3 Common Causes Of Smelly Drains

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We go to put some dishes away, and then bam! The putrid and damp smell of your drain hits you in the face, making you tear up. While a smelly drain can be worrisome and annoying for many homeowners, we’re here to break down three common causes of smelly drains so you can know how to tackle these annoyances!

Dry P-Trap

With the colder months, we often have calls where clients complain that their drains smell despite regularly cleaning their home! Often the issue is not a build-up of dirt or other grime, but you may have a dry p-trap. The p-trap is the almost U-shaped fixture underneath your sink that typically holds water at the bottom of the fixture.

The purpose of the p-trap holding water is to prevent sewer gas from venting into your home. A dry p-trap lets in sewer gas into your home, making your drains smell awful! Luckily for you, the fix for a dry p-trap involves pouring water down the drain. Take half a gallon, up to a gallon, of water and pour it down your drain. After a few hours, your p-trap should fill up again, and the smell should dissipate.

Grease Clogs

During the colder months, people begin to realize that all the grease they got away with pouring down the drain in the summer is starting to rear its ugly head again. When oil begins to freeze and cool down, it will cling to the side of your pipes, creating clogs. The issue with clogs is that your drains easily get backed up, and the smell is noticeable.

You will notice a grease clog by the poor drainage in your sinks, loud rattling pipes, and of course, that smell. So the best course of action is to avoid pouring down greasy foods and oil down your drains before you’re stuck with a clog.


We know that mold loves damp environments, so your drains can be the perfect space for mold. You may ask yourself, “well, how do you prevent mold from growing then? It’s not like a sink is going to be dry” The reason mold begins to grow and cause smelly drains is often due to pipe leaks! When pipes leak, they tend to spill water onto nearby surfaces and lead to mold growth over time. The best course of action is calling for professional help to stop the mold.

At EJ Plumbing smelly drains can be a pain lingering in your home. So if you are tired of your drains stinking up your house, call , and our team will get those drains working right!

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When you need plumbing services in San Jose, Santa Clara, or any of the communities in the surrounding Bay Area, count on EJ Plumbing. With more than a decade of industry experience, our expertly-trained technicians can handle just about any plumbing problem you may have. From drain cleaning to water leaks, sewer line replacements, toilet repairs, and more, you can rely on us for all your residential plumbing needs. We even offer emergency services upon availability for serious issues that just can't wait. Our dependable team is always available to assist you.