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Thread: Help: Hear toilet flushing and smell poo through shower.

  1. #1

    Default Help: Hear toilet flushing and smell poo through shower.

    In the master bedroom, when you flush the toilet you can hear the flushing via the tub drain AND worst of all, the smell of poo methane permeates that area of the house . The city says that installing a P Trap underneath will take care of this issue.

    Is this correct? If so, what do you think is a fair price?

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If you had a p-trap, which is the water seal between the other fixtures, then yes, you wouldn't hear or smell the other plumbing fixtures.

    As to how much, it depends.

  3. #3

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    thanks for the reply, terry. Very helpful to know that the info I've been told is correct. Sad to say, I have recently been took for a small ride by a couple of plumbing businesses.

    I have recently had to get a lot of plumbing work done, due partly to the fact that the last owner redid a fair amount of the plumbing himself and also the lateral is slightly disconnected from the main. This problem, however, has nothing to do with those.

    Another question: how come in the two previous years this has not been an issue - particularly the smell? Also, if there is a ballpark I'm in as far as price - that would be great. The crawlspace under my house is very clean (i'm told) and an average sized person could fit in there.

  4. #4
    Nuclear Engineer nukeman's Avatar
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    The other possibility is there is a p-trap under there, but it is not properly vented and is being sucked dry when other fixtures (toilets) are used. I had this situation myself. The shower in the basment bathroom was not vented (just a straight shot into the 4" main). When one of the toilets towards the front of the house (1st or 2nd floor) were flushed, the water rushing past the shower connection would try to pull in air through the shower drain and take the water from the p-trap with it. So, the p-trap might be full one day and the next day it would be empty (really hear water from other fixtures, some smell, etc.).

    Go to your shower and shine a flashlight down the drain and see if you see water. If you don't see any, run the shower for a couple minutes or dump a bucket of water down the drain and check again for water in the trap. If there is now water in there, you have a p-trap, but it is drying out (probably venting issue). You could also have a crack/leak in the p-trap letting the water drain out, but that shouldn't be too likely. If there is still no water, then you are probably lacking a p-trap.

    Now as to the reason why it is showing up now and not before, it may be that some of the previous problems were covering up this issue. It also could be that the new work that you had done was not done correctly (did you use a real plumber and not a handyman?).

    Cost is impossible to say. Even if we knew exactly what needed to be done, labor rates vary greatly across the country as well as the fact that we can't easily see access issues and other potential challenges.

    Your best bet would be to educate yourself and then get a good plumber out there and get it done. I would first check for the p-trap (like I mentioned above) and then report back. Once we have those findings, you could go into the crawlspace and take some pics. The pros will be able to point out where the problem may be.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Do you even use the shower, or is there a separate bathtub which is always used? MANY times, I come across dry "P" traps in baths or showers because they are not used periodically.
    Last edited by hj; 08-11-2010 at 09:52 AM.

  6. #6
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Sometimes when I'm working commercial buildings, and there are floor drains in the mens and womens, the floor drains dry out. I grab a cup and fill them so I don't have to smell the sewer every time I go in there. Blows me away that all these office workers accept the horrible smell when there are no plumbers to top off their floor drains.

    Do you even use the shower, or is there a separate bathtub which is always used? MANY times, I come across dry "P" traps in baths or showers because they are not used periodically.

  7. #7

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    thank you so much for the replies. I'm gonna run the check on the drain to see if there is a p trap.

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