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Nasty Smell in Sink...HELP!

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  • Nasty Smell in Sink...HELP!

    My kitchen sink has had a nasty stank smell for quite a while and my husband, whom was a plumber at one time, claims that he doesnt know what it is from or where it could be coming from. I disagree! He knows, but he just likes to pretend that he doesnt because for one thing, he says he cant smell it. For another, if he admits to being able to smell it, that would mean he would have to fix it. Anyway, all that aside, the thing that is most bothersome is that it smells especially bad when I turn the faucet on. What is up with that? Where could this smell be coming from? How can I get rid of it?

    I took a course in real estate prior to receiving my license a while back and for some reason, the instructor was talking about drains. He said something about the 'u' shaped pipe under the sink and that it should have a small amount of water in it at all times, but if it doesnt, that would cause the sink to stink. It has been a few years, so I may be off a little, but it was something to that effect.

    Anyway, I welcome any suggestions. By the way, I have tried a drain opener, as well as the whole baking soda and vinegar bit. They helped a little, but not enough. Oh, and I do not have a garbage disposal.


  • #2
    Re: Nasty Smell in Sink...HELP!

    What is it you are smelling? Do you have any kind of water treatment system? Is the smell only eminating from the kitchen sink and no others in the house? Is it more prominent when the hot water is on or the cold? Florida is notorious for sulfurous smells in untreated water. If it smells more like sewage have hubby take a look under the sink to make sure the p-trap is properly installed and not leaking.
    Last edited by killavolt; 07-20-2009, 11:02 AM.


    • #3
      Re: Nasty Smell in Sink...HELP!

      Thanks for the reply!

      We have a water softner, which is only about a year old. Besides, the smell isnt sulfur, but more like a something died kind of smell. The smell is only coming from the kitchen sink.

      As for this part of your suggestion:

      If it smells more like sewage have hubby take a look under the sink to make sure the p-trap is properly installed and not leaking.
      I have asked him to look, but he wont even do that because he replaced the sink and drain pipes a couple of years ago and because of that, "he knows" that that is not the problem.

      I will check it myself. In the event that there is a leak or something, what should I do? Replace the pipe? Get some of that plumbing glue stuff and put it on the leak?


      • #4
        Re: Nasty Smell in Sink...HELP!

        Originally posted by Big Jim
        As killavolt says, you need to determine if the
        smell is coming from the drain or the faucet.
        If it is coming from the hot water only, then it
        could be the anode rod in the water heater.
        Yeah, it is coming from the drain. Regardless of if the faucet is on hot or cold, it smells! It doesnt smell every time I turn it on, just ocassionally. However, the smell is noticeably present from the drain at all times!


        • #5
          Re: Nasty Smell in Sink...HELP!

          I have had to take mine apart and clean the slime off the sides of the pipe, happens in the bathrooms too. If you put grease down the drain some will buildup in the sides of the pipe before the trap and stink as it rots. This would also explain why it stinks more when you run water.


          • #6
            Re: Nasty Smell in Sink...HELP!

            I was going to say the same thing as Wayne. Pull the trap and clean out the tailpiece (vertical pipe between sink and trap. Just put a bucket underneath it and use a long pointed object to scrape the junk out into the bucket. A bottle brush works reasonably well too from the bottom, or a cleaner like orange TKO. Clean the actual trap out really good too, and if the trap itself leaks, it may need to be replaced, which should be an easy job for the hubby, especially if he used to plumb.

            Good luck!


            • #7
              Re: Nasty Smell in Sink...HELP!

              does the sink drain properly? do you have a garbage disposal?

              my 1st guess is grease and decaying food bits.

              put a bucket under the trap to catch the water and remove the trap. if it's badly gunked up but still draining clean it really good. while you are under there take a sniff at the stub coming out of the wall. does it smell the same as your complaint? maybe an enzyme cleaner could help clean it up and remove the smell

              good luck

              In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!


              • #8
                Re: Nasty Smell in Sink...HELP!

                Your sink doesn't smell so bad, please stop nagging your husband, he has better things to do in his spare time.


                • #9
                  Re: Nasty Smell in Sink...HELP!

                  There are citrus scented drain fresheners / disposer cleaners that may help.


                  • #10
                    Re: Nasty Smell in Sink...HELP!

                    If you have a dishwasher, check to make sure the hose is not trapped and the water is allowed to drain from the hose.

                    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!


                    • #11
                      Last edited by gear junkie; 07-13-2018, 01:40 AM.
                      Buy cheap, buy twice.


                      • #12
                        Re: Nasty Smell in Sink...HELP!

                        Originally posted by EasyEman View Post
                        There are citrus scented drain fresheners / disposer cleaners that may help.
                        Are you talking about the strainer thing?

                        I have seen those in the store before and actually went as far as to put it in my basket, but then decided the scent would not be strong enough to mask the existing stank, so I put it back!

                        Of course, I would rather have the odor eliminated all together, but I will take what I can get if it really helps!


                        • #13
                          Re: Nasty Smell in Sink...HELP!

                          Originally posted by 420paul View Post
                          Your sink doesn't smell so bad, please stop nagging your husband, he has better things to do in his spare time.
                          Hey Now! He is NOT my honey-do boy!

                          I rarely ask him to do anything. In fact, I do all the daily maintenance type crap myself and even a majority of home improvement type stuff by myself. I only ask for help if it is something I dont know how to do and cant learn by simply reading instructions or something, or if it requires a certain amount of upper body strength.

                          Although, if the truth be known, if anyone should be entitled to a work-free weekend, or work-free evenings, it should most definitely be me! I work from the time I get up until the time I go to bed by taking care of his 5 kids while he sits in an office all day enjoying extended lunches that are paid for (a good part of the time) by his vendors. Not to mention the deep-sea fishing trips, hunting trips, and anything else trips that the vendors take him on during working hours.

                          I can totally see how annoying it must be to come home after a long, hard, sweat-filled day of wearing a hole in his chair from his ever expanding a$$ to a wife that relentlessy nags at him to put his clothes in the dirty hamper while she has her head stuck under the kitchen cabinet trying to figure out how to get rid of the nasty smell because God forbid that he does it and risk losing precious time from the crater sized hole that he burned on the couch!

                          BTW, I am totally joking! The fact that he goes to work everyday just to keep food on the table for his family and the fact that he doesnt give me crap about staying at home with the kids rather than working to help pay the bills, well, words cant express how greatful I am for that! He ROCKS!


                          • #14
                            Re: Nasty Smell in Sink...HELP!

                            You go girl!


                            • #15
                              Re: Nasty Smell in Sink...HELP!

                              You may or not have a garbage disposal?

                              (Have since read that you do not.)

                              Also, have you used the sink lately? (If the water actually evaporated out of the trap due to misuse, the sewer gasses would come right out. I once saw this in an attic with a water closet that hadn't been use in a couple years. Solution, pour in a half gallon or gallon of vegetable oil, enough to cover the top of the trap.)

                              When our sink starts smelling, I search around it first. Once found a vegetable basket with a couple liquid onions in the bottom in my own kitchen.

                              Or, if the smell is actually coming out of the drains, there may be a piece of meat or fish, (or something similar), lodged on the protective crossbars. Pick and wash it away.

                              Make a couple gallons of BOILING water and pour it down the drain, then run a hot water heater worth of hot water after it, (capture the first galon or so of cold water and discard later).

                              Then juice up some orange juice for yourself, and running lots of water, disposal the peels away. (Well, that won't work, you have no disposal.) The other fellow said not to use lemons, I would disagree, except that my family prefers OJ. It is the citrus oils and agitation of the disposal that makes this work.

                              You might pull the trap off, the "U" shaped bottom piece, and see if there is something long in it, like a chopstick, breen bean, pencil, anything organic that may be rotting and poking up out of the trap water. The trap has a nut on both sides that will come off with large channel locks or medium pipe wrench.

                              Then you might, while the hot water is running, stick your head under and see if any of the water is going under the sink. I have discovered a few new lifeforms under sinks that thrive in the warm/wet environs of a leaky-sink-cabinet. They all have had extremely bad breath.

                              Oh, and by the way, tell your ex-plumber hubby that we men on line figure he's the lucky one for having a woman that will stick her head under the sink.

                              In Your Service:
                              Glenn Willis