Showers are usually a relaxing aspect of an individual’s day. After a long, stressful day at work, you can’t think of anything better than getting into the shower and letting the water take all your stress away. However, there is also the other side to showers where they can be quite embarrassing. Common causes of a smelly shower can range from many different reasons.
Identifying the Source of the Smell
When you detect strange new shower drain smells that make you wrinkle your nose in the restroom, the first thing you should do is record the sort of noxious odor it is so you can find out where it’s coming from.
1. Dry or Dirty P-Trap
If your shower drain stinks of sewage, it’s an indication that your P-trap isn’t effectively preventing sewer gases from leaking into your bathroom. If you’re dealing with a mustier or general odor and your P-trap is still clogged, it’s probably because it needs to be cleaned.
What Is a Shower P-Trap, and How Can It Cause Odors?
Many bathrooms come with an extra drain fitting called a P-trap. Common causes of smelly shower drains are often due to this particular piece of plumbing, which is designed to prevent sewer gases from backing up into your house through your drain system. The trap itself contains water that creates a seal that prevents the bad smells from coming back up into the home.
If there’s no water in the P-trap or it has dried out, then odors will easily waft up into the bathroom through the shower drain and around your feet as you use your facility. This makes inspecting it easy since all you have to do is shine a flashlight at it and see whether it looks dry or free of water.
How to Clean Shower P-Traps
To clean out this section of pipe, check around for any debris in its trap. If it looks like something’s stuck inside there, get an old rag or paper towel to scoop out anything blocking its passage.
Once all debris has been removed from inside it, fill your bathroom sink tub with cold water before pouring it into the P-trap until full enough to allow no air pockets. This can help to flush out any other sort of blockage that could be causing the bad smell.
2. Leaky Pipes
If your shower smells like rotting eggs or sulfur, it’s usually a sign that there’s a leak somewhere in the drain lines under your home. Common causes of smelly shower drain like this can include faulty valves, corroded pipes, and dripping faucet joints among other things.
What Can Cause Leaky Pipes?
These leaks can cause the most bothersome of shower smells because they send sulfurous gases, which can smell like rotten eggs, wafting up through your drain system. Common causes of smelly shower drain include corroded sections of pipe and loose joints, such as those on your sink taps or underneath your toilet seat.
How to Fix Leaking Pipes
To get rid of shower smells coming from your drain system due to leaking pipes, you’ll need to tighten every corroded joint and replace sections of pipe that could be rusting away. This can be a daunting task but one that’s absolutely necessary for maintaining a safe living environment inside the bathroom.
3. Biofilm Buildup
If there’s a drain clog that you can’t clear with a plunger, then it’s likely that biofilm has built up inside the bowl and is preventing water from draining through. Common causes of smelly shower drains may include this particular condition because when water doesn’t flow through the pipe system in the bathroom, everything begins to rot and decay at a faster rate, giving off bad smells.
What is Biofilm?
Biofilm is a film that forms on the insides of drain pipes when hair and other debris begin to decay and decompose. Common causes of a smelly shower drain like this can include dirt, dust, and other foreign objects all combined together in one sticky layer inside your home’s drain system.
How to Clear Out Biofilm
Once you’ve identified where the smell is coming from in your house, you’ll need to clean out all sections of pipe in the area under your bathroom sink and in between these points. This section of the drain line is usually where most people have trouble getting rid of tough blockages or odors because they’re difficult to access.
In order to break down the biofilm, you’ll need a special enzyme-based product that targets bacteria and germs in general, as well as a few other tricks up your sleeve. Common causes of smelly shower drains may include unclean maintenance on these areas leading to buildup.
4. Drain Clogs
If there’s a clog in your drain line from hair or other debris, then you’ll have to address this right away before the smell becomes any worse. Common causes of smelly shower drains can include drain clogs as well as leaks because when water sits for too long under the house, it begins to rot and decay at a much faster rate.
What Causes Clogs in the Shower?
The most common causes of clogs in your shower drain include heavy use and overflow from the bathtub, but these problems can also be caused by the accumulation of dirt and other foreign objects that block up your home’s plumbing system. Drain blockages are frequent since numerous causes might easily lead to clogs, including:
- Small items
- Soap scum
- Mineral Deposits
How to Clear a Drain Clog
In order to clear out a drain clog, you’ll need to take off the face shield on your plunger so you can get a better grip before plunging it into the blockage. Common causes of smelly shower drain like this can be very difficult because it requires you to use one hand inside the dirty p-trap while using the other for the plunge – which is uncomfortable at best.