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Smell from kitchen sink

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  • Mar 22nd, 2012 3:03 am
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Member
Apr 10, 2010
214 posts
12 upvotes

Smell from kitchen sink

Hi All - I've lived in my house for almost 2 years, and there is a smell coming from the kitchen sink. About a year ago, a plumber came, he emptied out the trap, and poured an industrial strength cleaner down the drain too. Nothing seems to work. It doesn't smell like sewage or anything, it just.. smells. The weird thing is when we clean out the sink with Vim is when the odour seems to come out the most. I don't smell it 100% of the time I'm in the kitchen, but it's pretty constant.

The house itself is very old, but the plumbing was re-done in the mid to late 90s (copper) and everything looks normal down there. Just can't seem to figure out what that odour could be from...

Any thoughts? Sugestions? Do I call a plumber back in?
10 replies
Sr. Member
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Dec 30, 2007
655 posts
55 upvotes
Toronto
CarCar1979 wrote:
Mar 21st, 2012 8:07 am
Hi All - I've lived in my house for almost 2 years, and there is a smell coming from the kitchen sink. About a year ago, a plumber came, he emptied out the trap, and poured an industrial strength cleaner down the drain too. Nothing seems to work. It doesn't smell like sewage or anything, it just.. smells. The weird thing is when we clean out the sink with Vim is when the odour seems to come out the most. I don't smell it 100% of the time I'm in the kitchen, but it's pretty constant.

The house itself is very old, but the plumbing was re-done in the mid to late 90s (copper) and everything looks normal down there. Just can't seem to figure out what that odour could be from...

Any thoughts? Sugestions? Do I call a plumber back in?
Take 2 cup of white vinegar and add one spoon of baking soda. Put in kitchen drain. Wait for 10 minutes and run cold water. It may take care of smell. You can do the same with other sinks and shower drain. Do not use this method with Toilet.
Deal Addict
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May 9, 2007
2270 posts
96 upvotes
Toronto
If the trap is holding water than the smell will originate in the drain... That's IF the smell is actually coming from your plumbing.

What kind of counter top do you have? Do you have cabinets underneath the sink? Is it an undermount sink? Do you keep the green waste around the sink?

If you called in a qualified plumber and he cleaned the drain and trap without success I'd probably be looking elsewhere for the origin of the smell. water damaged Rotting MDF cabinetry, bio-waste that's fallen to the wayside and rotting somewhere, dead mouse, etc...

Follow your nose and hone in on the point of origin.
Because you touch yourself at night
Deal Addict
Jan 5, 2003
2872 posts
2271 upvotes
Toronto
The sides of the pipes usually get coated over time with a "biofilm" (ie. slime). Dollar stores usually carry a long drain cleaning tool that's a flexible hose with a brush at the end that can scrub the sides of the pipes. This photo shows it clearing a clog, but I find it's great for cleaning the sides:

Image

Using drain cleaners or vinegar sometimes helps, but nothing compares to actually scrubbing it off.

Also clean the bottom of your kitchen sink strainers, as biofilm accumulates there too.

For bathroom sinks and tubs, it's usually a combination of decomposing hair, biofilm and soap.
Deal Addict
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Mar 24, 2008
1028 posts
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Etobicoke
WalMart sells a EcoFriendly drain cleaner that claims to eat any bio material that is down a drain.
Been tempted to buy it but have not.

I do the Vinegar trick, but boil a big pot of water to pour down the drain. If any of the smell is created by fat deposits, that will melt it away.
Deal Addict
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Dec 13, 2002
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OP, do you have a dishwasher?
You didn't say, but if you do have one it's possible there's a slime buildup in the waste water drain tube that connects under the sink.
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
24581 posts
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Ottawa
RenegadeX wrote:
Mar 21st, 2012 1:00 pm
OP, do you have a dishwasher?
You didn't say, but if you do have one it's possible there's a slime buildup in the waste water drain tube that connects under the sink.
Exactly.
If the trap holds water, there should be no sewer gas smell but, the dishwasher connection is supposed to be above the trap. The dishwasher drain hose is also supposed to act as a trap by either s loop in the hose or it comes above the trap, drops down and then into the drain.
Also, try one of those dishwasher cleaner products. http://www.finishdishwashing.ca/en/prod ... leaner.php or something like that.
It’s not how far you fall that counts. It’s how high you bounce that counts! General G Patton
Deal Addict
Dec 10, 2008
1648 posts
541 upvotes
Kitchener
i would take your p trap off (if it's a mechanical trap) and the dishwasher hose... use a brush like the above poster suggested... and scrub it clean... lol.. just don't wash it in the kitchen sink...
Jr. Member
Jun 10, 2009
137 posts
17 upvotes
Hamilton
We had a very similar problem just after we moved into our 1950's house, there was a fishy smell coming from what we thought was the sink, but it wasn't always there. Turns out it was an old plastic light fixture above the sink that had a bulb with too much wattage in it, when the light was on, the plastic heated up too much and I guess the old plastics were made with fish oils, and when they heated up, the gave off a horrible fishy smell.

We just about went crazy trying to figure that out!
[OP]
Member
Apr 10, 2010
214 posts
12 upvotes
Thanks for the replies.

Yes - we do have a dishwasher, I didn't consider that it might have to do with the waste line. But we just had it installed less than 1 year ago a new dishwasher) and the plumber tied the line to under the sink (prior, the dishwasher line went... down... I don't think we ever found it so he capped it and re-did it the way he said it's supposed to be done).

It's true that it might not be the plumbing - my brother-in-law suggested that it might be the smell of mold or mildew UNDER the sink area - or maybe behind the backsplash is what I'm starting to think (as the grout is separated from the granite countertop).

It remains a mystery (that's driving me batty!!)
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Sep 14, 2003
4463 posts
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Burnaby
Are you sure it's coming from the sink though? Are you sure it's not mold somewhere in the walls that you just can't see?

You already indicated that it doesn't smell like sewage, so maybe it's not actually coming from your sink?
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