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Old 01-14-2012, 07:02 AM   #1
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Drain smell in bathroom


Hey all. Wife and I (and her mother who lives with us) have a 30 year old home in a septic system. Septic was pumped 2 years ago.

In the master bathroom has developed a drain smell that is pretty hard to pin down but its not hard to miss when you walk in there. The bathroom has 2 sinks, a walk in shower and walk in tub. I took the trap off both sinks and they have water in them so I'm pretty confident the smell isn't coming from them. None of the other drains in the house seem to be smelling at all.

My question is what should I be looking for in the tub and shower drains? Should I snake them both first to try to clean them out? The bathroom tub hasn't been used in quite a long time. My mother in law is unable to he the bath and so it has sat empty for some time. I've read some posts about how this isn't a good thing to do because the trap can go dry and crack but how can I tell if this is the problem?

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Old 01-14-2012, 07:13 AM   #2
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The bathroom tub hasn't been used in quite a long time. My mother in law is unable to he the bath and so it has sat empty for some time. I've read some posts about how this isn't a good thing to do because the trap can go dry and crack but how can I tell if this is the problem?
Ayuh,... It ain't that it'll crack, but if it goes dry, it acts like a vent, allowin' the stink yer smellin'...

Run some water, 'n allow it to refill..

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Old 01-14-2012, 07:19 AM   #3
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Drain smell in bathroom


Yup, like he said, it just opened up and is venting. Add water, then add some cooking oil so it forms a layer and won't evaporate if the drain is not used often, if at all.

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Old 01-14-2012, 11:42 AM   #4
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Drain smell in bathroom


If the problem is still there after you fill the traps, you may have a plugged drain-waste-vent system. Our upper bathroom sometimes stinks if the vent freezes in; chipping and hot water cures the problem.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:02 AM   #5
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If the problem is still there after you fill the traps, you may have a plugged drain-waste-vent system. Our upper bathroom sometimes stinks if the vent freezes in; chipping and hot water cures the problem.
Ran water in all sinks and most of the smell is gone...something still lingers in the air, but I'm not sure its a septic smell though. What do you mean chipping and hot water?
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Old 01-16-2012, 02:16 PM   #6
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What do you mean chipping and hot water?
The vent pipe freezes inward until it plugs when we have these extended -20, -30, etc, periods. I chip out what I can (15 seconds) and then pour hot water around the edge to melt the lip and to make sure all the chips get melted and washed down. Glad you got most of the stink gone. If it still lingers, look around for a small leak that may be getting a wall wet/moldy, etc.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:13 PM   #7
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Drain smell in bathroom


Extended periods of -20 or -30??? Where are you, jkingle?
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:40 PM   #8
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Drain smell in bathroom


fairbanks, ak
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:32 PM   #9
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Drain smell in bathroom


That makes sense. I have gotta get up there someday soon. But, in the summer. ;^)
Here in Atlanta, a couple days at +20 keeps everyone inside.
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Old 01-16-2012, 11:12 PM   #10
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Drain smell in bathroom


my sister lives in atlanta, so she keeps me abreast (no pun intended!) of what goes there. 20 is cold for you folks. it's all what you are used to. today, not wanting to ski in this any more (-20 is my cut-off now; age) i did an hour walk w/ my pack on. it was -28. no big deal, just a little more clothes and a face mask. ice fog is a pita in the low areas, though. but, no tornadoes.

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