Sewer smell when washer spins/drains


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Old 11-10-07, 03:25 PM
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Sewer smell when washer spins/drains

I have begun to notice a sewer smell when my washing maching spins and drains and when I first open the machine. My washing machine is in the laundry room at the end of the house (outside wall) over a crawl space. The drain tube goes into a pvc pipe that goes into the wall. There is a laundry room sink next to the washing maching.
My husband went into the crawlspace and looked for a trap for the washer, but did not see one. Could it be that the trap for the sink also affects the washing machine?

Any other suggestions?
 
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Old 11-10-07, 05:54 PM
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Is it a Maytag front load?
 
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Old 11-10-07, 06:40 PM
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No - Ge Profile Top Load - probably about 7-8 hears old
 
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Old 11-10-07, 09:21 PM
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chandler, you asked if washer was front loading. I am seeing lots of posts on other internet forums that complain of odor in front loading washers. Why is this?

I have also read reports that most washers will be front loading by 2009 because they use less energy, water, and detergent.

Your comments are appreciated.
 
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Old 11-11-07, 12:03 PM
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We had a similar problem years ago, caused by a full septic tank. Are you on a septic tank or sewer? Also contributing to our problem was that the plumbing from the laundry room was installed wrong, without enough slope to drain the water away from the house fast enough. This was a rental house, thank goodness.
 
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Old 11-11-07, 12:47 PM
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We use Maytag front load in our house and cabin, and wouldn't have anything else. If you put a sock in it, there will only be enough water to wash the sock injected in it. The more clothes, the more water. The first set we had, the instructions said if you could get it in the tub and close the door, it would wash it, including comforters, etc. The spin cycle reminds me of a spool up of a Rolls Royce jet engine, and the clothes are practically dry when removed from it. Drying takes but a little while. Now, to the smell. The front loaders use water as a damper to stop the tub from spinning. If the water isn't totally exchanged, or sits for an extended period of time it will develop a smell, similar to septic smell. It is exchanged the next time it is used, but sometimes the smell lingers.
 
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Old 11-11-07, 12:59 PM
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We do have septic, although it was pumped/cleaned last year - and is not due for 2 more years. We have been in this house 4 years now and have never had this issue. Sometimes when this smell happens in a bathroom, usually it means there is a problem with the trap being plugged or dry or something, so I was wondering if there is some place we could check somehow with the washing machine or sink next to it, that would produce a smiliar problem. So - if there is anyone out there who had any ideas ?????


Thanks for the info on the front loaders. We will likely consider for our next set, as I am sure we will be due in the next couple of years.
 
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Old 11-11-07, 03:17 PM
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It could be an occluded vent as well. It must be cleared from above. Use a garden hose (water off) and chug the occlusion until it passes through. Without the air from above your ventstack is working like a soda straw placed in a Coke and placing your thumb over the end. When you withdraw the straw, the liquid will remain in the straw until you release your thumb. But, be careful on the roof, as it isn't the fall, but the sudden stop.
 
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Old 11-14-07, 10:59 AM
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Don't all things that drain to a sewer/septic have a trap on them? It was my belief that the trap not only kept things from going down that shouldn't but also kept a water buffer between the smell that tried to come up. Under that assumption no trap could mean that the smell was coming back up through the washer.

Just my guess.

**On the side: I hear 2 things bad about front load washers. One, when you open the door water in the seal tends to spill on the floor. Two, if you don't keep wiping down the seal it has a tendancy to mold there.
 
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Old 11-16-07, 04:30 AM
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Borak, you are correct in what you say about the traps, but if the vent pipe is occluded, there is nowhere for the internal gasses to go, since they can't go down and can't go up. With a bad vent, not all your bad water exits completely and can cause smells. Front load washers have come a long way. We have no problems with water falling on the floor, since the doors are cone shaped and the water remains in the barrel. As with all seals, yes, you have to wipe the rim seal occasionally, but that is just part of the game. That's what dirty towels or socks are for, as you load them. My worst problem is keeping the top of the unit clean. My wife insists on doing the laundry (could be from the blue underwear she didn't know she had - New jeans and underwear don't mix), but she spills soap, Oxyclean, Downy on the top, and it gets mixed together and hardens. Takes me half an hour just to clean it up.
 
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Old 11-18-07, 07:27 AM
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I had a similar problem and called the washer service company. It's possible that what you have not not sewer smell but actually mildew in your washer (as we had). He said this was very common, especially in front load wahers, but we have a top load. The simple solution was to put 1 cup of bleach and dishwashing detergent in your maching and run on the longest cycle you have. We did it twice and its cleared it all up.
 
 

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