Everyone loves a pleasant-smelling, comfortable home. Sometimes, a pesky odor that lingers in the air and overpowers everything else. In many homes, the source of these unwanted smells can trace back to a common issue—dried-out drain traps. If you’ve ever experienced such a problem, don’t fret!
Learn how to prevent your drain traps from drying out to maintain a fresh and odor-free environment in your home.
What Is a Drain Trap and Why Should It Stay Wet?
A drain trap is a U-shaped bend in the drain pipe located under your sinks, bathtub, and other water fixtures. The design allows the pipe to hold a small amount of water that forms a seal, preventing sewer gases from rising into your home. In fact, dry drains are common causes of odor in your septic tank.
If the water in the trap evaporates, the seal breaks, allowing sewer gases to enter the house and create unpleasant odors. Therefore, it’s essential to prevent your drain traps from drying out.
Tips To Keep Your Drain Traps Moist
Using Fixtures Regularly
The simplest way to keep your drain traps wet is to use your fixtures regularly. Every time water flows down the drain, it replenishes the water in the trap. Make sure you’re using each fixture connected to a drain at least once a week to prevent evaporation, especially in guest bathrooms or basement sinks.
Scheduling Water Fixture Checkups
If you’re leaving your home for an extended period, ask a friend or family member to run the water in your fixtures. This will ensure the traps don’t dry out while you’re away and keep your home odor-free.
Using the Vegetable Oil Trick
For fixtures you seldom use, or if you’re unable to find someone check on your home, pour a tablespoon of vegetable oil down the drain. The oil will float on top of the water in the trap and create a barrier, slowing the evaporation process. This is an excellent solution for vacation homes or long-term travel.
Sealing Unused Drains
If drain traps in your home connect to fixtures no longer in use, you can seal them off entirely. For a temporary solution, use a rubber drain plug. You can also cap the drain pipe itself after removing the fixture for a more permanent solution.
Increasing the humidity in your home can slow the evaporation process in the drain trap. Use a humidifier to maintain optimal moisture levels, especially in rooms with unused fixtures.
Ensuring your drain traps stay wet prevents unwanted odors from entering your home and creates a more comfortable living environment. With these simple tips in mind, you’re ready to keep your drain traps moist and your home smelling fresh all year! Remember to address the issue and take a proactive approach to avoid any future problems.