What do you do about "stinky" pipes under the kitchen sink?

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We have replaced the garbage disposal and also the pipes under the kitchen sink. It helped but did not solve the problem. We have used CLR in all the drains, and that helped but, again did not solved the problem. What to do???
  5 answers
  • William William on Jul 05, 2016
    The "P Trap" under the sink holds water in the bend to prevent any sewer odors from entering the home. If something is pulling that water out of the P Trap, sewer odors will enter the home. Its possible the garbage disposal was not properly installed and is causing a vacuum sucking the water out of the P Trap. Sewer odors are supposed to be diverted to the atmosphere thru a vent pipe up thru the roof. That vent pipe may be clogged by birds or vermin falling down in it. Check that the vent pipe is clear. Then take a photo of the piping under the sink and go to your local hardware store or big box plumbing department, show them the photo, and see if they can advise.

  • Sue Harviel Sue Harviel on Jul 05, 2016
    William's reply is spot on! I've had this particular issue in the past. Just in case the odors aren't coming from the sewer, try this. I pour a small box of baking soda into my disposal and then run it (with water) for a couple of minutes. That seems to keep my disposal clear of smells. I do this once a month without fail. So far, no smells.

    • Patty Stanton Patty Stanton on Jul 05, 2016
      I just bought two large boxes of baking soda today. :-) Hopefully I will be able to get rid of the odor.

  • Carolyn Lane Carolyn Lane on Jul 06, 2016
    Vinegar may help and I have heard of using lemons or oranges in the disposal. I take the little black rubber like gasket out of the sink on the disposal side and clean it with a toothbrush and Comet. Then I check the rim inside the disposal for gunk and grease and again employ my toothbrush. I rinse with a lot of hot water. You would be surprised at the gunk that builds up. To be absolutely safe you can flip the breaker that your disposal is on. This has solved my stinky sink problems.

  • Janet Smith Janet Smith on Jul 06, 2016
    It sounds like the P-trap is not functioning properly. It might be time to call out a plumber to check the plumbing to make sure the P-trap IS holding water and also that the vent stack is not blocked.

  • Patty Stanton Patty Stanton on Jul 10, 2016
    Thanks everyone! I think there are two problems. One from "junk" building up in the pipes over the years and not running the garbage disposal long enough. So far, I've put CLR down the garbage disposal, while running the water I put the coffee grounds with the paper filter down the disposal and let it run. The coffee grounds and paper are breaking up old deposits in the pipes and it's smelling fresh again. I'm also using baking soda with vinegar in every drain through out the condo. I washed the laundry and dishwasher with CLR and they smell fresh again. I'm still attacking the problem, but it's all coming around. :-)