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Old 02-03-2014, 12:02 PM   #1
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Gross smell under bathroom vanity cabinet/sink


There's been a smell coming from my bathroom for the past month. I've narrowed it down to under my bathroom sink in the vanity cabinet. The smell is hard to explain...almost sweet, but foul at the same time? I've done the following:

*Poured vinegar, baking soda and salt down the sink drain (also bleach).
*Squirted bleach in the overflow of the sink and flushed w/hot water.
*Removed the PVC under the sink to see if something was caught in the P-trap (when I removed the PVC from the drain connection in the wall I could smell, roots/dirt smell coming from the drain pipe which let me know that the smell isn't coming from the sewer).
*Cleaned the entire cabinet out.

I have no idea what it can be, or what to do next. Any ideas? Please help!

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Old 02-03-2014, 12:40 PM   #2
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Gross smell under bathroom vanity cabinet/sink


You did all the usual things that I would have suggested. Are there any AAV's (mechanical vents) in the vanity cabinet by chance? Some pictures of inside the vanity would help. Thanks.

Sometimes it's very hard to pinpoint bathroom smells. You could paint the inside of the vanity, but that would only cover it up shortly and the smell would return. Really need to find the source and eliminate it. Sorry I wasn't much help. Stay tuned, others will be along shortly with more advice and suggestions. Thanks.

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Old 02-03-2014, 12:42 PM   #3
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Drain been leaking?
Often times if there's a leak it's rotted out the particle board.
Old steel drain pipes in the wall? Very common to have the nipple rust away where the trap adaptor is right where it goes into the wall.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:24 PM   #4
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You did all the usual things that I would have suggested. Are there any AAV's (mechanical vents) in the vanity cabinet by chance? Some pictures of inside the vanity would help. Thanks.
I didn't notice and AAV's under the sink. See pics below.















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Old 02-03-2014, 04:26 PM   #5
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Drain been leaking?
Often times if there's a leak it's rotted out the particle board.
Old steel drain pipes in the wall? Very common to have the nipple rust away where the trap adaptor is right where it goes into the wall.
I bought the house in Nov.2012 and there hasn't been any leaks under the sink since I've owned the home; however, in the 2nd pic there is evidence of a prior leak by the swelling of the wood.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:23 PM   #6
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Gross smell under bathroom vanity cabinet/sink


No big deal but that's some funky plumbing under there.
There was no good reason to have a coupling in those supply lines. They should have used longer lines instead.
There was no reason for that rubber coupling to connect the drain. It's missing a trap adaptor that would have replaced that.
Your also missing the eschuntion to cover up the gap around the drain.
With that gap plus the one where the drain runs down into the crawl space or basement you have all the cold air musty air blowing into the house.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:38 PM   #7
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No big deal but that's some funky plumbing under there.
There was no good reason to have a coupling in those supply lines. They should have used longer lines instead.
There was no reason for that rubber coupling to connect the drain. It's missing a trap adaptor that would have replaced that.
Your also missing the eschuntion to cover up the gap around the drain.
With that gap plus the one where the drain runs down into the crawl space or basement you have all the cold air musty air blowing into the house.
I noticed the same thing w/the supply lines...weird. I didn't think of the possibility that there may be something under the house causing the smell and coming in through that gap. It's easy to walk/crawl around under my house, so I'll take a look and see if I find anything and also pick up an eschussion for that gap. Thanks for your help!
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:03 PM   #8
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Gross smell under bathroom vanity cabinet/sink


Going to need some expanding foam to fill in the gaps around the drain running through the bottom plates under the house. May as well do all the places wire and plumbing where run while your under there.
Make sure to wear gloves and old clothes because what ever it gets on it's not coming off.
Going to need a split flat eschuntion and some caulking to seal it up with that funky texture on the walls.
Texture on a bathroom wall or ceiling is a very bad idea.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:59 PM   #9
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Gross smell under bathroom vanity cabinet/sink


I also noticed original plumbing is galvanized steel and copper. It may have rotted out in the wall..
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:56 PM   #10
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I also noticed original plumbing is galvanized steel and copper. It may have rotted out in the wall..
Are you suggesting that the galvanized steel waste lined could've rotted out? Or the copper?
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:11 AM   #11
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Update...I went under the house this evening and found that the cut out in the floor was in fact open so I bought some spray foam insulation. I haven't used it yet because I found mouse droppings on the ground and also found what appears to be chew marks on the romex that is fed through the cut out(see pics below). I'm thinking maybe a dead mouse is up there? I smelled around the cut out and pipes and couldn't smell anything. I did smell it for a second when I first got to the spot under the house but that was it, I didn't smell it again. I feel stuck on what to do next...
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:48 AM   #12
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Gross smell under bathroom vanity cabinet/sink


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
There was no reason for that rubber coupling to connect the drain. It's missing a trap adaptor that would have replaced that.
Looks like Galvanized drain inside the wall to me.


Noted same as Ghostmaker, it may have rotted out in the wall, or under the floor. Sometimes a sewage leak under a room will give you a funky smell in that room.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:29 AM   #13
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Gross smell under bathroom vanity cabinet/sink


Not much you can do but buy some sticky traps and bait them with peanut butter in the middle of them and put them around the outside walls of the crawlspace and seal up all the other holes where wiring and plumbing was run under the whole house.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:45 AM   #14
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Looks like Galvanized drain inside the wall to me.


Noted same as Ghostmaker, it may have rotted out in the wall, or under the floor. Sometimes a sewage leak under a room will give you a funky smell in that room.
I don't think it's the drain rotting out because it doesn't smell under the house. It only smells in the vanity cabinet. I also smelled around the cut out in the floor and couldn't smell the scent either.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:47 AM   #15
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Not much you can do but buy some sticky traps and bait them with peanut butter in the middle of them and put them around the outside walls of the crawlspace and seal up all the other holes where wiring and plumbing was run under the whole house.
Should I wrap some electrical tape around the chewed piece of romex before I sprayfoam? I'm almost tempted to cut open the wall in the cabinet to see if I find anything behind the wall, but I don't want to create unnecessary work for myself.

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