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Terrible odor under dishwasher; seems to get worse after shower is used UPSTAIRS

Terrible odor under dishwasher; seems to get worse after shower is used UPSTAIRS

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Old 01-17-14, 07:03 AM
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Terrible odor under dishwasher; seems to get worse after shower is used UPSTAIRS

Issue started about 8 weeks ago. At first I assumed it was a dead animal stuck in the wall, but the odor comes and go. There are also a few "drain flies" hanging out around the kitchen which seem to indicate standing water...but never more than 2 or 3. I've cleaned out the dishwasher pipes connected to the disposal and checked the drains for old food.

I've also looked for signs of leaks inside the kitchen and under the house, but have found nothing. The strangest part is that the odor becomes noticably worst after I run the shower upstairs. Are the pipes connected? Is there some sludge stuck in the pipe that gets agitated?

Any thoughts or ideas would be very welcome.

Will
 
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Old 01-17-14, 07:23 AM
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The oder

I would look for leaks,and or dampness.
Sid
 
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Old 01-17-14, 07:28 AM
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The drain from your shower and kitchen sink are eventually tied together at some point. Both the shower and sink should be protected by traps to prevent sewer gas from making it's way into the home.

It is possible you have a leak somewhere in the shower. It could be in the drain piping, supply lines or leaking around the faucet or door. Most commonly I see leaks where the drain meets the shower/tub pan. Water could be running down inside the wall. Not enough to make a puddle in the crawl space but enough to keep the sheetrock wet and grow mold or promote something stinky.

I assume you do not have easy access to the space under the shower unless there is a closet nearby where you could open up the ceiling to see the bottom of the shower area. You can also remove the dishwasher and cut open the wall behind it for inspection.

Another option is to rent a thermal inspection camera. Not a cheap no touch thermometer but a real thermal camera (made by FLIR, Fluke...) Many tool rental stores now have them available for rent. Thermal cameras are extremely sensitive to even very subtle differences in temperature. A leak inside the wall will show either as a cold streak as the water evaporates cooling the wall or if it's a bigger leak as a hot streak as hot shower water warms the wall.
 
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Old 01-17-14, 07:42 AM
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Thank you.

I've been able to see the drain pipe for the shower upstairs (actually a tub - I should have mentioned) as it run downstairs via an access space that also hold some HVAC equipment. No dampness that I can find. And the drain flies are almost a non-issue, but just a few hang around to make me wonder waht is going on.

Do you think the dishwasher just happens to be a low point where the moisture is settling? The odors also gets worse after we run the dishwasher. It sounds like taking it out and doing investigating behind the wall or pipes would be a good place to start.
 
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Old 01-17-14, 07:49 AM
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This may be a stupid and obvious question but is your dishwasher draining above the sink trap or below it. If by chance it was below it, then you have no water seal to the dishwashr drain and sewer gas may be comimg through the dishwasher drain pipe.
 
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Old 01-17-14, 08:03 AM
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Don't worry about stupid questions! I just had to google "sink trap" so I'm coming at this as a complete amatuer and first time homeowner.

I believe it drains above the sink trap but I will check again when I get home.

Is that what I am smelling? The "sewer gas". Are there any other reasons why it would be exposed like that all of a sudden?

Will
 
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Old 01-17-14, 08:33 AM
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Will,

I wouldn't worry about what I said concerning the trap. If the dishwasher was installed professionally then it will be drained above the trap. I can't answer if its sewer gas or not, but if its emanating from the dishwasher area and its plumbed properly then most likely its not sewer gas.

Another outside possibility could be a plugged vent pipe, but then I think you would see other problems. Is your kitchen sink draining properly (assuming the dishwasher is next to it)?

Another "wayout" idea is a rotten potato or onion that may have rolled under an unseen crevice or cupboard. It happens, it happened to me. The flys might be a clue!

Follow what Pilot Dane has suggested. I'm sure you find the culprit.
 
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