Nobody expects the inside of their plumbing pipes to smell like a breath mint. Yet you know something's wrong when you begin smelling rotten eggs every time you stand over your sink. Luckily, this problem is usually fairly simple to correct. Read on to learn three of the most common problems causing a stinky sink--and how to eliminate each one.
Bacteria In Your Pipes
This is probably the most common cause of sulphurous smells coming out of the sink. Over time, food and grease particles tend to build up inside the drainpipe. Eventually, bacterial colonies will begin to grow--often emitting nauseating smells in the process. Here's how to correct the problem without resorting to chemicals.
First, sprinkle one cup of baking soda down the drain. Follow this up with a cup of vinegar. The resulting foamy mixture will help to both kill the bacteria and to scour it from the walls of the pipe. For good measure, finish the process by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain.
Bacteria In Your Water Heater
Pipes aren't the only place that odor-causing bacteria can grow. Amazingly, certain forms of anaerobic bacteria can proliferate inside of your hot water heater. When these bacteria react with the magnesium and/or aluminum in your water heater's anode rod, the result is hydrogen sulfide gas.
You can assume that this is the source of your problem if the odor only occurs when you are using the hot water. Likewise, you won't just notice it in the kitchen, but also when using the bathroom sink and shower. The most effective way to eliminate this problem--and prevent it from recurring--is to have your current anode rod replaced with one containing a zinc alloy.
No Drain Trap Below Your Sink
The plumbing beneath most sinks contains a special U-shaped component known as the drain trap. The purpose of the drain trap is simple: to hold a pool of water. This water absorbs stink gases that tend to rise up from the sewer, thus preventing them from reaching the open air above your sink.
Unfortunately, not all sinks contain drain traps. This may be because the sink was installed by an amateur who didn't realize the importance of a trap--or simply because there wasn't enough space to fit a trap back when your house was built. Luckily, modern plumbing components make it easy to fit a trap under virtually any sink. If your sink doesn't contain a drain trap, consider contacting a plumber to have one installed as soon as possible.
For more information, contact Ideal Plumbing & Heating or a similar company.