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Thread: Smelly Bathroom

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    8

    Default Smelly Bathroom

    1 year ago we built a house with a septic system. There are 2 water closets oposite each other on the North and South Side of the house. Also there is a full bath off the hallway. When someone takes a shower the water closets smell horrible! I have tried replacing the wax rings, calling various plumbers as well as talking to the septic installer. All of these approaches have left me at a dead end. Can someone Please help? Thanks.
    Bert
    Manakin Sabot, Virginia

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Smelly Bathroom

    1. What did the plumbers and the tank installer say about your condition?

    2. Are the closets closer to the septic tank than the bathtub?

    3. How many vents (for the closets and bathroom) do you have?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    8

    Default Re: Smelly Bathroom

    Hey DJ1
    #1 The installer( an installer of 30 + years has never heard of this condition and the plumber took off his hat and scratched his head. He then pulled the toilets and replaced the wax ring.
    This was the extent of his involvement. While he was leaving he was griping that he was loosing money on this job.Don't want him in my house again.

    #2. One water closet is about 20' from the tank and the other is 50' away. They both smell the same horrible stench.

    #3. Master Bath 1 vent which includes the water closet
    Hall Bath has a vent
    Water closet has a vent which is shared by the kitchen sink.

    I called a local radio program and talked on a handyman show. He mentioned I should replace the wax rings with an oversize one with a neoprene center. What is your thought?
    Bert

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Default Re: Smelly Bathroom

    Hey Dj1 I just want to mention the smell is only coming from the water closets but not the hall bath.
    Bert

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Smelly Bathroom

    Try the oversize wax rings with flanges and see if they solve the smell problem. Make sure the toilets and the wax create a tight seal.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
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    1,254

    Default Re: Smelly Bathroom

    After the oversize wax rings which is a good place to start, are you absolutely sure the vents are continuous up to the roof.
    On more disgusting trouble shooting thing to try is after the smell is cleared out, get your nose right down near the base of the toilet and have someone run the shower and try to determine if the odor is emanating from the base.
    PS. why isn't this issue covered by a warranty from the original general contractor?

  7. #7
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Smelly Bathroom

    If after installing the large wax rings the problem is not solved, get a plumber to do a smoke test to locate a potential leak in your drain system.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Smelly Bathroom

    Thanks Dj1 and ED21,
    I will replace the wax rings and get back to you. As for the vents They are protruding through the roof and appear to be functioning. All the tubs, sinks and shower drains well. The Builder just gave up on the problem I guess because I quit hounding him. I travel extensively with my business and it was hard to contunually address that and keep my business running. I am off for 3 manths so I have time to address it now. If the wax rings are not the answer I will have a plumber do the smoke test.
    Bert

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Smelly Bathroom

    My first guesses would be a leak/disconnect in the piping somewhere or a missing P-trap where there should be one. Having seen drains that are completely disconnected go unnoticed and some that are disconnected in a way that its not wet but gas still escapes, i wouldn't be surprised if this were the case.

    I may be jumping to conclusions here but given the amount of effort that has been put into finding the problem has turned up empty handed I would go all out.
    My advice and opinions come from hands on knowledge...and This Old House Hidden Content

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
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    1,254

    Default Re: Smelly Bathroom

    Possible causes of the smell:
    1. leaking wax ring
    2. improperly vented system. This might cause the water to be sucked out of the p traps in the sinks.
    3. vent pipes that are not connected and are letting sewer gas get into the wall space.
    4. missing p traps. seems unlikely at this point, but dcalabro has a point about pipe being unconnected or not tight.

    From your description you have 2 half baths(water closets) with a toilet & sink and one full bath with shower, toilet & sink and a kitchen sink and possibly a laundry?

    There could be other reasons, but none come to mind.
    Again with the disgusting troubleshooting, stick your nose in the sink when the shower is running. A smoke test as mentioned could be helpful. Time to check everything. No assumptions can be made at this point. I think the original builder should make it right. House warranties in Md. are at least 1 year(by law) & longer if a documented problem isn't resolved.

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