Floor Drain Odor


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Old 01-19-10, 01:29 PM
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Unhappy Floor Drain Odor

Lately, I have been noticing a foul odor coming from the floor drain in my basement. I initially thought that it was due to a dry trap. So I bought an auger(About 20 ft.) from Walmart, cleaned the drain (pulled out dental floss of a tennis ball size) and hosed it water too. I thought that was it. But about 10 days later, the same odor again. This time, I projected a flashlight into the drain and found some "foreign objects" in the drain.
We have a 3 floor house (incl. the basement) with a bathroom on each floor. After observing the foreign objects in the drain, I tossed three pieces of dental floss in the three toilets, flushed each one at a time, and checked the drain after each flushing. Nothing was noticed after flushing the basement and the first floor toilets. However, the piece of floss from the top floor toilet was found in the drain after flushing the "top" floor toilet. I have been keeping an eye on this and most of the times, "not always" and not all but "remnants" of stuff from the top toilet ends up in the floor drain. That, I believe, causes the odor, over time.
I have also kept an eye over the level of the water in the trap and found that it has basically remained at the same level, thus eliminating siphoning being the cause. I think. If I flush the drain with a gallon or so of water every few days, no odor problem. When I flush the drain with a gallon of water, the water goes freely on its way, no obstruction noticed and the drain water is refreshed. I have tried that too for a week.
I have lived in this house for 5 years without such a nuisance.


My questions: i
1. Is stuff from the toilet supposed to end up in the floor drain?

2. What could be the cause and what else could I try to free myself of this pain?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 01-19-10, 03:40 PM
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Flushing dental floss is not a good way to test a drain. Although I've never seen it where I live, I was told that sometimes sewer lines & storm drains are connected.

In your case, the floor drain maybe connected to an outside storm drain where the objects are entering. That's ignoring the possibility that you have young children or tenants, causing the problem.
 
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Old 01-19-10, 08:49 PM
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most waste lines (from toilet or sink) lead directly into a sewer line. Which then runs directly to public sewer line out in the street, or into your septic tank.

Here's a question.... Is your house a town home or closely spaced single? I had an issue with a rental one time (town home) where e had a foul odor. It was coming from the neighbors cracked sewer line and ending up into my sump after leeching into my french drain.

Try asking your neighbor to spend 8grand to fix your stink problem.

The fact that something coming from your third floor toilet ending up in a basement floor drain does not sound right to me. That added with the fact that you have an odor tells me that you may have some obstruction where your waste lines converge into your main sewer line and eventually backs up in to that particular floor drain... ??
 
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Old 01-20-10, 02:38 PM
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Unhappy Floor Drain Odor

Today:

First, I augered the drain again. At the beginning I had a tough time getting the wire to go in. It eventually did and then I found gravel-like stuff at the bottom of the drain, which I vacuumed out with my shop vac. Twice the gravel-like stuff came out.

Then, I had one person flush the upstairs toilet while I watched the floor drain in the basement. When he flushed, the water in the drain rose, didn't overflow and then subsided. We did this several times and the same thing happened. It's only when the top-stairs toilet is flushed that the water enters this drain. Other toilets didn't do that.
 
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Old 01-20-10, 04:49 PM
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At this point in time, it doesn't matter which toilets go into that drain, your main objective is to eliminate the restricted flow. Is that correct?

If so, you have to find the spot where the gravel, tennis balls & other objects are entering. My guess is that there is an opened vent or drain outside the house, which I mentioned in my first response. Look for that first.
 
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Old 10-23-10, 03:19 PM
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I have the same problem

Hello. I'm new to this site.
I have a foul and sickening odor coming from my basement floor drain. The folks from the city came out and said it's probably from a dry trap. I've sent water down the drain, and it goes smoothly, but the odor returns.
Does this mean that perhaps the trap is leaking and the water drains out of it, allowing the sewer smell into the house? Or, as you have discussed here, does it necessarily mean there's an obstruction?
Please reply and let me know what you think.
Thanks.
TBchisoxfan
 
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Old 05-07-11, 03:18 PM
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Dental office floor drain odor

I have a similar problem.
We currently have a Janitor/owner cleaning a particular dentists office that has a bad odor coming from ONE paarticular floor drain in a bathroom. They previously tried everything, running the water, keeping the water pumps running, etc. The problem is is that there is NO one common thread to figure out what the problem is, we are currently trying enzymatic cleaner and I used a sewage cleaner that converts sewage water to CO2 and H2O that seemed to work right up until Fri. eve. when the janitor reported that the smell was back? They are more than willing to get a contractor since that seems to be what is necessary, but if there is ONE MORE THING that we could try, I would like to be able to get this resolved w/o "trying to ask the neighbor to repair something they don't think is broken"

Help!!!!
 
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Old 05-07-11, 08:16 PM
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TamKat welcome to the forums!! First it must be determined that the floor drain has a trap incorporated in it. Have they taken the cover off the drain? A good flashlight will tell you if there is a trap. If you see water, most likely you have a trap. If you see pipe turning at the bottom and not water, there is no trap, and there is nothing you can do except dig it up and do it right. Let us know about the trap thingy.
 
 

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