Friday, March 4th, 2022

Why does my shower smell bad?

Has this ever happened to you? You’re looking forward to a nice, relaxing shower and just as you step in you smell something unpleasant. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. An off smelling shower isn’t uncommon and a good reason to call a plumber. 

Below are four common culprits that cause a foul-smelling shower, and what you can do about it. 

A clogged drain
If your shower smells bad, a clogged drain just might be to blame. Everything from hair to soap scum buildup can cause a blocked drain, as can water from leaks that pool under the house. As the water causes decay, you’re apt to smell it in areas like the shower and bath. 

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If multiple people use the shower, there’s a greater chance the drain will clog. This is why we recommend cleaning your shower and tub area on a regular basis. It’s also important to clean the drain itself and use a mesh filter to catch things like hair and other debris.  

A leaky pipe
Your bathroom should smell like fresh rain, not rotting eggs. If you detect a sulfur-like aroma in or around your shower, you could have a leaky pipe. If your home is older (hence, older plumbing and pipes) check to make sure that you don’t have corrosion in your pipes, bad faucet joints or a valve that needs to be replaced. 

Usually, this is a problem that requires a professional plumber who can get to the source of the issue quickly, then repair or replace the pipe section that’s corroded or broken. 

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Film buildup
Another common reason for a bad smelling shower is film buildup in the drain. Also known as biofilm, this is the slimy substance that you find inside the drain when you clean it. 

Usually, biofilm is a combination of old soap scum, hair and other debris, which can stick to pipes and prevent water from draining properly. In turn, water can pool and eventually rot, which will result in a foul-smelling shower and bath. 

So, what can you do to avoid this conundrum? You can start by cleaning the drain with a product that includes enzymes that can break down the scum. If you aren’t already, set a day every week to deep clean the bath and shower.   

A faulty p-trap
Smell sewage in the shower area? You’ll need to check to make sure the shower p-trap is working properly. The p-trap is a small extra component to the drain system that prevents sewer gases from backing up into your plumbing. Sometimes, these need to be cleaned or replaced. 

You can clean your shower p-trap with an old rag. Be sure to clean out any debris that you find. Then, flush it out by running cold water through it to make sure you’ve completely cleaned out the trap.

Worried about the smell in your bathroom? Call or contact  the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter. We can diagnose and fix the issue in no time.  We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service. We’re here to help Cincinnati homeowners with all their plumbing needs. 

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