Sewer Gas Smell Coming From Washing Machine Drain Pipe

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Old 02-11-07, 09:37 AM
jax
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Sewer Gas Smell Coming From Washing Machine Drain Pipe

I bought a high efficiency washer in the house I recently purchased, which was built in 1998. The first 3 months, I had no problems with the washing machine. Then, suddenly, there was an extremely strong sewer gas smell coming from the drain pipe that the washing machine was emptying water into. Keep in mind I'm on city water as well. A plumber came over, scratched his head, and didn't know what to do about my sewer gas problem and gave no advice. He simply pulled the drain hose further out of the drain pipe. I read on a forum that perhaps the high efficiency washers flush the traps too much and dry them out so after each wash, I was pouring water down the drain pipe. Now, I cannot tell if there is a trap on the drain pipe because it is in the wall. I'm assuming there is one but I can't be sure. Pouring water down the drain pipe certainly helped but the sewer gas smell is still there. It is strongest at night and gets worse the day after I use the washing machine and it is now gradually worsening again. I use the washing machine about once a week so the trap should not be drying out. Also note that I do not have a basement in my house. The washer is located on the first floor. There is no floor drain. So my question is, what do you think is going on and how do I fix this embarrassing and frustrating sewer gas problem? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Old 02-11-07, 11:42 AM
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How far down does the drain hose extend into the stand pipe? You could have a vent problem as well in more than one way. If the washing machine stand pipe is not vented properly, the water passing by it from a flush or a draining tub, could very well evacuate the water from the trap. If the vent is stopped up, it could affect all your sinks, tubs and eventually the toilets. Post back if you feel you should tackle the vent cleanout thingy.
 
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Old 02-13-07, 08:46 PM
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I have the same problem. What is the correct way to clean the vent(s)?
Thank You.
 
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Old 02-14-07, 04:20 AM
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If you feel safe going up on the roof, and if you don't live in upstate New York, take a garden hose and run it down the vent pipe from the top. You will feel the blockage. Chug it until the blockage releases and follow it down with the hose. Relieving this blockage will allow air in from the top to equalize pressure and allow water to go down and gasses to go up. Remember it isn't the fall, it is the sudden stop that hurts, so be safe.
 
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Old 02-19-07, 12:37 PM
jax
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Hi there. Where does the blockage go once you get push it down and get rid of it?

Also, I've been smelling the gas in the half bathroom. In the attic, there is a sewer vent coming from that bathroom but the vent does not go through the roof. There is a cover on the vent and there is a warning on it that says not to take it off. Do I need to replace a filter in there? Would that filter get clogged or dirty and cause the sewer smell along with the smell near the washing machine?

Thanks so much for your help!
 
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Old 02-19-07, 02:06 PM
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The clog will be pushed down past all the vent pipes and into the drain line and eventually to the sewer or septic system, as they are larger pipes.

I am not sure what you have in the attic. Surely they would not have installed a Studor valve up there. Is there any way you could post a digital picture of this pipe in the attic on a site such as photobucket.com and give us the url? If it is a Studor valve, and with cold weather and moist gasses, you may have a stuck valve.
 
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Old 02-19-07, 04:32 PM
jax
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Hi again,

I took two pictures of the pipe. One image is the top of the sewer vent pipe. I'm not sure if it will help but I thought I'd add it. Here are the links to those pics:

http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t26/neays/Top_of_Vent.jpg
http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t26/neays/Sewer_Vent.jpg

I live in northern Mississippi and we moved into our house in July and didn't notice the smell until the end of October so I do wonder if the colder weather has anything to do with the sewer gas.

If it is a stuck valve, what is the fix for it? Do you know if this kind of vent has a filter that would need replacing?

Thanks again for your help! I really appreciate it.
 
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Old 02-20-07, 04:21 AM
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The filter/valve you see, is it removable? If so, check to see if it is clogged and if the rubber flapper is moving freely. I would definitely consider extending this pipe to the atmosphere and doing away with the valve/filter. In actuality, if this thing were doing its job, your attic should smell like sewer until the cross breeze takes it away out the gable vents or ridge vent. I just believe it is malfunctioning.
 
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Old 06-03-07, 06:40 AM
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Chandler/Same type of issue

Any ideas on this one??

We bought a house two weeks ago, moved in this weekend. The house was built in 79, and has had many things redone and for the age is in good shape with a fairly detailed inspection. However, we went to hook up the washer and there was a drain hose conected to the drain, extending out 6inches from drain and capped off. I went to uncap the hose and a half gallon of "sewage smelling" water came out...to be safe I put an extended hose on the drain and had my wife flush the toilets, when she did more water came out-not much but it was definitely related to flushing the toilet. The previous owner said he just cut the washer drain hose and capped it when they moved out. Any ideas on what the issue could be....Or what I need to do to fix it. I am hesitant to hook the washer up for fear this "grey water" will flow into the washer.

Thanks for any help.
 
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