smell in bathroom


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Old 03-29-06, 04:30 AM
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smell in bathroom

i just bought this old house it was built in the 1890's i think. anyhow my problem is; there is a nasty smell when you flush the toilet a couple times or take a shower. it has been like that since we moved in. it looks like the previos owner tried to remodel the bathroom, but i am not sure if they have done everything right. first time home owner that has always lived in apartment buildings, so i never had to worry about this stuff. any help would be greatly appreciated.

thanks ben
 
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Old 03-29-06, 04:53 AM
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ben1977, Welcome to the DIY Forums.
It sounds like a vent (or lack of) problem. Drain lines need air to operate properly. Vents are where the air comes from. If the previous owner did some remodeling and either removed traps from the drain lines or cut off a vent in the wall, this could be where the smell is coming from. If this is the case, the smell is sewer gas. Not only unpleasant but dangerous. Sewer gas contains methane which is flammable/explosive. Please check to see what has been done. Good luck.
 
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Old 03-29-06, 05:00 AM
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hi there, thanks for the fast response. i have another question; probally a dumb one, but where would i find the vent? is it something that i should see somewhere or does it go up through a wall...lol thanks again
 
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Old 03-29-06, 05:25 AM
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Each fixture (sink, tub and toilet) should have a vent. Usually the toilet is in front of the main vent. The toilet drain goes toward the wall and into a tee. The water drains downwards and the upward section becomes the vent and goes up and out the roof. The sink and shower should have a pipe after the trap that also ties into this main line. This vent prevents the water in the trap from being sucked out when other fixtures are used. Check to see if the tub has a trap on the drain. Sometimes people cannot figure out how to install one so they omit it.
 
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Old 03-29-06, 05:44 AM
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should i see a pipe or something coming out of the roof, cuz if so there is not one. i just went in the basement and all that i can see is all of the drainage pipes go directly to one big metal pipe that slant downward and goes through my basement wall. there is no pipes coming out of it to vent or nothing. i do not know what a trap looks like, so i can not look for this...lol anyhow thanks so much for the info
 
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Old 03-29-06, 06:05 AM
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The trap is a "U" shaped pipe under each fixture. If you look under the kitchen or bathroom sink you should see it (them). Traps create a water seal that blocks sewer gas from entering the home.
Since you have a basement, I believe you will be able to see where the largest line goes up into the main floor of the house. Chances are that this is the same area where your toilet(s) are on the above floors. If you have access to the attic, look up there in the approximate area of the highest bathroom and you should see the vent pipe. Hopefully it goes out the roof. The vents for the sink and tub/shower are smaller pipes that are usually in the wall and tie into the main line.
 
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Old 04-02-06, 06:35 PM
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i see no vents i can see the main drain pipe from right under the toilet, is that where the vent pip should be coming from? there is no u-shape pipe under the tub or anything, it all goes straight to the main drain pipe under the toilet, just a straight shot.
 
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Old 04-03-06, 05:21 AM
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If there is no trap on the tub drain, that is where at least part of the smell is coming from.
If there is no pipe coming out of the roof (vent) then you have more problems. Picture a tee with two openings vertical and the other opening on the side. The toilet drains into the side opening. The waste goes down one opening and fumes (smell) goes up the other opening. The fume end of the pipe should go up and out the roof. Go up into the attic and see if you can see this pipe. Normally, it would be the only pipe going vertical and either ending in the attic or going out the roof.
I assume you did not get an inspection before you bought this house. What you have would be easy to see.
 
 

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