The bathroom should be a relaxing place where you can prepare for the day or relax for the night. Unfortunately, a smelly shower drain makes that impossible. On top of your own discomfort, you have the embarrassment of having guests wonder about the foul odor. Instead of living with the smell, you should determine the cause by having a plumber find out what’s wrong with your McHenry plumbing. The problem could be from any of the following issues.

Clogged Drain

If you look in your shower, you’ll notice a strainer or stopper. The accessory is there to catch scum, hair, and anything else that might not belong in your plumbing. As you might expect, this is quite the task; strainers tend to collect an assortment of gunk. 

While the grime sits in the strainer, it begins to develop a foul odor. Before you call the plumber, check the strainer for debris. You might need to unscrew it, but doing so is worth the effort. After cleaning off the strainer with hot water and an old toothbrush, you may notice the smell go away. 

To be thorough, clean out scum from the drainpipe as well. A toothbrush can work wonders and remove months of grime. After it’s clean, replace the strainer or stopper.

Mold Growth

In your bathroom, there are plenty of dark and damp places. This is good news for mold and mildew because they thrive in wet areas of low light. And, unfortunately for you, they have a nasty smell that never dissipates. 

When you smell a bad odor, look around your bathroom for mold or mildew. It could be growing in your shower between the drain cover and the tub. 

To check for mold, pull out the drain cover. If there is space between the cover and the tub, mold can thrive. Check the cover itself for mold and look into the drain. For good measure, spray the drain pipe and tub with a mold and mildew remover. Clean off the drain cover with the same solution.

After everything is clean and dry, replace the cover. Ensure that it sits tightly over the drain. If it doesn’t, buy a replacement cover and install it immediately. Otherwise, the mold will return and continue to make your bathroom smell. 

P-Trap Went Dry

 If you look under your bathroom sink, you might notice a curved portion of the drain. Known as the p-trap, this p or u-shaped portion of plumbing connects the sink drain with the rest of your plumbing pipes. The trap is also located underneath your shower floor.

The p-trap has a curve because it needs to catch and hold a small volume of water. If there’s no water in the trap, sewer gases can travel through your drains and into your bathroom. When you smell rotten eggs in your bathroom, the culprit is often a dry p-trap. 

First, you need to remove the strainer and look into the drain. You probably need a flashlight for visibility. If there’s no water in the drain, you should pour about two cups of water down the drain. Wait approximately an hour and check the drain for water. If the water is gone, you need to call a plumber. 

Clogged Drain Vents

One of the most common causes of a dry p-trap is a clogged drain vent. Thanks to pipe venting, water is able to enter your p-trap and push out air. If there’s no air flow, suction pulls water out of the trap. 

Your vent probably connects to the p-trap, which connects with a vent stack. Typically, blockages form in the vent stack. There could be a bird’s nest blocking the air flow to the entrance if the stack or debris in the vent. 

On easily accessible vent stacks, you can try to clear the blockage on your own. However, the blockage could be further down the vent. Making the fix more difficult is the fact that some vent stacks are difficult and dangerous to access. Rather than put your well-being on the line, call a professional for help. 

Clog in the Sewer Line

The smell of human waste is highly unpleasant and can pose a health risk. If you notice the smell of sewage in your bathroom, you could have a clog in the sewer line. When you have a blockage, the waste can’t get past the clog and remains in the pipes. It may even back up into your shower drain. 

In this case, it’s more important than ever to act swiftly. The longer you wait to remove the clog, the greater the danger of sewage spilling into your home or yard. For your safety, you need a professional drain cleaner to seek out and remove the clog. 

You might be wondering why you have a clog in your sewer line. There are several simple explanations for a blockage, but removing the blockage may not be so easy. Common causes of sewer line clogs include: 

  • Hair and soap scum
  • Tree roots breaking through the pipes 
  • Foreign objects
  • Flushable baby wipes

Removing the Clog

For a small clog in your kitchen sink drain, you might be able to remedy the situation on your own. But a sewer line extends far from your home. A drain snake or chemical cleaner isn’t always enough to reach and remove deep clogs. 

When you call a plumber, they can use a variety of tools to eliminate the clog. Whichever method they use, you get the comfort of knowing your sewer line is clog-free and your bathroom will no longer smell. Drain cleaning makes all the difference.

Stopping Smells from Your McHenry Plumbing

Are you tired of a foul smell in your shower or any other part of your home? If so, there’s only one thing to do – call a plumber.

Here at J. Blanton Plumbing, we can figure out what’s making the odor in your home. Our plumbers examine your McHenry plumbing inside and out to find the source of your smell. Once we locate the cause, we quickly get to work fixing it. Give us a call and learn more today.