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6 Stinky Reasons Your Kitchen Sink Smells Like Sewage

June 21st, 2022 | Around The Home, Plumbing

Kitchen Sink Smells Like Sewage

Why Your Kitchen Sink Smells Like Sewage

Your kitchen is the place where you make gourmet meals, put the finishing touches on your child’s birthday cake, and arrange appetizers for your dinner party. The last thing you want is the smell of sewage creeping up through your kitchen sink. If you are having problems with bad odors in your kitchen, you may be wondering what you can do about it. The best way to fix odors is to find their source. Once you do, it’s usually easy for a dependable plumber to come and do a plumbing repair so that you can enjoy a fresh-smelling kitchen again. 


What Is Causing the Odor? 

If you are smelling bad odors coming from your kitchen sink, the culprit could be a few different things. The sewage smell may be just that: sewage. Sewer gasses can sometimes make their way up the drains and into your home. The smell may also be coming from trapped food and bacteria or from water with a high sulfate content. 

If you notice a bad odor, it’s important to track down the source of the smell so that you can find the right solution. A dependable plumber can help you find the reason that your kitchen sink smells like sewage. Then you can work with them to find a plumbing repair that will fix the problem. 

Common Causes of Kitchen Sink Odors

Most of the time homeowners don’t know exactly what they are smelling coming from their kitchen sink drains, but they do know that it’s unpleasant. Here are some of the possible causes of bad smells whether they are coming from food, sewage gasses, or something else.  

Problems With your P-Trap

Also called the U-bend, the P-trap is the curved section of piping that is under your sink. The purpose of the curve is to keep sewer gasses from escaping up into your house. They also help with any items that you may drop down the drain like jewelry. The p-trap should always be filled with water. The water will block any gasses from creeping up. If the p-trap dries out, you may start smelling the contents of your sewer. 

As a side note, if you have a sink in your home that isn’t used very often, make a note to turn the water on every once in a while. If a sink isn’t being used, it can cause the water in the P-trap to evaporate, allowing the gasses to creep in. Running it for just a few seconds can keep water in the P-trap.

Clogged or Cracked Vent

Every plumbing system needs to be properly vented to work correctly. Without a vent, pressure can be off causing problems with the flow of water and sewage. When vents are damaged or clogged, they can also cause sewage smells to come back into the home. Since your vent is located on the roof, your plumber may check for bird nests, leaves, or other debris. They will also check to make sure it isn’t cracked or damaged. 

Mainline Clogs

You may have heard about sewage backing up into the bathtub when you flush the toilet. A mainline clog often shows up in the bathtub before it starts backing up into the kitchen sink. But in some homes, it’s possible for sewage to back up into your kitchen sink. This should be considered an emergency since there are health dangers involved. 

Clogs in the Drain 

When food, grease, and other debris gets clogged in your drains, the smell can be just as bad as a sewage smell. If the smell is accompanied by other signs of a clog such as a slow draining sink and gurgling in the pipes, you may want to have your drains cleaned out

Garbage Disposal Problems

Garbage disposals can be a huge source of bad odors in the kitchen. If they aren’t cleaned regularly, they can collect sludge and bacteria that can cause the whole drain to smell bad. Clogs in the garbage disposal can also cause odors over time. If your garbage disposal isn’t grinding food properly, you could end up with large food particles that sit in the disposal and start to smell. 

To solve the problem, you can clean your garbage disposal by putting ice cubes in your disposal. As you grind up the ice cubes, they will clean the blades. You can also try vinegar and dish soap to freshen things up. You may also need to call a plumber to come and fix your disposal 

Sulfate in the Water

If you are smelling a rotten egg smell, the problem may be coming from the water itself. Bacteria in the water heater can cause your water to have an odor. The sulfate may be naturally occurring if you have well water. A small amount isn’t a problem, but too much can cause bad-tasting water and health problems. You can pour a cup of water and smell it while in a different room to see if the odor is present in your water.


When Your Kitchen Sink Smells Like Sewage, Call a Plumber!

While there are some DIY tricks that you can try to get the smell to go away, the problem isn’t always something that can be solved by yourself. Sometimes, it takes a plumbing repair to get the odors to go away for good. Depending on the problem, you may need your plumber to repair leaks, fix vents, or clean out your drains. Hydrojetting is an effective way to clear your pipes of any lingering grease and bacteria that may be causing odors. This technique is even powerful enough to get rid of tough mainline clogs that could be causing backups. 

You don’t have to live with kitchen sink odors. Your kitchen should be a place where you only enjoy good smells such as freshly baked bread or warm cookies. If you have noticed bad odors and nothing that you have tried has fixed the problem, give Moffett Plumbing & Air a call. We would love to help!

Moffett Plumbing & Air is a full-service, family owned & operated plumbing & HVAC company based out of Orange, CA. Follow our blog for valuable homeowner tips, and updates from your favorite team of plumbing professionals.