain smelling nice and fresh.

Plumbing Issues and Sewer Smells

Not all smelly kitchen sinks are caused by food buildup. The kind of smell that’s coming from your sink can help you determine whether the issue is coming from a minor clog in the drain or if something has gone wrong with your sink’s plumbing.

While a rotting food smell is usually caused by a food blockage and a buildup of grease and oil, if your sink smells like a sewer or rotten eggs, then something is probably wrong with the P-trap or the vent pipe.

The methods mentioned above are usually effective for dislodging minor blockages and getting rid of normal food buildup that could be causing your kitchen sink to smell. If you’ve tried all of these techniques and the problem persists, then you might have a bigger plumbing issue on your hands.

P-trap Issues

The P-trap under your sink is designed to hold a small amount of water at all times, forming a barrier that prevents sewer gasses from coming up through the drain and stinking up your whole kitchen.

If the sink isn’t used for a while or if there’s a leak in the trap, the water can evaporate, allowing those gasses to enter your home. This is especially common in Tyler, where the summer heat can quickly dry up the P-trap, causing that dreaded rotten egg smell.

Not only is this extremely unpleasant, but breathing in these harmful gasses can be a health hazard if the underlying issue is not dealt with quickly.

Minor P-trap leaks can sometimes be fixed simply by unscrewing all the connections and then screwing them back on, making sure that the connection is strong. If the smell is coming from a blockage in the P-trap, you’ll need to disassemble it and manually dislodge the blockage.

Clogged Vent Pipe

The vent pipe, which extends through the roof, helps sewer gasses to vent and allows air into the plumbing system for proper drainage.

Sometimes, this vent can get blocked by leaves, bird nests, or other debris, causing sewer gasses to get trapped and come up through the sink drain.

Call in the Pros!

If you’ve given the techniques and methods mentioned above a try and your sink still drains slowly and gives off a bad smell, then it’s time to call a plumbing professional to assess the root cause of the issue.

While it might be tempting to fix your kitchen sink’s plumbing all by yourself, attempting to fix a more complex issue such as a sewer line problem without the appropriate tools, knowledge, and preparation can make the situation (and the smell) even worse, potentially causing damage to your plumbing system.

Working with a reputable, professional plumbing company in Tyler is the best option to ensure the safety and functionality of your kitchen plumbing system in the long run.

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