What’s That Smell? |Affordable Plumbing

Affordable Plumbing Sacramento-pipe issues-Always Affordable Plumbing

What’s That Smell? |Affordable Plumbing

4 Common Odors That Can Come From Your Drain—and What They Mean for Your Plumbing

Sniff Out Whether to Call Always Affordable Plumbing in Sacramento

Pipe problems may be obvious. Spraying water is a dead giveaway that there’s trouble, of course. (And it’s clear what that trouble is.) On the other hand, you may notice something off, but not be sure what it signifies. Take, for example, an odd or even bad smell.

For example, you may get a whiff of something faint. Is it coming from outside? You? The breeze from something as simple as a door opening may be enough to clear the air—for a short while. Meanwhile, the problem can fester. After that, you may be smelling something foul.

Whether you can sort of sniff out something faint or are gagging at a mystery stench, here are five nose-wrinkling problems that could indicate a pipe problem:


A musty smell can indicate something growing in your pipes. In other words: mildew. The fungus likes to grow in damp or moist areas. Therefore, a sink drain—especially a sluggish one—can be the perfect environment for it.

Food particles in the kitchen sink can feed fungus there. Likewise, skin flakes and hair provide for mildew in bathroom drains. (Biological material like this can also feed slimy bacteria colonies.)

If you think you detect a hint of mildew, follow your nose. Our bet is that you will find the grayish-white fungus living somewhere nearby.

Aside from creating a bad smell, mildew’s growth can further clog up pipes. The fungus abundance can further restrict water flow as a result.


In the same vein as mildew, mold can also create a musty odor. But the scent may also be earthy or vegetative. Moreover, it could smell rotten or even like alcohol. Most importantly: It smells.

Also like mildew, mold tends to grow in wet places. That is to say, it can be found in pipes. In addition, it can be found in places where water has been leaking for a while. A moldy smell from under the sink can reveal an area where water has kept wood wet for weeks—or even days.

Mold may sprout from spores anywhere water travels: over drywall, under floorboards, and in carpet. Depending on the mold, it can be a visual nuisance, bad smell, or even health hazard.

Rotten Food

Firstly, if you smell rotten food, chances are good that the problem is rotten food. Grease is a common culprit when it comes to sticking (and stinking) in kitchen pipes. However, even small particles of breakfast, lunch, or dinner can get lodged in place and go bad.

For bacteria looking for a place to party, the kitchen sink is ideal—especially if there is a garbage disposal. The Plumbing or “P”-Trap that resembles a “U” in the pipes can harbor old food.  Consequently, you can start to brew a toxic-smelling stew after not much time.


A sewage smell is certainly an issue! A house’s plumbing system is designed to move unwanted liquids (and what they carry) out of the house and away. If the odor of waste is working its way out of the pipes, you likely have a flaw in the system.

As with rotting food, the culprit could a faulty P-Trap. This water-filled section of pipe is designed to block sewer gas. If it dries out due to lack of use, the gas can travel freely from the pipes to your nose. The smell of sewage may also be due to a P-Trap clog or leak.

Unfortunately, sewage scents can also come from a weak or broken toilet seal. They may also stem from a blocked or broken vent pipe.

Affordable Plumbing is a Call Away

The Always Affordable Plumbing team in Sacramento has smelled it all. Contact us to identify the source of pipe-related odors you can’t (or don’t want to) track down. Then, we can figure out a solution!

For an experienced, fully licensed Sacramento plumber, CONTACT Always Affordable Plumbing!

Service, quality, and affordability for our customers always comes first. Call today to schedule your appointment!

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Affordable Plumbing Sacramento | Pipe Drain Issues

Find out more about Always Affordable Plumbing (Lic. #1003782) by calling (916) 970-0099.