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Why Does My Bathroom Drain Stink?

Your bathroom is a place of peace and comfort. A shower wakes you up in the morning and a bath relaxes you at night. But bad odors in your bathroom can be a distraction that’s difficult to source.

Paul Bunyan has dealt with his share of bad smells—from his encounters with the Whirling Whimpus to his time as a master plumber. To this day, there hasn’t been a bad smell he wasn’t prepared for or plumbing problem that Paul hasn’t solved.

1. P-Trap Use

The p-trap is a curved pipe that holds onto water to keep sewer gases from coming up your drain.

If the shower or sink isn’t used often, the stored water evaporates, causing the gases to rise up. You can refill the p-trap by running water down the drain for several minutes, blocking the smell from reaching your bathroom.

If the smell persists, your p-trap might be leaking. When it can’t hold enough water, gases will filter through the pipe and into your drain. In that case, the p-trap needs to be replaced.

2. Ventilation Issues

Like p-traps,

venting pipes block sewer gases from your drain. They expel back-flowing sewer gases through a pipe vent on the roof of your home.

Drain Cleaning St.Paul, MN Biofilm Build Up

However, debris, snow, leaves, and branches can clog the vents. The blockages will send the gas back into your drains. Plumbers can re-angle the vent or place a cap on it to keep it from clogging again.

3. Biofilm Build-Up

Everything from hair to conditioners, food particles, shaving cream, and gels wash down your drain. Over time, that can form a filmy substance in the pipes and p-trap. Sometimes, the build-up can cause an odor.

Washing some soap and water down the drain should fix the issue. If it doesn’t, a clog could be causing the biofilm build-up. Removing the blockage will cause

the smell to go away.

4. Sewer Line Problems

When sewer lines are clogged or broken, they can send odors through all of the drains in your home. Check for clogs and listen for gurgling sounds. If the sewer lines are damaged, you should contact a plumber right away.



Bathroom odors can be trickier to track down than Panhandle Pete, but it’s nothing we can’t handle. Our team at Paul Bunyan Plumbing & Drains has the experience to find the source of the smell and keep it from bothering your family again. If a bad odor is affecting your bathroom, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 612-340-1444.

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