Every homeowner at some point will have a problem with the drains in their home. If you're handy enough, you can solve most of them yourself, but for larger issues, it may be best to leave things to a professional. For those small problems, though, you can try to handle them yourself to help save you some money on a service call. See below for some drain issues you may run into as a homeowner and how to fix the problem.
Bad smells from a drain can be from food particles being stuck in the drain or from grease and oils that have been poured down the drain in your kitchen. Your bathroom drain can get smelly too from toothpaste, shaving cream, hair and other items being sent down the drain. You can clear up that bad smell with a few tools. You'll need a small wire brush and about 4 cups of boiling hot water. Use the small wire brush to pull up any gunk that may be stuck in the drain, then pour boiling hot water in 2 cup increments down the drain to help disinfect it. This should help clear up the smell.
Gnats in the Drain
Those little gnats flying around your house may be fruit flies, but they can also be drain gnats. These gnats come up from the sewer and lay eggs in the gunk around your drain. If not taken care of, you'll be flapping your hands around your face constantly trying to get those gnats away from you. To banish the gnats you'll need some bleach and a gallon of boiling water. First, slowly pour bleach around the sides of your drain. Use about a cup at a time. The smell may be a little overpowering, so you may want to use a mask. Once you have the bleach down the drain, follow it up with boiling water two cups at a time. Continue with the boiling water until it's gone. To help get rid of any gnats around your home that have already made their way up from the drain, set fly traps, take out the garbage often, and get rid of any fruit sitting out.
Clog in the Drain
If you notice the water in your sink draining slowly or not at all, you may have a clog in your drain. You can try a store-bought drain-clearing product to see if that clears up the problem. The only issue with such a product is that it can eat away at older metal pipes. If this is a concern, turn the water off to that sink and take apart the drain pipes using a pipe wrench. The clog is most likely at the p-trap (the part of the pipe that dips lowest), so take apart this area of the pipe drain first. Be sure to have a bucket in place as well as some old rags, as some water may still be in the pipe. Clear out the clog in the p-trap or in the pipe closest to the wall using a small wire brush, then put the drain pipe back together.
These simple solutions can all be done yourself. If you run into a bigger problem, such as drainage issues outside at your main drain or roots in your sewer lines, it may be best to call out a professional plumber.