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Thread: Stinky bathroom!

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member 604Sue's Avatar
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    Default Stinky bathroom!

    For the past 2 weeks, our bathroom has smelled of sewer gas. Not all the time, mostly just when we have the overhead fan on. It seems to draw the gas into the room through the bathtub overflow. We have gone into our crawlspace and don't see any leaks and our traps still seem to have plenty of water in them. We're not sure how the stink is getting in. Any help would be appreciated!

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Start by pouring bleach down you lav drain and if you lav has an drain overflow then make sure to get some bleach down it also.
    Do the same for the tub drain also. Then check to be sure the toilet does not rock on the base
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    It could be that you have a bacterial culture living in the soap scum inside the overflow. I don't know why it would present more when the fan is going. Maybe it always smells there and the fan is drawing smell from somewhere else like under the toilet. Try sealing up the bathtub overflow and drain with Duck Tape as a test to see if the smell goes away.

    Once a decade or so, I clean out the soap scum with what resembles a long bottle brush and some bleach.

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    DIY Member mliu's Avatar
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    Another possible source of bad smells in the bathroom can be under and inside the rim of the toilet, particularly at the front because the flush water does not always have enough force to fully rinse that area (especially with cheap toilets). Generally that does not smell like sewer gas, but it may be worth investigating anyway.

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    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    I have also had my sinks smell when there is a buildup of "black drain grunge" along the walls of the pipes, above the water in the trap, in the bathroom sinks. When this happens, like the poster above, a long bottle brush can make quick work of this.

    One caveat if you decide to clean out the sink drainpipe with the brush: don't use bleach, and DO cover the drain and your hands with a big towel. When you pull the bottle brush up from the sink, if you don't use a towel, you'll flick black drain grunge all over the bathroom.

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    My money is on the waxseal being bad. The fan is pulling it out of the pipe. Sewer gas can also come and go.

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    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    either that or a ghost farter
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member JerryR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hackney plumbing View Post
    My money is on the waxseal being bad. The fan is pulling it out of the pipe. Sewer gas can also come and go.
    +1

    If traps are full there should not be any air flow from tub or sinks when fan is running. If wax seal under the toilet is compromised you will get air flow from under toilet with fan running. At least that is what I experienced.

    I also installed saniseal gaskets instead of wax seal on 4 of my toilets. These seem to work very well and do a great job of sealing without the mess of wax seals.

    Jerry
    JR

  9. #9
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Now see, if people caulked the base to the floor the way the code says to, you wouldn't get that smell even if the gasket did leak.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

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