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dc11
11-06-2008, 11:34 AM
I have a bad sewer smell in my small bathroom. I got on the roof and dropped a garden hose down the vent it seemed unobstructed. I ran the water from the garden hose for quite a while and could hear it (from the crawl space) running out to the sewer and it did not backup. While I was in the crawl space I decided it would be a good idea to install a trap. See the following images:
http://freud.franklin.edu/crawfo29/P1010047.jpg
http://freud.franklin.edu/crawfo29/P1010049.jpg

I still have a sewer smell, even after installing a trap. I have since reset the toilet with new wax ring but still have the smell.

Any thoughts?


Ok, so now I notice the smell from my kitchen sink. It has a trap (as well as the toilet and sink in the bathroom). So, does that mean these are being emptied? Should I suspect a leak in the vent stack?

Redwood
11-06-2008, 12:07 PM
By thinking you should add a trap you goofed. It has double trapped all the fixtures on that line, remove it!

All fixtures have traps already and given your knowledge of plumbing it would probably be in your best interest to hire a pro.

Jay Mpls
11-06-2008, 08:39 PM
what sort of access does a guy have if the sewer backs up?
Outside cleanout?If it was via pulling the toilet,navagating the trap would be a bear.
How are you certain this is sewer gas?Could it be a stink in your drains?Perhaps some bleach in the water or just a little straight bleach to kill the beasties in the drain inlets.
Take your nose carefully around the bathroom and find 'exactly' from where your stink is eminating.Perhaps just the overflow in your sink is scummy.
And see this..
http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24407

dc11
11-07-2008, 05:46 AM
I thought this type of venting allowed for more than one trap if the line came in at the vent connection. True, I am no expert. Perhaps I was hasty in the install of the "main" trap to prevent the overwhelming sewer smell.

Even if I remove the trap, I am back to square one. The vent seems to be unobstructed and I have the sewer smell in the bathroom.

Redwood
11-07-2008, 06:13 AM
You need to find where the leak is.

Southern Man
11-07-2008, 07:39 AM
I thought this type of venting allowed for more than one trap if the line came in at the vent connection. True, I am no expert. Perhaps I was hasty in the install of the "main" trap to prevent the overwhelming sewer smell.

Even if I remove the trap, I am back to square one. The vent seems to be unobstructed and I have the sewer smell in the bathroom.
1. Ignore Redwood's attitude.
2. Take out the building trap that you installed and put back the elbow.
3. Take out the under sink trap from your bathroom, put it in a 5 gallon pail of warm water, some bleach and detergent. Clean it all out with a bottle brush, or a rag on some soft wire, and re-assemble it back where it belongs.
4. Don't use the bottle brush for washing bottles!

If that doesn't work at least you've eliminated a common source of odor for little effort and no cash layout.

If your sink is one of those with a built-in overflow then the internals of that are a second common source.

Ladiesman271
11-07-2008, 08:03 AM
I have a bad sewer smell in my small bathroom. I got on the roof and dropped a garden hose down the vent it seemed unobstructed. I ran the water from the garden hose for quite a while and could hear it (from the crawl space) running out to the sewer and it did not backup. While I was in the crawl space I decided it would be a good idea to install a trap. See the following images:
http://freud.franklin.edu/crawfo29/P1010047.jpg
http://freud.franklin.edu/crawfo29/P1010049.jpg

I still have a sewer smell, even after installing a trap. I have since reset the toilet with new wax ring but still have the smell.

Any thoughts?


Ok, so now I notice the smell from my kitchen sink. It has a trap (as well as the toilet and sink in the bathroom). So, does that mean these are being emptied? Should I suspect a leak in the vent stack?



The vent used for the kitchen and bath drain line is not located at the vent location that you show in the picture. Also, if you think about it a bit you put a P trap in the toilet drain line. What do you think is going to end up getting trapped in the P trap?

Install a proper cleanout fitting where the new P trap is located.

dc11
11-07-2008, 12:22 PM
I removed the trap I put in. I realize the was no sewer smell in the crawl space with this trap off. So I'm starting to think this isn't sewer gas. It could be pipe "crud" or dead animal (it's pretty potent, whatever it is).

I'm going to replace the trap under the bath sink tonight.

After inspecting the attic I see that a 1 1/2 inch vent line comes up from the kitchen and ties into the main vent stack. I didn't notice if a line came in from the bathroom (I guess I'd better push some insulation around and make sure there is a vent line from the wet wall in the bathroom.

Southern Man
11-07-2008, 02:00 PM
....It could be ...or dead animal (it's pretty potent, whatever it is)......

I stripped off a finished wall in front of a basement cinder block wall one time because of water damage and found a crappy masonry job with several gaps between blocks and at least one hammer head-sized hole in the block face. There was also a family of snakes living back there. :eek:

Redwood
11-07-2008, 04:56 PM
There was also a family of snakes living back there. :eek:

You and your kin folk eh southern man.

Back to the problem at hand!!!!

There is a way to tell very quickly if the smell is coming from your DWV system.

Go to the drug store and get peppermint oil. This requires several people to do the test. The outside person takes a gallon jug of hot water and mixes the peppermint oil in it while outside the house. This person cannot come in until the test is done. He pours it down the vent pipe on the roof and waits for the test to end.

The inside people walk around inside the house seeing if they smell the peppermint anywhere. If they do they try to find out where it is coming from. This may lead to another test if they do smell the peppermint but cannot ID the location of the leak.

If there is no peppermint smell the system is not leaking and you need to find your dead animal.

If the outside guy enters the house before the test concludes he will bring in the peppermint smell with him and the test is invalid.

Southern Man
11-07-2008, 05:00 PM
You and your kin folk eh southern man.

.... They did make a good meal though. :D

dc11
11-10-2008, 06:32 AM
Latest Update:

I had a plumber come out and of course he was glad to see I removed the trap before calling him. They put a ballon in and did a flush test. He moved the ballon and filled the stack with water, it had no apparent leaks. He put a camera in the stack & through the toilet. The only thing we saw was a defect in the toilet trap (actually a small hole).

However, I am not confident this is the source of the problem. But, the toilet needs to be replaced, so we'll start there.