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How To Get Rid of a Drain Smell

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How To Get Rid of a Drain Smell

Your garden should be your own personal slice of paradise, so when there’s a bad odour hanging around it becomes anything but that.

When it comes to your outside drains, there are so many possible causes of odours, including things that have nothing to do with your property at all. However, if you can trace the smell to your drains specifically, then it will help.

This month we’ll be exploring the slightly unpleasant world of smelly drains outside your home. We’ll look at the potential causes, how you can establish the real cause for certain, and how you can get rid of the smell.


What causes drain smells?

The cause of smelly drains outside your home could be varied depending on the location of the drain and the type of property you have, but here are some of the most common causes of a smelly drain.

  • Blocked drains – If your drains have become blocked, they’re probably holding sewage water in place for longer. Otherwise, the blockage itself could be creating the smell if it is organic matter that is decomposing.
  • Collapsed drains – Similar to the above, anything that prevents the proper flow of your drains will force smells to linger on your property, allowing them to surface in some way.
  • Damaged drains – If soiled water is leaking from a damaged drain, it could be leaking into the ground around your drains, eventually creating a stagnant smell.
  • Dead animals – If a small animal, such as a rat, has found its way into your drainage system and is decomposing, this will likely be the source of the smell you’re experiencing.

Smell coming from drain

How can I find out what’s causing my outside drains to smell?

As we’ve already mentioned, the causes of the smell can be varied, and if you have multiple points in your garden where the smell could be coming from then it’s hard to give a definite answer.

One thing you can do is to try and establish where the smell is strongest. Do this by standing close to any manhole covers on your property, as well as the drains next to your home where water passes out of your property or your downpipe from the guttering. This should help get you closer to the source of the smell.

From here, carry out a visual inspection. Can you spot a blockage inside the drain itself? (Note: We don’t recommend lifting manhole covers or drain grates if you don’t have proper tools, equipment and clothing). Is the ground around your drain soggy or pooled with standing water? All of these things can help you establish the cause, but ultimately, there is really only one way to find out for sure what’s causing the issues: a CCTV drain survey.

By utilising a professional CCTV drain survey, you’ll get a better understanding of not only the cause of the smell but also the exact source. This means you’ll be better prepared for tackling the problem and will no doubt be in a position to use the expertise of a drainage professional.


How to get rid of smelly outside drains

Getting rid of a smelly drain can potentially be quite tricky. There is nothing to stop you from trying various remedies, but your best bet is to contact a professional drainage company.

Putting bleach down your sinks internally is always a good way to keep your drains clear indoors, but throwing bleach – or other homemade solutions – down the drains outside is unlikely to tackle many of the causes of foul smells. This is because bigger problems may be afoot, and it’s another example of how a CCTV drain survey can save you a lot of hassle.

Depending on the findings of the survey, you may need drain unblocking, drain jetting or drain repairs. All of which are available through our dedicated team at Power Rod.


Our years of experience in tackling all manner of drainage issues mean that we can get to the bottom of what’s causing your drains to smell and provide the solution to remedy the situation. All this allows you to get on with your day, restoring your garden as a place of private comfort.

Wherever you are in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire – including Watford and Aylesbury – if your outside drains smell, simply give us a call today. We’re always happy to help and have the knowledge and the tools to get the job done right, whether it’s for your home drains or the drains on your commercial property.

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