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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default Sour smell in master bathroom - in Austin, TX

    Ok, our problem is in our master bath. It has one sink, one toilet and one stand up shower. This bathroom is the closest room to our septic tank, which is about 30 feet. There is a cleanout right outside our bathroom and it looks clear.

    We think the smell is coming from our shower. It is a sour, musty, moldy smell. It does not smell like sewage.

    Here are the things we have tried:

    *We snaked all of the drains from the roof. Toilet, shower and sink have their own vent pipes. All were clear. When we snaked the shower, the snake smelled like the sour smell.

    * Had smoke test. They said everything was fine except that the toilets burped. They did not know why. Charged us $300 and told us to call them if the smell gets worse.

    * Had septic pumped. This did not help.

    * We attempted to re-grout the shower. It smelled sour, but the smell remains.

    * Replaced exhaust light/fan and hose. It was moldy and smelled sour but it did not help.

    * Removed the glass shower door and frame

    * Cleaned sink overflow and ptrap. They were dirty, but the smell persists

    It seems like when I clean the shower with soap and bleach, the smell goes away for 3 or 4 days, but then it comes back. I also think that the smell may be worse on windy days, but am not sure.

    Any ideas? From what we have read ******, we are thinking we may need to tear out and replace our shower because the drain pan is moldy or we have some sort of air pressure issue. If I leave the bathroom window cracked, the smell is very faint.

    This is our dream home. It is not big, but we love it except for this bathroom issue. We moved here five years ago and cannot figure this one out. Thank you to anyone that takes the time to look into this! God bless!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Sour smell in master bathroom - in Austin, TX

    This sounds like it could be the drain pipe is not fully draining, and is not moving all the water out. This is caused by the pipe out of level in the incorrect direction.

    This will give the smell that you have described. I would cover up that drain, something like duct tape, or plastic and duct tape and see is the smell becomes more faint. Make sure that you keep the window down. If after you cover the drain, and the smell is more faint, that is the problem.

    This may take some trail and error type of investigation.

    Handy Andy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,694

    Default Re: Sour smell in master bathroom - in Austin, TX

    " It seems like when I clean the shower with soap and bleach, the smell goes away for 3 or 4 days, but then it comes back. "

    I may be wrong, but I suspect that your shower drain has a lot of build up of gunk on the inside - like cholesterol in blood vessels.

    If you are planning on replacing the shower pan, replace the drain at the same time, at least to the clean out point outside.

    I once did a kitchen remodel and there was a persistent stink from the drain. I ended up replacing the drain plus about 8' of 2" drain line along the wall. No more stink after that. What I saw inside the pipe I pulled out can't be described on this forum.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,969

    Default Re: Sour smell in master bathroom - in Austin, TX

    I knew what is was before I finished reading - the re-grout line nailed it.

    You have a very poorly installed shower pan.

    There is supposed to be a pre-slope of ceement under the vinyl liner. You probably don't have that. OR you're supposed to have the weep holes surrounded by gravel so they don't clog. You probably don't have that. OR you have a fiberglas pre-pan (common in Austin) which is supposed to be properly sloped. You probably don't have that.

    My buddy Brad Bressler in Austin can diagnose this for you. He builds a proper shower pan. Good guy that Brad. Tell him I sent you.

    My bet: when you demolish a section of the shower floor you will find standing water which reeks to high heaven.

    BTST

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Sour smell in master bathroom - in Austin, TX

    Thank you for all of the replies! It turned out to be the shower pan install. We ended up demolishing the shower. The wall tile went directly to the floor instead of sitting on the floor tile. There was lots of mold underneath. The walls/insulation was moldy. It looked like it grew up the wall from the floor. The plastic shower liner was not one piece. it was several pieces laying over eachother. It had cardboard underneath (not sure why), but it was decomposing. Since we have removed the shower down to the foundation/studs, the smell is gone. We are getting estimates now to have a shower put in. Thanks again for all of the advice and suggestions! God bless you wonderful people.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,969

    Default Re: Sour smell in master bathroom - in Austin, TX

    Thanks for the update. !

    (and call Brad)

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