A smelly drain can be incredibly overwhelming….

A smelly drain can be incredibly overwhelming and getting rid of the stench as soon as possible is a priority. But the trick is working out the cause of the problem. Here, we take a look at some causes of smelly drains and what you can do to prevent them.

Is it a tree root?

Overgrown tree roots are one of the main causes of drain blockages – and associated smells – in Australia. Some symptoms of tree roots include gurgling sounds, raw sewage appearing from pipes and prolonged toilet flushing. If you notice any of these, it’s important to call a plumber as soon as possible. In addition, blockages can be caused by rubbish, food and solidified liquids, like oils.

Is it the pipes? 

Another common cause of a smelly drain is a dodgy pipe. This is one to look out for if you live in a house built before 1980 or so – as is the case for many Sydney residents living in historical areas. Now, pipes are usually made of crack-resistant PVC, but, back in the day, clay – joined with cement – was often the material of choice. Unfortunately, it is not particularly crack-proof, so slight movements underground can cause damage, leading to blockages.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s drain flies

Drain what? Never heard of drain flies? They’re a thing. And, guess what? Their favourite places to breed are drains, as well as anywhere else that’s been dirtied by sewage. Even though each drain fly is only an eighth of an inch big, in large numbers they can cause unpleasant odours.

Tips for looking after your drain and regular plumbing maintenance in Sydney   

Now that you’re aware of the potential difficulties, the next step is avoid them by taking care of your drain and keeping on top of plumbing maintenance.

As with anything, prevention is better than cure. So, try not to let substances that might cause blockages pass the plug hole. Using a filter in an excellent idea. Also important is sticking to a regular maintenance routine. Once a week, boil the kettle and slowly tip steaming water into every sink on the property – twice. After that, run cold water for a minute.

Once a month, apply baking soda and vinegar. Start by pouring half a cup of baking soda, followed by half a cup of vinegar down the sink. Pop the plug in the sink and leave it over night. When morning breaks, take out the plug and tip in a steady stream of hot water. Not only will this get rid of any nasty dirt, it’ll leave your drains smelling fresh!

Don’t hesitate to call a plumber 

The strategies above will go a long way in achieving regular plumbing maintenance in Sydney, but they’re not a safe guard against all problems. If your drain does start to smell – or you notice any other strange plumbing behaviour – call Ruttley Services or your local plumber. It’s better to prevent an emergency than wait until one is in action!