preparing for plumbing emergencies
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preparing for plumbing emergencies

Do you have a plumbing repair kit in your home to make emergency repairs quickly? Having everything you need in one bucket or box can help you eliminate some of the stress that comes with plumbing emergencies. On this blog, you will find out what you should have in your kit and some basic tips about making these repairs to avoid further damage to your home. It is my hope that you will find more than enough information to keep your home dry, your drains draining, and a peace of mind and lack of stress to tackle these dreaded household occurrences.

preparing for plumbing emergencies

Does Your Bathroom Smell Bad? Why Your Sink Drain May Be to Blame

Veronica Torres

It can be tough to determine the cause of a lingering bad smell, especially in the bathroom where there are so many competing scents already. Your bathroom sink should have a trap that always contains a bit of water. Read on to learn what role your sink drain plays in the problem and how you can alleviate the issue.

How Drain Traps Work

When you are peeking under your sink, look for a U-shaped pipe in the drain line. This is the trap. Every drain should have one, but some, like the one under your shower, might be tough to check. As mentioned, the trap exists to hold a little bit of drain water back each time you use the sink. That water creates a physical barrier between your bathroom and the gasses that exist in your sewer line. Theoretically, a the water in the trap of a sink you never use could dry up, allowing sewer gases to reach the surface, but this is a pretty rare occurrence.

How Big Should the Trap Be?

Obviously a drain that doesn't have a trap has one that is too small, but it is also possible that the trap installed is too big. When this happens, the water doesn't have enough momentum to make it around the bend and you end up with a sink that clogs or drains slowly. A drain in this condition might not be quite as stinky as one without a trap, but that accumulated gunk certainly won't smell pleasant. In addition, you will be spending far too many Saturdays cleaning clogs instead of enjoying your weekend.

In order to determine how much water is remaining line, look at the height from the bottom of the trap to the top of where it continues down the drain line. This difference shouldn't be more than an inch or two larger than the width of the pipe. You want to be sure that the remaining water creates a complete seal within the trap, but any water in addition to a reasonable buffer is just going to cause problems.

Replacing a Bad Drain Trap

Replacing a drain trap isn't difficult, and most people can tackle the job in an afternoon.

  1. Gather up the new trap and fittings, sealant appropriate sealant for the type of pipe you are using, a saw that can cut through pipes, and a wrench. You should also ensure that you have a bucket and plenty of old towels on hand. There will probably be some water left in the drain line, and it won't be particularly clean.
  2. Once you've shut off the water, remove the old trap (if there is one) and any overly creative plumbing that is causing your problem. Make sure to leave enough pipe below the sink and coming from the drain line that you can attach the new trap securely. Doing the removal over the bucket will help capture as much of the water in the line as possible, but you may need to clean up the area a bit before continuing.
  3. Assemble the new trap according to the instructions. Most models contain a series of washers and seals that allow you to use a screw in connection instead of a cemented one. This gives you easier access to the trap in case you drop something expensive down the drain.
  4. Screw in or cement in the new trap, depending on the type you bought. Once the sealant has set, slowly turn on the water a look to see if you have any leaks. If you do, seal them and repeat until everything is ready to go.

Adding a trap to your sink drain is a pretty simple procedure, but it isn't for everyone. Because of the cost of a leak, many people simply feel more comfortable hiring a plumber to do the work. Visit resources like for more assistance.