Why does my shower drain smell? If you’re one of the Birmingham homeowners whose nose has asked this question recently, KS Plumbing is here to help. Learn the causes of shower drain odors as well as the solutions to stop them. When do-it-yourself solutions don’t eliminate the smell, contact your trusted, local plumber for professional solutions to stop the stench and protect your plumbing system.
Why Does My Shower Drain Smell?
Shower drain odors have a few common causes:
- Mold growth in the drain
- Clogs and debris in the drain
- Sewer gases escaping the drain
These causes produce different odors emanating from a shower drain. Identifying the scent of the odor helps homeowners pinpoint its cause.
Why Does My Shower Drain Smell Musty?
A musty smell rising from a shower drain is produced by mold growth. Underneath the shower drain cover, mold is able to grow. This is due to cellulose materials from the hair, body oils, and soap scum that flushes out with wastewater, along with the moisture from the water. Cellulose contaminants plus moisture create an environment for mold growth.
Why Does My Shower Drain Smell Like Rotten Eggs?
A rotten egg smell is caused either by biofilm clogging the shower drain or the backup of sewer gasses through the drain. Decomposing biological debris trapped in the drain produces an odor and must be removed to eliminate the smell. Sewer gas backup is typically caused by blocked plumbing vents, a dry p-trap, or sewer backup.
A p-trap is the piping component below your drain that looks like a U and contains a small amount of water when properly functioning. This component traps debris to prevent them from traveling further into your plumbing system. The p-trap also stops sewer gases from backing up through the drain.
What to Do About Smelly Shower Drains – DIY Solutions
Try the following DIY solutions to eliminate foul shower drain smells.
Manually Clean Drain
After each shower, clear the drain cover of hair and soap scum buildup. Pull as much of this material out of the drain as possible. Use a drain cleaning tool to reach deeper below the drain opening.
Treat Drains for Mold Growth
Prevent mold growth and musty shower drain odors – treat your drains using this process:
- Create a 50:50 solution with one cup baking soda and one cup water.
- Use an old toothbrush to scrub and apply the solution to the drain.
- Next, add one cup white vinegar to the drain.
- Cover the drain and allow the solution to fizz and soak, working to kill mold and other odor-causing bacteria.
- Flush with hot water after about 10 minutes.
Fix a Dry P-Trap
When a p-trap goes dry, odors often result. Look down your drain – do you see water? If not, the p—trap is dry. Remedy a dry p-trap with the following process:
- Pour up to two cups of water into the drain.
- Wait one hour.
- Look into the drain to see if water remains – if not, time to call a plumber for p-trap repair.
- If the shower isn’t regularly used, also add four ounces of mineral oil to the water to prevent evaporation.
Blocked Plumbing Vents
During extreme temperatures, plumbing vents on the roof may become blocked by snow and ice, causing sewer odor backup in your shower drain. Safely clear the roof of snow and ice. If plumbing vents have iced up, locate the vent in the home’s attic and use a hairdryer at the vent’s roof exit to melt the blockage.
Why Does My Shower Drain Smell – Professional Solutions
When the above DIY solutions don’t offer relief, your plumber has professional solutions to eliminate foul shower drain smells. Depending on the source of your shower drain smell, the following solutions provide relief:
- Drain cleaning: Professional drain cleaning methods clear tough clogs homeowners cannot fully access.
- P-trap repair or replacement: A cracked p-trap doesn’t hold the water necessary to do its job. Your plumber makes repairs or replaces the p-trap components so water stays in, which also prevents leaks and water damage beneath the shower drain.
- Plumbing vent inspection: Plumbers are able to inspect plumbing vents for blockages and damage that cause sewer odor backup in your drains. Plumbers identify the issue so the appropriate repair is made.
KS Plumbing Rids Your Bathroom of Drain Odors
Our licensed plumbers are available for various plumbing services such as water heater installation and garbage disposal replacement. Our team also handles leak detection, dripping faucets, running toilets and hydro jetting. How may we help you?
If you have wondered, “Why does my shower drain smell bad?” do not let the problem go unresolved. If the above DIY solutions haven’t helped, call KS Plumbing for professional drain cleaning and plumbing services to rid your shower and bathtub drains of clogs and other issues causing the stench.