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Why Does the Kitchen Sink in My Seattle Home Smell Like Sewer?

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Sewage smells from the kitchen sink indicate a more severe plumbing issue.

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Your home’s plumbing system is designed to bring in fresh water for cooking, cleaning, and bathing. Then, the reverse goes into action – a set of pipes will remove all waste. The two never intermingle. But on occasion, despite our best efforts, your home’s plumbing system may clog. If the right portion of the drain clogs, the water pressure cannot force noxious odors or sewer gases out of the system. Every day, the design of your plumbing pipes prevents such smells from escaping into the house, but a clog allows them into the home. The moment you notice such smells, contact a professional plumber for immediate drain cleaning services.

Rotten Smells in the Kitchen Sink

Have you recently noticed a rotten smell coming from the kitchen sink? Then it is one of two things:

  • A rotten food smell from debris stuck in the drain or disposal
  • Sewer smell from gas leaks in the drain trap or vent

These are the two most common occurrences. Thankfully, you have a few options to resolve the trouble.

Rotten Food Smells

Occasionally, food debris and gunk will build up in the kitchen drain or garbage disposal. Often, these smells happen because we put the wrong items down the drain, such as grease, oil, or fat. If that’s the case, try the following tricks:

  • Drain Cleaner – If you wish to use a drain cleaning solution, you need to be careful about which one you select. You want to use a bio-enzyme drain cleaner only, as it does not include the same harsh chemicals as traditional name-brand products. The enzymes will eat any food buildup in the drain.
  • Vinegar and Baking Soda – By combining half a cup of baking soda with one cup of white vinegar in the drain, you can remove crud and buildup. The solution combines to produce a foaming action, which then eats away at the blockage. Allow the mixture to sit, then follow it with hot water.
  • Ice Cubes – On occasion, try putting a few ice cubes down the drain to knock any food debris off the interior pipe walls.

Sewer Gas Smells

If you smell sewer gases, then you have a more severe problem than food debris buildup. The smell is gas leaking in from the sewer system, through the drain, and into your home. This happens because of an issue with the sink trap or plumbing vent.

  • Trap – The trap earns its name because it contains a small amount of water in the u-shaped portion of the pipe. The water actually prevents sewer gases from passing back through the system into your home. So, any smell escaping through the trap usually means a leak in the system.
  • Vent – If there is nothing wrong with the trap, then the vent is the likely culprit. The pressure within the sewer system fluctuates over time, which leads to the siphoning of water from the trap. The vent allows this change in pressure without gas escaping. An issue with the vent means gas can enter your home instead.

If you suspect an issue with your sewer system or kitchen sink drain, call Raymark Plumbing at 206-440-9077 . We’re here for you!

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