Have you ever had a clogged pipe, or a drain that drains slowly or backs up frequently?  Regardless of the cause of a clogged drain, the clog will eventually trap sewage in the pipe, causing an unpleasant odor to rise up through your pipe and into your kitchen or bathroom.  Drains can also develop unpleasant odors without a clog.  In any case, you have the task of finding a solution to eliminate the odor, and the clog, if possible.

You might try a plunger.  But if the clog is too far down the drain, you will not be able to generate the suction needed to jostle it loose.  A chemical cleaner is your next option, but these are unreliable, particularly if you are not aware of the material causing the clog.  If you pour a chemical agent down the drain, and it fails to dissolve the clog, you will find yourself with a dangerous toxin trapped in your pipe, along with the material causing the clog.  These chemicals can be corrosive, which could cause damage to your plumbing.  And being toxic, they can also create a health hazard for your household, if they emit dangerous fumes.

We at Biard and Crockett highly recommend turning to a professional if you ever intend to use a chemical agent to clear a clog.  Our professionals know exactly which product to use in such circumstances, and whether there is a call for one.  Because these chemicals are dangerous to the environment and your health, we only use them under very specific circumstances.

Before you call us, there are a few things you can do to eliminate unpleasant odors.  Here are a few suggestions:

#1: Clean what You can Reach

In man cases, drain covers can be removed, enabling you to access the pipe, or part of it.  And even when you can’t, there are still ways to get after debris or gunk that might be creating an odor.  With a little detergent and some elbow grease, you should be able to clean the area at the top of the pipe.  And you can also clean the traps under your sinks, where you have them. 

#2: Baking Soda and Vinegar

Pour ¼ cup of baking soda down the drain, and follow it with ¼ cup of vinegar.  The effervescent reaction created by the mixing of the two should jar loose most of the problem at the source of the clog.  If there is water in the pipe, you may want to wait for it to drain completely before doing this, as the water could weaken the reaction.  Wait for 5 to 10 minutes for the reaction to knock loose the debris inside the pipe.

As a follow-up action, you can boil a kettle of water and pour it down the drain after the reaction.  This should flush out a significant amount of gunk loosened by the baking soda and vinegar.

#3: Run the Garbage Disposal with the Tap Running

You should run the tap every time you use your disposal.  But sometimes, you should also run the disposal and tap even while it is empty, to clean it.  Afterward, toss in some orange or lemon rinds and run the disposal again.  The citrus rinds will clean and deodorize the disposal.

#4: Alka Seltzer or Denture Tablets

 Crush up some Alka Seltzer tablets or denture tablets, and pour the powder into the drain.  Then flush them down with the appropriate ratio of hot water.  The bubbling reaction created by the reaction should clean out the pipe at the clog.  The trickiest part here is getting the powder to the clog.  Again, make sure all of the water has drained out of the pipe before attempting this remedy. 

#5: Call the professionals at Biard and Crockett! 

If you can’t get eliminate odors with these rudimentary solutions, then you have something stuck in your pipes that is not going away.  One quick inspection with our drain camera will find the location of the clog, and determine how serious a problem you may have.  At that point, we will show you the problem on our monitor, and prescribe the appropriate solution.

Some people have odors in their pipes that never go away, and they simply ignore them.  That’s unwise.  If you have a partially collapsed sewer line or a slab leak, you definitely want to find it sooner than later.  In the short term, you might not have any serious symptoms.  But eventually, you will encounter a problem that could undermine your own home, and cost you thousands of dollars.  If your basic tricks are not working, call a professional.  That’s why were here.