Why Does My Shower Drain Smell Bad?

Do you feel like holding your nose every time you take a shower? Bad smelling shower drains are common. If your shower drain starts smelling funky, there could be several reasons for it. Mold or mildew might be growing beneath your drain cover. You could have a malfunctioning p-trap that’s allowing sewer gas to rise up through your pipes. Or you may just have a bunch of hair and grime built up in your drain strainer. The good news is, most of the time, a smelly shower drain is an easy fix. Let’s take a closer look at the most common and easy fixes to getting rid of that bad shower drain smell. 

Clogged Shower Strainer or Stopper 

Almost every shower has a strainer or stopper built over or into the drain. They’re designed to catch hair, soap scum, and other debris before it flows down your drain. Over time, all of that gunk and grime can build up on your strainer. In most cases, you can remove your stopper by hand. Strainers have a Phillips screw you can remove with a small screwdriver. 

You’ll likely notice a bunch of hair, scum, and other unsightly things after you pull out the strainer. Put on some gloves and using hot, soapy water, a sponge, or toothbrush, clean the strainer thoroughly. Make sure to clean out any scum left behind on the drainpipe where you removed the strainer. 

Mold and Mildew Growth 

Mold and mildew love dark and wet places. If they have a chance to take hold inside your shower, they will. After you remove your strainer, check to make sure it’s seated properly. If there’s any space between the drain cover and the tub or the strainer and tub, the gaps are a perfect place for mold or mildew to grow. 

Dry P-trap 

A p-trap is the curing portion of your drain pipe that connects the drain to the rest of your drain system. It’s called “p-trap” because it curves in a distinctive p or u shape. The curve is to catch and hold a portion of the water that drains through them. The water helps block any sewer gases that might otherwise float up through your pipes. If you do smell gas or a rotten egg smell, your p-trap might not be doing its job. After you remove your strainer, shine a flashlight down the drain. If you don’t see water, you may have an issue with your p-trap. Pour two cups of water down your drain and wait an hour. If the water isn’t there in an hour, call a qualified plumber. 

Clogged or Blocked Vents 

If the water you pour into your p-trap keeps disappearing, your shower’s vents may be blocked. Pipe venting gives the air pushed out by the water somewhere to go. Without it, suction inside your pipes could keep siphoning water out of your trap. You may have a bird’s nest near the entrance of your vent stack, clogging it. 

Need a Plumber? 

If you’ve tried all of these solutions and you’re still having issues, don’t worry. Chances are it’s a quick fix that we can take care of with our plumbing tools and know-how. You don’t have to live with a smelly shower drain! Top of the Line Plumbing provides top of the line plumbing services to Duval County, St. Johns County, Jacksonville, and the surrounding areas.

Contact Us Today!