Stinky Bathroom

Old 07-04-01, 10:12 PM
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I bought a house-- an OLD house. The upstairs bathroom has a sewer smell to it, emanating from the toilet that is at its worst in the morning. PEEEEUWWWWW!!! There are no leaks around the toilet. Downstairs, in my laundry room where the washing machine drains, also smells like that sewer smell whenever anyone uses the upstairs bathroom to shower or use the toilet. There are no leaks in the laundry room, either, but there IS a pipe coming up from the basement where the washing machine's drain water goes into. Can anyone help? Is this a Vent Stack problem? The smell is unbearable. The previous owners (who had not lived in the house, but had leased it out) have said that they never noticed ths problem). Thanks for any help!
Old 07-04-01, 10:26 PM
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Grap the toilet bowl and see if there is any significant
movement side to side or front to back,if there is I would start with replacing the wax seal underneath. next be sure every fixture (excluding the toilet)has a trap seal and is holding water. once that is verifyed you may want to start on the fun part of looking for a breach in the drain system.
since you are not having a leak the breach is possibly above flood rim level in a dry vent,smoke bombs and sewer cameras can be helpful with this type of problem
Old 07-05-01, 09:15 PM
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dizzyfingers-you stated that there is a pipe coming up from the basement that the washing machine drains into. is there a trap anywhere on this line? if there is, is it holding water?

Old 07-06-01, 07:00 AM
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Mojo--- the pipe from the laundry room feeds directly through the floor and into the basement to the large waste PVC pipe that leads to my public sewer system outside. There is a U trap in this pipe, but I don't know if it holds water-- how on earth would I find out? The laundry room does smell but ONLY when the upstairs shower and toilet is used-- it does not smell when I use the washer or the downstairs fixtures. The upstairs bathroom smells in there, also, whether a fixture is on or off-- bad smells are especially emanating from the toilet bowl. I checked the toilet stability like plumbguy said-- the toilet is ok. I have NO idea how to go about checking every pipe and every drain. Wow, this house is old, and some of the plumbing goes back to the turn of the century. The Vent Stack that is supposed to be for the upstairs bathroom is relatively new, as it is PVC piping. I dread hiring somebody-- I just don't have the bucks for it........ if it is something I can do myslef, great. The hardest part seems to be diagnosing the problem! Thanks for your help. :-)
Old 07-06-01, 10:02 AM
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I would start trying to solve this from the top down by checking and clearing all vent pipes sticking up through the roof. I think that you just have a venting problem.
Clear out all leaves, debris, etc. that you can reach, snake the drain/waste/vent stack from top to bottom with a plumber's snake, and then flush the pipes thoroughly with a water hose sprayer.
A partially clogged vent pipe will cause trap water (which prevents sewer gas from entering the home) to be siphoned out whenever water is run through the drain pipes, thus allowing the gas in.
A toilet has its own built-in trap, and unless the wax seal is leaking, you shouldn't be getting sewer gas through it. Even though the toilet is stable now, it may have been tightened down at some point.
I would pull it and replace the wax seal. (See "Repair/Fix-It" above for illustrated how-to.)
ALL other fixtures should have a trap, and the traps should be holding water, unless they're leaking (which you would be able to detect).
Hopefully, you can correct your problem by replacing the toilet wax seal and clearing all vent stacks.
Good Luck!

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