Help, bathroom smell

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Old 05-11-09, 04:44 PM
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Help, bathroom smell

I purchased a home in December and the 1/2 bath on the main floor has an unpleasant odor. I scrubbed the bathroom and the odor remains. I called out several plumbers to investigate. Since they work with sewer gases everyday, they have a hard time noticing the smell. We have changed out the wax seal with no improvement. We then replaced the toilet. The plumbers then sent cameras down the vent lines looking for holes or cracks. There appeared to be no problems but the smell continues. The odor seems worst late in the evening. The plumber told me the vent line connections should be sealed with glue and he did not see any purple primer. He said sometimes a clear primer is used and maybe one of the joints is not sealed letting sewer gases in. He is considering flooding the vent line with water to wait and see if anything leaks through the wall or ceiling. Now I'm getting scared. Any ideas what might be causing this problem?
 
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Old 05-11-09, 04:56 PM
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is there water in the sinks trap?

call around and see if you can find a leak detection company that can use smoke to find any leaks in you plumbing. it is not a good idea to fill the vents with water because if there is a problem it may cause water damage. you never water test the vents in a finished out home. i mean what if something comes apart?

i can see where you would be scared and with VERY good reason!

smells are the hardest thing to find in a plumbing system unless it is bad aim, bad wax seal or a dry/siphoned trap
 
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Old 05-11-09, 06:38 PM
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Is the flooring new?

Could have been former owners with bad aim or cats with attitude. New floor may be covering up soaked and smelly floorboards.

Can you see the flooring from the bottom to inspect?

What about HVAC vents from other rooms?

Just thoughts.

Bill
 
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Old 05-11-09, 09:41 PM
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I second the cat possibility. What's under the bathroom?
 
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Old 05-12-09, 08:11 AM
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Thank you for your thoughts. Our home is built on a crawlspace and there isn't a smell under the house. The flooring is original hardwood; the home is about 18 years old. We have checked to make sure the p-traps are holding water. The plumber seemed to feel that smoke would not pinpoint the problem. The bathroom has a sliding pocket door and any leaking smoke would most likely just pour out there. The bathroom has an exhaust fan in the ceiling and no heat/ac duct in the bathroom. The floor doesn't seem to smell. When the plumber removed a light fixture, to feel around in the wall for the vent pipe, the smell was stronger since there was an open hole in the wall. The odor is definitely stronger late in the evening.
 
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Old 05-13-09, 05:35 AM
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Was the vent line in the wall area the plumber checked (when he removed the light fixture)? You said the aroma was noticeable with the fixture loose.

My thoughts jump to a drywall screw that was run into a vent pipe and then removed (so now you have a hole).

It may be time to trace the vent pipe and simply open up the wall if that is where it goes.

Bill
 
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Old 05-13-09, 07:06 AM
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I'm starting to think that water got in the wall, maybe from rain & created a mold condition. I don't think there is anything wrong with the pipes. Look at the roof & outisde wall carefully.
 
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Old 05-21-09, 09:11 PM
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Problem solved

Thank you for all your advice. I had the plumbers come back and took a chance with filling the vent line with water. The problem was under the house directly below the bathroom. One of the joints in the vent line was not properly sealed and the water came dripping out. That portion of the vent was removed and replaced. Now that the vent line connections are sealed, the smell is gone.
 
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Old 05-22-09, 05:59 AM
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Well done.
blah blah blah.
 
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