Smelly Pipes - any ideas?

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 09:55
ThreadID: 76699 Views:3574 Replies:8 FollowUps:1
This Thread has been Archived
We have begun to notice our drain pipes (kitchen sink, vanity and shower) are developing a "stale" smell. We have filled the sink and vanity to the brim and then taken out the plug to give the pipes a good quick flush but it does not seem to remove the smell - reduces it but not kills it totally.
We keep the external sullage hose clear of muck and pick it up and let it fully drain regularly each day to ensure it does not have water sitting in it.
We had thought of putting some bi-carb soda through the pipes, or pine-o-clean etc.
Interested in finding out if others have had/have this problem and what you do to keep the pipes fresher.

Julie & John
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Member - Matt & Caz H (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 10:03

Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 10:03
Hi again

Yep we have had this prob (we live in the van and have 3 kids!!!!) we usually pour boiling water down the sink and down the plug in the shower at least once a week. Once a month (or whenever it needs it) we use BAM - so far it seems to work.

I clean my shower with bi carb and vinegar.

AnswerID: 408014

Reply By: Fred G NSW - Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 10:10

Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 10:10
Run some household bleach, dilluted (strong mix though) with water, through the pipes/hoses, and block the outlet so the pipes hoses fill up and leave for half an hour or so, then release and flush with clean water. Lemon bleach is good. The bleach will kill the bacteria causing the odours.

I make home brew and wash all the brewing kit and bottles with bleach water, and this keeps the pipes clean (drain pipes LOL) at home and in the van.

Just a tip, when I disconnect water and sullage hoses on packup, I run some fresh water from the tap through the sullage hose before stowing it away.

Works for me.

AnswerID: 408016

Follow Up By: Fab72 - Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 12:43

Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 12:43
Yep...I second that.
FollowupID: 677938

Reply By: Member - Barry (NT) - Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 10:26

Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 10:26
Green pine o clean works well for us (not the standard brown)

Flush with boiling water and pine o clean and once a week add a couple of mils down the drains
AnswerID: 408019

Reply By: Member - Kevin B1 (WA) - Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 10:53

Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 10:53
This is a common problem with some vans, especially if they are fitted with convoluted hose. Vans are not fitted with `Pee Traps` that is the U shaped fitting under the sink that holds water and acts as a plug to stop the smell. If there is room under the sink it is possible to fit a Pee Trap as I have done and this solves the problem completely. I have a list of the fittings that can be purchased from a Plumbing store to do the job for the cost of about $25.00. If you need the list email me at and I will send it to you.
AnswerID: 408021

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 13:22

Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 13:22
Its not the water you need to get out.

Its the crap that goes down from food peeling etc etc that gets trapped in the corrugations of the pipe.

This is frequently caused by sullage outlets being higher thaen the ground and muck sitting in the lower part of the pipe.

An S bend under each sink outlet will stop the smell.
AnswerID: 408042

Reply By: PradOz - Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 14:22

Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 14:22
Hi J & J

Just this week i seen on better homes & gardens on the tv that using half cup of bicarb soda sprinklied in bottom of the dishwasher in addition to normal detergents etc will stop smelly problems there. So i tried it and it worked perfectly. Cant think why you could not adapt same idea in the van, mix it up in hot water and flush through or stop up end and let soak befre flushing it out - cheers....
AnswerID: 408053

Reply By: Neil & Pauline - Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 18:49

Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 18:49
I have used bi carb and it gets rid of the smell for us

AnswerID: 408107

Reply By: Member - Clive G (NZ) - Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 19:45

Tuesday, Mar 09, 2010 at 19:45
S bends and P traps are bit prone to slosh on rough and or winding roads, plus they can cause gurgling if the drain pipe is long, but they do stop smells.

An alternative is a self sealing Hepvo valve which can be installed vertically or horizontal. Have just fitted two to the K/Karavan, one under the sink and one under the shower. These valves retain no water in themselves and speed up drain flow (a lot) as they also act as an air admitting valve. Any good plumbing merchant should have them.

Sadly the smallest one is 32mm so had to organise sleeves to reduce both ends to 25mm.

100% no smells, no back flow (slosh) and faster drain flow. A local motor home builder here put me on to them, very pleased he did.

AnswerID: 408121

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (14)