Old 09-14-01, 04:24 PM
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7 floor, 25 year old building in Downtown Brampton area,(I live on 4th.
Bathroom sinks emit strong sewer sink smell upon turning water on. Smell not present leaning over sink before turning tap on, smell seems to rise from overflow drain once water hits trap itself. Landlord claims as none of us(with the 6 month old gag reflex)complaining have a leak in our drain trap so it is impossible for us to be having this smell coming from sink.
Last 6 weeks water presure has become more severe every week. Started, it felt like the "regulator" was gone as while having a shower hot water presure would decrease to feel like someone had flushed toliet. Past 2 weeks worst; while showering water suddenly turns stone cold and does not return at-all, or it suddenly turns boiling hot and you must turn the hot water all but off to get any fast relief. I told the super. of the danger of the hot water being so hot it could cause scalding but he claims it has not been adjusted. He also claimed on Mon. Sept 10th that he had a plumber in whom checked one part of water system and was to return Wed to complete system but it is both their opinion that people in the building are leaving dishwashers and clothes washers hooked up to facuets 24 hrs. a day and that is what is causeing the fluctuation in the severe changes and lack of water presure has plagued us for the past 6 weeks.
I myself had a apt.washing maching for the first 7/13 yrs and never heard or experienced any of these problems. Please help me direct the super to the problems and hopefully someone who's competents exceeds the present plumber.
Old 09-15-01, 04:35 AM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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Other than the plumbing problem, how are things up there in Canada?
Your landlord is wrong. You do not have to have a leak in your trap to get a sewer gas smell from it. The vent pipes can get clogged, and water draining through the system can siphon trap water out to create another "vent", allowing sewer gas in from the drains.
However, from your description, the smell is present only when you run water into the sinks, so the smell must be coming from the water itself.
The primary cause of smelly water is a buildup of harmless, but smelly, bacteria in the water system. This usually occurs in a hot water system.
I suspect that the hot water in your building is supplied through a boiler system, unless you have individual water heaters.
If it is through a boiler, there most likely is clogging in the water heating coils in the boiler, which can cause all of the problems that you describe.
Ask your super to have that checked out first.
Good Luck! Mike

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