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Thread: Stinky Dishwasher

  1. #1

    Default Stinky Dishwasher

    When I bought the house I am in now, the sink and dishwasher stunk so bad that it took my breath away. I thought it was just old and dirty. I bought a new dishwasher, new plastic plumbing parts, and a new garbage disposal BUT my dishwasher still stinks. It smells like dirty sewer smell. I have had two plumbers come out and both said that they didn't know what it was. They wanted to charge me over 300.00 to smoke the lines, to look for a leak. Before anything else, I wanted to try your sight. Any and all help or suggestions will be greatly appriecated. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    How is the dishwasher drain connected? Is it connected throught an air gap? At a minimum, is is connected above the sink drain trap?
    Last edited by terry; 09-02-2004 at 10:40 AM.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member e-plumber's Avatar
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    Default Dishwasher Odor

    Is there a crawl space under the kitchen? There could be a leak below allowing water to pool, become stagnant and give off the foul odor.

    e-plumber
    Last edited by e-plumber; 09-01-2004 at 07:27 PM.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo
    How is the dishwasher drain connected? Is it connected throught an air gap? At a minimum, is is connected above the sink drain trap?
    The plumber said everything is connected correctly. But I don't know what an air gap is ?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by e-plumber
    Is there a crawl space under the kitchen? There could be a leak below allowing water to pool, become stagnant and give off the foul odor.

    e-plumber
    I do have a crawl space but supposedly the plumber checked that and I was told everything looked good. Anything I can do myself?

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member e-plumber's Avatar
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    Default Dishwasher Odor

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa
    I do have a crawl space but supposedly the plumber checked that and I was told everything looked good. Anything I can do myself?
    Since you had two different plumbers check the problem, replaced the piping, DW and the disposer unit, (which by the way are known to give off odor at times) have you considered that the hot water is the culprit? It is possible. If you have well water with a water treatment system or a water heater with an anode rod that may be deteriorating, both items can possibly cause a "sewer like" smell.

    e-plumber

  7. #7

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    Does this make sense ? The smell was so bad in the sink, the first thing replaced was the garbage disposal. We then replaced the white plastic "pipes" below the sink. There was gray gunk in these plastic pvd pipes and the smell made me vomit. Once the disposal and the pipes were replaced everything seems fine until the smell was in the dishwasher. I bought a new dishwasher but the smell still comes thru the new dishwasher. Could what was cleaned out of the pipes somehow got down in the dishwasher ??? I just don'tknow what to do. I really do appreicate you taking the time to help me. Have a great day.

  8. #8
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Since you have replaced the piping under the sink, and I am assuming the dishwasher drain hose is new (came with the dishwasher) there is little left unless you are getting sewer smell.


    Check the diagram which Terry Love kindly added into my reply above. DOes your piping more or less resemble this? Pay close attention to where in this picture does your drain hose connect. (The pipe labeled Vent is inside the wall and will not be visible)

  9. #9

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    My drain hose does not connect to an air gap fitting. I am at work now so I will not able to explain how it does fit exactly until Monday. If you still are willing to help me, I will talk with you then. Thanks again.

  10. #10

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    Well, I am back...Yesterday was Thursday !! Before I post this message, let me again tell you how much I appreicate all of the help with my problem. This is really a great thing for people like myself that don't any any plumbing knowledge, that can talk with people who do and who don't mind sharing that knowledge.

    I looked under my sink. The only dishwasher hose that it visible comes from the bottom of the dishwasher and hooks up directly to the side of the garbage disposal.

  11. #11
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Default Check the drain hose again

    That hose from the bottom of the dishwasher to the garbage disposal is the drain hose and it should be looped and secured under the counter top. If it goes straight from the bottom of the machine into the drain without the loop, that might be the source of the problem.

  12. #12
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    OK, we might be geting close. If that hose does not have a loop in it...that is looped up high, right to the underside of the countertop...before going down again into the disposer, then dirty sink water can back up in that hose into the dishwasher. This can be the source of the odor.

  13. #13

    Smile

    ok......I looked and the flexible white hose that comes from the dishwasher directly hooking into the side of the disposal is very long and there is no loop in it.

    I wish I could stick around and get this fixed today but it is time for me to go to work now. I bet you this is something I can do myself with your direction. Any and all advise id GREATLY APRRECIATED.

  14. #14
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    It's not that tough, except for the possibility that there is little room to do what you need to do.

    Basically, the hose comes out of the dishwasher's pump (generally on the bottom of the machine). That hose must go up as high as possible (and at least a few inches higher than the exit in the garbage disposer - the top of the cabinet is better) prior to draining into the garbage disposer. Some hoses come with a clip or clamp to screw or nail the clamp where it needs to go and hold the hose in place. You may need to buy something. A sturdy piece of wire wrapped around a screw or nail and then the hose would work, too, but a clamp is better (less likely to get a kink or fall off).

    This loop prevents drain water from going back into the dishwasher - once it is pumped over the high spot, it drains into the garbage disposer.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  15. #15
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Default Clamping drain hose

    I would not use wire, it could cut through the hose in time. Plumber's tape would be better. I'd make 2 or 3 clamps to avoid the possibility of the hose kinking. You want to keep the loop as gently as possible. I'm amazed that 2 plumbers missed such a basic thing! I don't think I'd call on them again.

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