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What is That Smell Under My Sink?

view of plumbing under sink

If you have a funny smell coming from one of your sinks, the first thing you should do is identify what kind of smell it is.

Most smells that come from a sink are either musty, rotten, or they smell like sewer water.

Once you identify what kind of smelly smell that’s smelling smelly (yes, that’s a SpongeBob reference), you'll have a better idea of what your problem might be.

plumbing underneath the sink

If It's Musty

If you're getting a musty smell, the first thing you're going to want to check is if you have a water leak. When water leaks from the plumbing, mold and mildew can grow. Check to see if there are any water spots or mold growth in the drywall or inside of the cabinets. You might also notice standing water or general humidity under the sink.

If you think there’s a water leak, you should call a plumber immediately to fix the pipe. The longer you leave this untreated, the more damage that can occur. You'll also need to have all portions of damaged drywall and cabinets replaced so that you don't have mold growing in your home, which can be harmful to your health.

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If It's Rotten

This could be a sign that your garbage disposal has food particles trapped in it. You can try throwing lemon peels or bleach down the drain.

This will usually remove any lingering odors — but if it doesn’t, this can mean there’s a clog or some sort of buildup somewhere within the disposal or drain pipe. This is when you should call a professional in to help you diagnose and remove the problem.

If It Smells Like Sewer Water

If you're getting a smell that is like sewer water, you might be having problems with your vent or sink trap. The sink trap is the U-shaped portion of plumbing under the sink that collects water.

This water prevents sewer gases from entering the home, but if there is something wrong with the vent, the water levels might not be right, which will allow sewer smells to enter the home via the sink’s drain opening.

If you're smelling anything funny, especially if you suspect a leak, don’t be afraid to give us a call. We’ll be able to handle all of your plumbing and appliance problems!