Smelly drains can be quite the problem. Best-case scenario, you only slightly smell it when the water is running. Worst-case scenario, the smell is constant and makes your home feel unclean, even when it is spotless. And while you might be tempted to just go grab a bottle of Draino, if you are noticing this smell in all the drains in your house, the solution might not be so simple.

So, what can you do? To help, we are going to offer you our top 3 ways to clean a smell drain when all house drains have a smell. No matter what the underlying problem is, one of these three solutions should address it and have your home smelling clean again.

But First, What Are the Typical Causes of This Smell?

If you are noticing a bad smell coming from all of the drains in your home, the most likely culprit is your sewer or septic system. This could be a backup from the system, cracks in the pipes, or even a total pipe collapse. Other possibilities that are not related to the sewer or septic system include clogs in the main drainpipe, a stopped-up or too-short vent pipe, a dry p-trap, and various problems with the individual drains.

How Can I Know What Is the Cause?

Unless you are a plumbing professional, you really can’t identify the exact cause right away. But you can make an educated guess and then go through a process of elimination. To get started, ask yourself if the smell is “sewer-like” to the point of being noxious, or if the smell is just unpleasant. If it is, you can assume the issue is sewer or septic system related. If it is not, you are looking at the other possibilities listed above.

Fixing Sewer or Septic System Related Smells

If you find that the odor is noxious and not just unpleasant, you need to call a professional. Sewer gas—the odor that is invading your home—is dangerous to the health of the people in your home. The methane and bacteria can cause headaches, difficulty breathing, and more serious medical conditions. And should the methane gas build up, there can be risk of an explosion.

Unlike some of the other problems, the underlying causes of sewer and septic system odors are never simple fixes, and you want to make sure they are done right. So, if you notice this smell in your home, call a professional as soon as possible. And if you do not feel that the smell is from the sewer or septic system, you can try the three fixes below.

1. Fix the Dry P-Trap

This usually occurs in sinks that have not been used in quite some time. So, if you have just moved into your home, there is a chance that multiple sinks could have this issue, making you feel like all the drains in your house have a problem. To determine if this is a possibility, you are going to have to do the dirty work of really smelling the specific drains. You might be surprised to realize that the smell isn’t coming from all the drains, but just those in the sinks.

If this is the case, it is likely a dry p-trap and it is an easy fix. All you need to do is run water down the sink so that the p-trap can form its water barrier once more, preventing gases from coming up the drain. And if you have sinks you use less than others, be sure to run water down them at least once a week to prevent the issue from recurring.

2. Try a Drain Cleaner

If the underlying problem is affecting all of your drains, this may not do much. However, if you are just so unlucky as to have multiple drains clogging at the same time, it could help. You can use industrial cleaners that are sold in stores or create one yourself. However, you need to be very careful when mixing chemicals, as some can create toxic gases that can be lethal.

3. Use Boiling Water

Not interested in running to the store or making up your own drain cleaner? You can try pouring boiling water down each of your drains. If clogs are the issue, this just might take care of them, while also being the easiest solution available to you.

Turn to BCPSI

No matter how large or small the issue, we can help get your drains working—and smelling—like new. With decades in the business and around-the-clock availability, you know you can count on us. All you need to do is give us a call.