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Old 10-17-2008, 02:09 PM   #1
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sewer smell from my tub

I only get a bad sewer smell from my tub, and mostly when I take a shower. what could cause that and how do I fix it? I have tried snaking it and pouring bleach down it, but to no avail. please help me!


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Old 10-17-2008, 11:10 PM   #2
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In this situation I would recommend calling you local plumber. Situations such as this could be tricky and maybe a sewer smell is not even the issue. For example, Bacteria growing in the water heater could cause a bad odor or maybe even sulfur in some cases that have a well.


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Old 10-17-2008, 11:36 PM   #3
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No bleach down a drain. Very bad. Extremely bad if you are on a septic system.
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Old 10-18-2008, 02:26 AM   #4
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When sewer gas gets back into the house it usually means that there is a clog or partial clog in a vent pipe.
All fixture drain lines are vented after the trap which holds water to prevent such sewer gas from getting in. When a vent pipe is clogged and water drains through the system, the water in a fixture trap can be siphoned out, allowing sewer gas in.
You (or someone else) needs to go up on the roof to inspect all vent pipes protruding through the roof for clogging by leaves, debris, squirrel nests, bird nests, etc. (especially vent pipes over that bathroom).
Clean out all that can be reached by hand and then flush the vent pipe down with a water hose sprayer. Don't worry about it overflowing unless your main drain pipe is clogged. It will all just go down the drain.
Good luck!
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Old 10-18-2008, 08:02 AM   #5
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One other possible problem may be lack of a 'p' trap. I have seen some homeowner DIY jobs where they (or a handy neighbor) added a tub but just tapped the tub drain into the sewer line or commode drain without adding a 'p' trap. Hopefully this is not the problem in your case because there is not an easy fix. If the tub is part of the original construction, this should not be the case. When you tried to snake the drain, did you go through the overflow cover in the tub? This is the best place to snake a tub drain as it allows you to get past the 'sanitary T' easier to get deeper into the drain. Does the tub seem to drain at a decent rate? And be sure to check the vent lines as Mike suggested. Let us know...
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:36 AM   #6
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One more thing to check is the overflow pipe. I have seen bathroom sinks have the same problem and it turned out to be bacteria growing inbetween the sink walls that serve as the area of travel for water going through the overflow. When water is run, the air pushes the smell out. Check to see if there is any smell while no water is being drained. Then have someone pour a bucket of water into the tub while you are still close to the drain and see if the smell is coming out of the overflow. Easiest way to fix this is to remove the overflow cover and spray a 50/50 mixture of bleach and water into the opening and allow it to run down the length of the tube, which will kill the bacteria.
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Old 10-21-2011, 04:20 PM   #7
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You could also have a cracked/ broken trap under the house.
If you have a crawl space, go take a look.
If your on slab , you may have to hire a plumbing company to run a camera down the overflow to check it out.


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