Smelly shower drain

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  #1  
Old 07-29-06, 08:55 AM
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Question Smelly shower drain

Each morning when I take a shower this godawful smell comes out of the drain....it's a sewerish smell.
Anyway...I've checked the trap and it's fine...I also checked the overflow pipe and it's got nothing growing in it and it's not blocked. So based on other posts I've seen I'm thinking it must be vent related. I've got 2 vents up on my roof but I'm not sure what to do to clean them out. Can I put drano crystal or gel down the vent and follow it with a little water to see if that helps?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-29-06, 09:25 AM
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For the trap to be 'fine' it's got to be holding water. The vent is there to prevent it from siphoning out. You could try slowly pouring a bucket of water into the tub before starting a shower, but it would probably be best if a plumber could eyeball the situation.

Another less pleasant scenario would be a cross-connection. Take a sample of the water coming out of the shower head & make sure that it isn't the source of the smell.
 
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Old 07-29-06, 09:27 AM
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Putting Drano into the vent pipe will not help. Try pouring a mixture of 3 parts water and one part bleach down the tub drain. It could be a bacteria that is growing on the sides of the drainline. This should kill it. Good luck.
 
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Old 07-29-06, 09:40 AM
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Well I don't know what a "cross-connection" is, but I don't think it's the water itself, since subsequent showers do not have the smell. Just to be sure I took a sample of the water and did not detect a an odor.
How would slowly pouring a bucket of water tell me whether or not the trap is holding water?
 
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Old 07-29-06, 09:41 AM
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I'll give the 3/water+1/bleach a shot and see if it helps.
 
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Old 07-29-06, 10:20 PM
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I was thinking that you might prime the trap first. But an un-primed trap would smell all the time, not just as you start a shower. The bleach suggestions are certainly worth a try.

Is this a new or on-going problem? Does it only start to smell when you run water?
 
  #7  
Old 07-29-06, 10:45 PM
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Most shower drain odors are caused by bacteria growing in the drain. Drano is caustic and not recommended. An enzyme digester drain cleaner can be used in drains. The enzymes digest the odor causing bacteria. Also, check and clean overflow drain if this is a tub/shower unit. You can use a turkey baster to squirt cleaner into overflow drain.

http://www.doityourself.com/stry/showerodor

If you hear gurgling or sucking sounds when you turn on water, this can be a clogged vent pipe that goes through the roof. Plumbers usually unclog the vent pipe by running a plumber's snake down it. There could also be a clog further down the line that is siphoning water out of the trap. When the first person takes a shower, the water enters the trap and causes the line to 'burp' gas if there is no water in the trap.
 
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Old 08-06-06, 06:21 AM
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Steve gro
This has been an ongoing problem with this shower.
The bleach mixture seemed to help a little bit but the smell seems to be creeping back again. We notice it after the shower hasn't been used 8-10 hours, then when it is run you get the odor. We've only noticed it when running the shower or a bath.
 
  #9  
Old 08-06-06, 06:26 AM
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twelvepole,
I'll give the enzyme based cleaner a shot, I haven't noticed any gurgling type noises coming from the drain.
If attempting to clean out bacteria doesn't make the smell go away, I may just call a plumber and have the snake everything out?
 
  #10  
Old 08-06-06, 04:46 PM
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Having a plumber over is probably the best thing to do. It sounds like a problem that will require an actual eyeball of the piping; a little hard to diagnose over the internet.

BTW, is this a tile shower?
 
  #11  
Old 08-06-06, 07:14 PM
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No it looks like vinyl or some kind of platic...each wall of the shower is a separate piece.
And I think I know what your thinking....
I checked the underside of the tub (I've got access through a hall closet) there isn't any moisture that I could see from underneath and definately no mold or mildew.
To bad about needing a plumber...the previous owner of my house was "creative"...?
The plumber will probably need to fix everything.
 
  #12  
Old 09-12-06, 04:28 PM
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Question update on status (finally)

So as a last ditch effort before calling in a plumber I went to an HD and purchased a 20' plumbing snake. I trekked up onto my roof and proceeded to snake out the vent pipes protruding from my roof.
The first pipe which appears to be closest to my bathroom with the stinky shower drain took the entire length of the snake and produced no clogs or anything..the snake came out dry.
The second pipe which appears to be over my kitchen was a different story. I put about 1/2 to 3/4 of the snake in and hit something. I continued to turn the snake for a bit and then hauled it back out to find the last 3 feet of the snake covered in black goop...there was also a wad of hairy like substance stuck in the end of the snake. I would say the goop smelled like bog water not sewage...?

I snaked the pipe 2 times and then proceeded to put water down this vent pipe with my hose. The vent pipe did not overflow even after several minutes under the hose. The one thing I did notice was that I could here the water draining noises from the other vent pipe as well as the one I put water down..not sure if that is normal?

My question is this:
Is it normal to have one dry vent pipe and another that has..."stuff" in it?
What should/can I do to clear the clogged vent pipe?

regards,

JOE
 
  #13  
Old 01-19-07, 02:00 PM
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NEW to this - same issues

---- Why did you ask IF it was a tile shower? I have the same issues (live in FL--everything grows!), however, have not taken the drain thingee off yet; much less snaked anything.


I have learned what to attempt now, but what curious as to why that was asked; should be looking for something different???
 
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