It might? have happened to you: you walk into your bathroom and your nostrils assailed by an unpleasant smell coming from the sink, bathtub or shower drain that makes you question your cleaning standards.
“If you notice such a smell, chances are that it is because of sewer gas escaping from your drainage system. Not only does it smell awful, but the methane and bacteria it contains can cause serious health problems. What’s more, high concentrations of methane gas are combustible, which might result in an explosion. If you notice this distinctive, foul odour, don’t ignore it,”? offers Mr Collins Owino, a plumber.
Mr Owino says that? every home sewer has p-trap (a? U-shaped fixture? under the sink) retains some water, creating a barrier that prevents sewer gas from wafting into your house.
If such a facility is? rarely used, the water that creates the protective seal evaporates, allowing sewer gas into your house. So running water through it regularly is advisable.
The other possible causes the foul smell include a clogged drain, a dry tap, leaks from rotting or cracked drainpipes, sewer back-up and loose-fitting pipe connections.
But before you call a plumber, the following are some simple measures you can take to get rid of the odour.
?Using a screw driver, remove the drain trap.
?Pour one cup of white vinegar into the drain, followed by a ? cup of baking soda. Leave the bathroom door closed for two hours.
?Gently pour a 3.8 litres of hot water down the drain
?After 15 minutes, run cold water for 10 minutes to thoroughly rinse the vinegar. This step is very crucial because if you don’t rinse the vinegar, it can mix with the chlorine to form chloramine gas, which is highly toxic.
?Pour ? a cup of chlorine bleach into the drain and wait for another two hours then rinse with hot water slowly.
?Turn on the tap and let the water run for about 10 minutes. By this time, there should be enough water standing in the “u” curve of the p-trap.
?Finally, pour 118 ml of cooking oil into the drain. The oil will float on the water in the p-trap and? slow down evaporation. Put back the trap.
?“Well designed and installed plumbing fixtures are usually odourless,” says Mr Owino, adding, “However, even with the best plumbing techniques, sewer gas can still waft into your house.”? If you take these measures but the smell persists, seek professional help.