Have you recently wondered why your shower drain smells so bad? If so, this article is for you. The good news is that smelly showers are usually an easily identifiable and fixable issue. We will go over the possible causes of the odor as well as how to unclog drain pipes that cause shower drain smells when showering, including:
- Drain clogs
- Dry P-traps
- Biofilm buildup
- Leaky pipes
Shower drains can experience a range of issues, from simple blockages to mechanical failures. Before calling in the experts, you might be surprised at what you can fix yourself.
Why Do Shower Drains Get Blocked?
Understanding the cause is half the battle.
- Hair and Soap Scum: The most common culprits. Hair can get tangled, forming a net-like barrier and trapping soap and other debris.
- Hard Water Deposits: Mineral buildup from hard water can constrict water flow over time.
- Foreign Objects: Small items can sometimes find their way down the drain and cause blockages.
How Can I Clear a Blocked Shower Drain?
- Boiling Water: Start with the simplest solution. Pouring boiling water can sometimes break down soap scum and clear minor blockages.
- Natural Cleaners: A mixture of equal parts white vinegar and baking soda can be effective. Pour the baking soda followed by vinegar, wait for 30 minutes, and then rinse with hot water.
- Plunger: An excellent old-fashioned plunge can create suction that dislodges blockages.
- Drain Snake or Bent Wire: Manually remove blockages by snaking down the drain.
- Chemical Drain Cleaners: Available at most hardware stores, but use with caution. They can be harsh on your pipes and the environment.
What causes pipeline leaks?
Several factors, including pipe punctures, loose fittings, clogs, aging pipes, corrosion, and incorrect installation or usage, can cause pipeline leaks.
- Pipe punctures are one of the most common causes of pipeline leaks. This can happen if the drain pipe is damaged by an object, such as a rock or root, or if it is improperly installed and comes into contact with another thing.
- Loose fittings can also cause pipeline leaks. This is often due to poor installation, where the fittings are not properly tightened. Over time, fittings can also become loose due to corrosion or deterioration.
- Clogs are another common cause of pipeline leaks. This can happen if foreign objects enter the pipe and block it or if sediment builds up and restricts water flow.
- Aging pipes can also lead to pipeline leaks. As pipes age, they become more brittle and susceptible to damage. This can happen if the plumbing pipes are not cared for or exposed to intense conditions. For example, if it’s very cold or hot outside.
- Corrosion is another major factor that can cause pipeline leaks. This happens when the pipe material is exposed to certain chemicals or environments that cause it to break down.
- Finally, incorrect installation or usage can also lead to pipeline leaks. This includes using the wrong type of pipe for the application, not following proper installation procedures, and using the pipe for purposes other than intended.
Pipeline leaks can have serious consequences, such as property damage, environmental contamination, and injuries or fatalities. By recognizing the potential causes of pipeline leaks, you can help prevent them from occurring.
If you notice a foul smell coming from your stinky shower drain, it’s always wise to consider the possibility of a clog. Clogs can be caused by a buildup of
- Soap scum
- Mineral deposits
- Small objects
Left untreated, they can cause water to back up in the drain and lead to unpleasant odors.
How to unclog your shower drain
There are several simple measures you can take to prevent drain clogs:
- Use a drain cover:
A drain cover is placed over the drain with a small hole in the center. This allows water to flow through while catching hair and other debris.
- Clean your drains regularly:
Over time, hair and other debris can build up in your smelly drains, causing them to become clogged. This can lead to water backing up in your sink or shower or overflowing onto your floor.
To avoid this, it is essential to clean your smelly drains regularly. You can use a natural cleaner like vinegar or baking soda or purchase a commercial drain cleaner from your local hardware store.
- Be careful what you flush:
Every day, we use our plumbing without giving it a second thought. We turn on the faucet for a water drink, shower, flush the toilet, and wash our dishes.
What water waste occurs when you flush the toilet? All the water and waste from your home goes through the sewer system and ends up in a treatment plant. There, it is cleaned and returned to the environment.
However, this process could be better, and certain things should never be flushed down the drain. Coffee grounds, eggshells, and food scraps can all cause problems in the sewer system.
They can clog pipes and pumps, and they can also attract rats and other pests.
So, think twice the next time you’re tempted to flush something down the drain.
- Use a plunger:
When your shower drain is clogged, one of the simplest ways to clear it is by using a plunger. And in many cases, this can be an effective way to remove the pipe blockage.
Place the plunger over the opening to unclog your drain, and push and pull the handle up and down to create suction. With enough suction, you can break apart the clog so it will flush away with water.
In addition, if you have a double sink, you must cover one of the drains with a wet rag to create suction. Otherwise, the pressure from the plunger will push the water back and forth between the two drains without clearing either one.
- Use a plumber’s snake.
A plumber’s snake is a long, flexible coil that can be inserted into the drain to break up the clog.
Simply insert the snake into the drain and turn it clockwise. The snake will thread through the drain and break up the clog. Once the clog has been cleared, flush the drain with hot water to remove any residue.
You can find plumbers’ snakes at most hardware stores, and they are not difficult to use.
- Use boiling water:
One of the most effective is to pour a lot of boiling water along the drain, then follow it with cold water. The temperature change can help to break through the clog, and the flowing water will flush it away.
This method is safe for most drains, but it’s always wise to check with your plumber before trying it on a particularly stubborn clog.
If you’ve tried all these methods and still have trouble with your drain, it’s time to call a professional. A plumber can quickly identify the problem and provide a permanent solution.
A dirty or dry P-Trap
Another source of odors that can come from shower drains is a dry or dirty P-trap, located at the lowest point of the smelly shower drain and sealed in the wall or floor. The unit usually contains a curved section to prevent sewage and gases from entering the room.
When water evaporates in the drain trap, it can cause odors. In addition, if food waste leaking into the p-trap is not cleaned up promptly, this can cause problems.
To avoid these problems, ensure the p-trap is kept clean and watered. Regularly brushing the p-trap with a water-filled rubber brush or vacuum cleaner will also help keep the shower drain cleaner.
How to Clean Shower P-Traps
The best way to clean a P-Trap is to pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar. The baking soda will help to break down any buildup, and the vinegar will kill any odor-causing bacteria. After the mixture has had time to work (about an hour), flush it with hot water. If your P-Trap is particularly dirty, you may need to repeat this process several times.
Drain odor after showering is a widespread problem. While this can be due to a problem with your shower product, it is usually due to biofilm buildup. A biofilm is a deposit of microorganisms, yeast, fungi, and odor-causing bacteria that generally grows in the water.
When they attach to your shower, they secrete a quorum-sensing signal to communicate with the other biofilm members. This can result in the release of foul-smelling compounds that can make your shower smell bad.
Biofilm is harmful to your health and can lead to the spread of Salmonella, E. coli, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and more, which is why the foul odor produced by biofilm is not the only reason to remove it. In particular, mucoid Salmonella can infect open wounds and cause urinary tract and respiratory problems in people with compromised immune systems.
How to Clean Biofilm in the Shower
As anyone who has dealt with it knows, pink mold is a pesky problem. The good thing is that it can be easily removed with some elbow grease. Here are three steps to getting rid of pink mold in your shower:
- Cleaning pink mold in the shower: You can use any brush and disinfectant cleaner around your house on your shower tile or insert.
- To remove biofilm from your drainage pipes: Dissolve one cup of baking soda in two cups of warm water and pour it down the drain.
- After you pour a half-cup of vinegar down the drain, let it sit for 30 minutes. After those thirty minutes have elapsed, flush everything out by running hot water for five minutes.
Following these simple steps will make your shower look mold-free in no time.
Although the first three shower odors are problems that most people can take care of independently, sometimes a bathroom sink may stem from a graver issue where you need outside assistance.
A frequent home repair that homeowners must face is a pipeline leak. A leak in your bathroom pipeline can release sewage gas (hydrogen sulfide) into the air. This gas smells like rotten eggs or sewage so that you may notice an unpleasant smell coming from your smelly shower drain
How to repair leaking pipes
While most leaks are relatively simple, some may require more complex repairs. Here are some tips for repairing leaking pipes:
- If you have a small leak, you can replace the washer on the afflicted valve. Make sure to turn off the water before attempting this repair.
- For larger leaks, you may need to replace the entire valve. Again, be sure to turn off the water before beginning this repair.
- If your pipes leak at the joints, you can try tightening the joints with a pipe wrench. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may be able to solve it by simply adding pipe dope or solder to seal the joint.
- Sometimes, you may need to replace the entire length of the pipe. This is usually only necessary if the pipe is severely damaged or corroded.
- Calling a professional plumber is always an option.
Fixing a shower drain often requires some detective work. Whether it’s a simple blockage or a mechanical issue, understanding the problem is crucial. With this guide, you can tackle the most common issues, ensuring your showers remain a highlight of your day.
And that’s it! Using these steps, you can banish that shower stench and get rid of mold. But if you’re doubtful about your repair skills, always call a professional.
From smelly shower drain repair to replacement parts, Hofen Sanitary has everything you need. Our factory team has over 19 years of experience making quality sanitary products. Look no further than us for all your plumbing needs! Visit our website today or contact us for more information about our products and services.