Maintain Drains plumber jetting an external drainRotten eggs are an unpleasant smell, and it isn’t something you want lingering inside or outside your property. You can spend days trying to find the cause – is it the bin? The fridge? Or the dog? Often, it is actually the sink in the kitchen or the drain in the garden which is causing these unpleasant odours.

Smelly drains are a common problem. Sometimes, it’s caused by a build-up of food and dirt, however, sometimes it can be a sign of a bigger issue. Understanding the cause of the smell and how to get rid of it is important to get your drains smelling fresh and flowing freely again.

The Cause of a Smelly Drain or Sink

There are several likely causes of your drain odours. The first thing to look at is where your drain is located and how it is used. For example, if it’s your kitchen sink, the smell is likely caused by a build-up of food. If it’s the shower drain, it could be a build up of dirt and hair. 

It isn’t a fun job, but discovering the cause of the smell can help to treat it and prevent it in the future. There are three common causes of smelly drains or sinks:

1. Trapped Food Blockages

While you may take precautions to prevent food in your sink, small pieces and other organic matter can still get in your drains and cause a bad odour. This blockage can stop the flow of drains completely or cause them to drain slower than normal.

2. Clogs and Bacteria Build-Up

A common cause of a bad smell is simply bacteria. This usually occurs in indoor bathroom drains and sinks, as bacteria can come from hair, dirt or products that have gone into the drain. There are ways to prevent this build-up including bathroom drain traps. It is best to receive advice from a plumber to find the best prevention for you.

3. Pipework and Plumbing Errors

If you’ve had work done recently and notice a new smell, it could be due to a plumbing error. This could be a missing trap or vent, or even a leaky pipe. It could be worth contacting the plumbing company again or asking a second company to assess the smell and investigate the cause.

4. Collapsed Drain

Finally, if you notice a lingering odour that persists after you have had your drains unblocked, it may be a sign of a collapsed drain. This can happen after years of poor drain maintenance or damages and cracks in your pipes. Along with a bad smell, you may also notice damp or mould throughout the property and a sunken or wet area in your garden. You must contact a drainage expert if you think your drain has collapsed.

Why Does it Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

Maintain drains plumber unblocking an internal drain in a kitchenMost people liken a drain’s odour to the smell of rotten eggs. It isn’t pleasant, but there is a scientific reason for this. This smell often comes from a gas known as hydrogen sulfide, which is formed when bacteria grows in sewage, drains or the ground. 

If you don’t use the drain or sink often, the hydrogen sulfide could come directly from the sewer itself. When water in the p-trap dries up, the gas can rise from the drain. 

It’s important to know there are no health risks associated with this gas, it is just very unpleasant. We all know in the home, smells can travel from room to room quickly, so investigating the cause of the smell as soon as it arises can help your home or business get back to normal.

Other Common Drain Smells and Odours

Hydrogen sulfide is very pungent and can be likened to many unpleasant smells. Some property owners have reported drains smelling like garlic, rotten vegetables or sewage. 

It’s simple: healthy drains don’t smell. So whatever your drains smell like, it probably isn’t a good sign. Contacting a professional plumber should be the first step to understanding the smell and getting it out of your property.

Outdoor and Indoor Drain Smells

While indoor drain smells can be easier to identify, outdoor drains are much more complex. There can be many more causes of outside drain smells and they often link to problems deep within the drainage system. It could be an outdoor drain blockage, or it could be something bigger such as a collapsed drain or damaged pipework. 

If you notice a smell coming from a drain outside your home get in touch with Maintain Drains. Our friendly team can investigate the issue and give you a breakdown of the cause. Our team then works on a case-by-case basis to resolve the problem and get your drains flowing back to normal as quickly as possible with no more nasty smells.

How to get rid of Drain Smells and Neutralise Odours

Often, when noticing an unpleasant smell, the first thought is “how do I get rid of it?”, especially if it smells of rotten eggs. While odours can be masked with products such as Mr Muscle or Jeyes Fluid, if the causing problem is still there, the smell will return. 

The best way to remove drain odours is to go directly to the cause of the smell – whether that’s a food build-up or damaged pipes. By contacting a professional plumber, you can get straight to the cause of the issue and have unpleasant odours removed completely.

How to Prevent Smelly Drains

We always recommend putting measures in place to prevent issues before they arise. While drain odours have many causes, preventing them is actually quite simple and can be done through regular maintenance. Ensuring drains are clean, with minimal build-up, and they are used properly is important. Prevention is also important and there should be measures implemented to ward off nasty smells. 

Life is busy, and it’s easy to forget to maintain your drains. Regular pre-planned maintenance can do the work for you and means a drainage expert can nip any problems in the bud before they arise. As well as time, it can also save you money, as prevention measures are more affordable than last-minute emergency repairs. This service is ideal for both homes and businesses. To discuss planned maintenance of your drains, give us a call today.

Drain Smell Cleaners

There are many products on the market which claim to clean your drains and stop nasty odours. While some are good, others are cheap and don’t actually work. Many drain cleaning products are made with toxic chemicals, and can actually cause more damage than repair. 

Chemical drain cleaners are often a short-term fix and will not resolve the cause of the smell. Whether it’s a bacteria build up or a plumbing error, it isn’t likely that a cheap drain cleaner will repair it. Most drain problems need intervention and repair by a professional who can tackle the issue and prevent it from recurring. 

When to get Help From a Professional

Maintain Drains plumber with children and dog

A smelly drain can be a sign of problems deep within the drainage system, so it is recommended to contact a professional as soon as the smell is noticed. It isn’t pleasant, and getting it resolved as soon as possible will ensure your home goes back to smelling sweet as quickly as possible. 

In the meantime, you can use odour masks such as air fresheners to reduce odours. When contacting a drainage expert, they should advise you on how to reduce the smell and deal with the issue.

You can contact Maintain Drains 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all drainage issues. We specialise in blocked drains and pride ourselves on our 5-star service in and around Dorset. Request a callback from our team today to receive a free quote. Our team of experts can advise you on the best solution which works for you and your drains.

A collapsed drain is one of the most extreme drainage issues that we deal with, often caused by years of poor drain maintenance or damages and cracks in your pipes.  

How do I know if my Drains Collapsed?

Maintain Drains plumber working on an outside drainIf your drains collapsed, the first thing you would notice is the smell of sewage. You may also notice a persistent blockage in your drainage system. The smell of sewage is also a common sign of a blocked drain so you might find it disappears after you have your drains unblocked. However, the unpleasant smell will return in due course if you are dealing with a collapsed drain. 

Maintain Drains recommends that you consult a drain expert when you notice the smell of sewage or have a persistent blockage in your drainage system. A drainage expert can assess the drainage, often with a CCTV drain survey, to find out if you have any major issues with your drains. Even if your drainage problem is a minor blockage, you will have peace of mind. 

Other Signs of Collapsed Drains

Persistent blockages or the smell of sewage are often the first signs of collapsed drains that you may notice, but you should also look out for the following:

1. Damp or Mould Around the House

Rising damp or mould is another one of the more common signs of a collapsed drain. This usually appears around the house in floors and walls and is caused by waste water failing to fully leave the property.  

2. Damage to the Building

One of the more extreme signs of a major collapsed drain or a compromised drain that has gone unnoticed is damage to the building itself. As well as causing a growth in mould or dampness, waste water failing to drain properly can cause cracks to your foundation or walls in extreme cases.

3. Infestations

Rats thrive in drains and sewer systems, and so a crack in your drain pipe might attract rodents. Collapsed drains can also give rats access to your home. 

4. Sinking Ground in the Garden

signs of drains collapsedThis is one of the most obvious signs of a collapsed drain. Your grass or ground might start to sink as the water leaking from your pipe weakens the soil. If you notice wet patches of grass or soil, contact a drain expert as soon as possible. 

If you spot any of these signs, it’s important to contact a drainage specialist immediately to receive advice. Whether it’s a new smell of sewage or a sinking patch in the garden, inspection from an expert as soon as possible can help to resolve the problem before it can get worse, saving you both time and money. 

Have Your Drains Collapsed? Here’s What to do Next…

If you suspect that your drains have collapsed, contact Maintain Drains immediately and a member of the team will be with you as soon as possible. You can contact one of our experts online or give us a call on 01202 300040. Please remember, fixing collapsed drains requires professional expertise, often just finding the collapsed pipe is difficult enough for novices. 

We will use the latest CCTV drain surveillance technology to find collapsed drains. Using a camera will help us to find the best remedial action, often pitch fibre repairs, drain relining or drain excavation. All our vans are fully equipped with technology and tools to repair drains, and our team can work with you to do so. We ensure you are kept informed and updated. Our team can advise the best solution to your drainage problems based on the issue, your timescale and budget. 

One simple way to avoid any future collapse of your drains is to ensure they are regularly checked and maintained. Regular, scheduled maintenance can help to spot any potential problems before they develop further, saving you time and money. 

This is ideal for businesses. Our commercial drainage solutions and scheduled maintenance will help to ensure your drains are healthy and working fully. Give us a call today on 01202 300040 to discuss your requirements for a free quotation. 

Keeping rats out of drains is essential for any domestic or commercial drainage system. Rats can often gain entry through damaged pipes or drains, and once in, could gain entry to your home or business. It is essential to ensure your drainage system is working properly and installed correctly to prevent any infestation or entry of rats.

Rats in Drains

In the UK, sewers are the ideal environment for rats to live, which is why it is important to protect yourself and your property from rodents. The drains of your properties connect to sewers that are teeming with the vermin, so ensuring your drains are in good working order is crucial to protecting yourself from disease-carrying pests. It is also important, depending on the type of drain used by your property, to have additional, specialised measures in place to prevent rat entrance.

Common signs of a rat infestation:

  • – Rat droppings found in the property
  • – Chewed paper, packaging, cables or plastic
  • – Small holes gnawed in walls
  • – Scratching noises in the walls, floors or roof

How do I protect my drains from rats?

Preventative measures including valves, barriers and traps can help your drains be protected from rat entry. Rats are great climbers and can make it through small pipes, tight bends and areas with lots of water flow.

Sealed Drainage

Ensuring your drainage is sealed is essential to protect your home or business from rats. Sealed drainage means there are no openings in the pipework between the discharge stack of the home or sewer. Although this does not protect the property from infiltration stemming from the sewer itself, as well as the protection it does offer to homes, it helps stop rats entering the sewer. This type of drainage will require regular access covers for inspection chambers and entry of rods to clear blockages. These should allow maintenance of the drainage pipes from the surface.

Rodent Barriers

Rodent barriers are installed within the pipes to prevent rodent entry to your drainage system, helping to protect your home.

This includes a variety of devices within the pipes such as:

  • – Downward facing fins in the discharge stack
  • – One way valves in the underground drainage
  • – Enlarged sections of the discharge stack to prevent rat climbing

Intercepting traps

Intercepting traps are a U-bend section of domestic sewer pipe made from fireclay. These are also known as the Buchan trap, disconnecting trap or Bristol interceptor. This U-bend is filled with water. Although this trap will prevent sewer smells from escaping the pipes, its worth in protecting against rodents is rather more dubious; they are often easily able to swim through an interceptor trap. Another downside of this type of protection is that it is easily blocked and will require frequent maintenance. Thus, it is crucial that the trap is installed such that a rod can be easily inserted to remove blockages.

Covers & Gratings

Placement of plastic covers or metal gratings that allow the passage of waste but block rats should be placed within the pipes.


Metal cages are often placed in the ventilation pipes that stem from over the discharge stack, blocking that route for rat escape & entry.

How we professionally remove rats from drains

If you believe there are rats living in your drains, pipes or even home, it is important to try and prevent them from further entry. Rat infestations can develop quickly and therefore it is essential to contact a professional drainage company to ensure the rats are gone, and won’t be able to return. 

At Maintain Drains, we offer professional rat removal services. With no call-out fee and competitive pricing, we will work to remove rats from your drains as quickly as possible. All our vans are equipped using the latest drainage technology and we are prepared to solve any drainage problem in either a domestic or commercial property. You can contact our friendly team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

1. Where are the rats in your drains coming from?

The first step of dealing with rats in drains is to identify where they come from. Rats could enter your drains through cracks in the pipes or root ingress. Rats are good climbers and can navigate through small pipes and other spaces easily.

One way we identify rat entry points is by using a CCTV drain survey. Using the latest technology, our cameras can go through your drains and give a clear image of any animals in the drain, and spot where they may have come from. CCTV drain surveys are one of the quickest and most cost-effective methods to find problems hidden in your drainage system.

2. Fixing rat entry points

Following identification of the entry points, it is important to repair them quickly to prevent more animals from entering the drainage system. How we repair your drain or pipe will depend on the issue. We offer root removal services to repair any tree roots that may have obstructed the pipe. Our no-dig drain relining services can also fix any cracks, holes or similar damage to your drains and pipes without excavation. 

3. Future preventative measures

In order to ensure the protection and safety of both your drains and home, we can offer future preventative measures to put rats off for good. We can do this by installing flaps, valves and guards in your drainage system to prevent the rodent’s ability to enter the system. 

Our friendly team of drainage experts can also offer you advice and tips on how you can prevent rats from entering your drains again in the future.

rat in drain services poole

Whether you are running a busy restaurant or a small cafe, most commercial companies are required by law to have a grease trap.  This would also include hotel, hospital and school kitchens which serve food and are therefore likely to produce large amounts of grease. A grease interceptor can trap fats, oils and great before they enter your drainage. 


What is a restaurant grease trap?

A grease trap is a plumbing device designed to capture excess grease, oils and fats from a kitchen. Once captured, the business can organise for the fats to be disposed of safely and responsibly. These are an important fixture for any commercial kitchen as they can prevent any damage to the drainage systems, saving the organisation lots of time and money in the long run. 


Why get a grease trap?

More grease needs to be disposed of than ever before. With more and more people eating out, disposing of grease is becoming a large problem. Once cooled, greases and fats can harden and cause blockages in your drainage. A large build-up can cause contamination to your local water supply. Maintain Drains can install and maintain a restaurant grease trap to catch the grease and stop this build-up, saving you both time and money from any future build-ups. 


Tips to maintain a grease interceptor.

It is important to monitor your commercial grease trap to prevent damages to the device or your drains.  You should contact a drainage specialist if you suspect any damages. 


To maintain your restaurant grease trap, you should: 

  1. Regularly check your trap on a regular basis, at least once a week. 
  2. Do not let the trap fill, the earlier it is emptied the easier it will be to empty and clean. Any overflowing grease will go to the sewers and cause drain damage. 
  3. Do not attempt grease trap installation without consulting a trained contractor


Dorset Grease Trap Installation and Maintenance

Maintain Drains offers a full range of commercial drainage services and emergency maintenance for your business. Our friendly engineers can come to your premises to unblock or repair your drainage, without any hidden costs. Contact Maintain Drains to discuss grease trap installation and our other commercial drainage services.