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Thread: bad odor from shower drain

  1. #1

    Default bad odor from shower drain

    we have a bad odor coming from the shower drain.
    we use the shower so the p trap stays full.
    is there any other explanation for the odor?
    what could i do in addition to the p trap?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Try pouring some bleach down there, let it sit for awhile. If yo ucan get the grill off, you could try using a brush to clean the pipe above the trap.

    One (unfortuneately) common reason for a smelly shower is an incorrectly built pan. That doesn't mean one that leaks (course that could be a problem too). For some reason, many plumbers seem to think that tile and grout is waterproof, and the liner can sit flat on the floor. It can't, and tile and grout aren't. The liner should be installed on a presloped bed. Gradually, a little water will get under the top of the tile, begin to saturate the stuff underneath, and stay wet unless the shower is allowed to dry out inbetween (not likely in a daily use). Eventually, that stagnet water will smell like a swamp. If you have a solid manufactured pan, this doesn't happen, although crud can build up in the textured surface.

    What kind of shower is it?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3

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    it is a double walk-in shower put in an old house about 7 yrs ago.
    it has a shower pan and three wall pieces (?fiberglass?) and a glass door.
    there was a leak at the joint between the wall and the shower pan on one side. i re-caulked that joint and have not had a problem with leaking.
    but there was damage done before we found the leak.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Sounds like it might still be leaking a little...mold and moisture go hand in hand.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    Plumber plumber1's Avatar
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    Check to see if there is a big gob of hair just under the strainer.

    Make a hook out of a coat hanger and see.

    Couldn't hurt..........

  6. #6
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    mudd
    This is resolvable. First, twenty questions.

    how sure are you that the odor is coming out of the drain? Have you blocked the drain a few times and seen whether that stops the odor? Is the odor constant and permanent, or intermittent? Tell us more.

    If it is the drain, how sure are you that there is truly a P-trap there? If there is a P-trap, how sure are you that it hasn't been siphoned dry by something downstream like the toilet flushing?

    Can you draw the venting you have in your bathroom and in the drain down to the stack?

    More later.
    -David

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