Odor After Shower


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Old 03-03-08, 08:24 AM
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Exclamation Odor After Shower

We are renting a house with a very lazy landlord so we need to fix this problem ourself. After taking a shower the basement smells like sewage and when the heat kicks on, it pushes it throughout the house. This does not happen when running the sink or flushing the toilet. We have dumped water, bleach, and heavy duty clog remover down the sink and the drain in the basement. All this has failed. Any suggestions on what to do next?
 
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Old 03-03-08, 11:13 AM
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Is this a floor drain in the basement? Since floor drains don't get used too often it's easy for the water in the trap to evaporate. But you did say you already poured water into it. Hmmm...

Are certain the odor is coming from the drain and not somewhere else in the basement?
 
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Old 03-03-08, 04:50 PM
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This is another one of those exciting mysteries. I can break down certain things you have said:

Regarding the "lazy landlord": Maybe he already knows HE cannot fix it and that he is unwilling to pay an expensive plumber to fix an odor, if that is all that is wrong. Maybe.

You know conclusively and have ruled out coincidence, that it indeed ONLY has ever happened during showers? And that you know the odor is down there FIRST before the furnace gets it circulating through the house? It's almost amazing you were able to break this all down into these time frames before it was swirling throughout the house.

I am pondering how a vent could do this, but am unsure at the moment, with it only being the shower, IF, it truly is just the shower. I was contemplating that maybe for some reason the basement is under low atmospheric pressure (negative pressure) sometimes and your sewer source really is from somewhere else and gets to the basement via a chase, and goes down there due to the lower atmospheric pressure.

Do you have a dryer running in the basement when this happens? Or, do you even have a dryer down there? If so, you might want to go out to the vent hood outside when you smell the odor in the basement and see if the odor wafts out the venthood, furthering the theory about the pressure difference in the house. And/or do you have a conventional or powervent gas water heater? That could ALSO pull air out of the basement, creating negative pressure. AND, when taking a shower, the water heater would probably come on and this could create the even more drafting. And so could the furnace, if the furnace is an open-combustion variety.

But we still have to find how the gas odor is getting in in the first place. You must check out every fixture drain and even if toilet in basement you need to smell around the base of it, as the wax seal could be bad.

Let us know your house's layout and every fixture, including especially all that is in the basement. And is it a full basemernt without there being a crawl space with unknowns in there?
 
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Old 03-04-08, 11:28 AM
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Thank you for such great responses, lets see if I can elaborate a little more. This is rather new to me since this is the first time I have lived away from my parents and my boyfriend is probably even worse at home improvement than I am. We have well water and the well room does emit an odor but it is not the same odor that is coming from after the shower. The only toilet we have is on the first floor in the room with the shower and there is no dryer in the basement. We do have one of those wash room sinks down there, could this be a source? There is also no crawlspace in this basement. Is it possible that maybe we should just snake the drain in the shower? I'm sorry I cannot answer any of the questions about the furnace and water heater. Again, thanks for the responses.
 
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Old 03-05-08, 04:59 PM
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Have you ran that sink down there? Every plumbing fixture that puts water into a drain has a trap, and can go dry if not replenshed with some water now and then. If the trap goes dry, under the right conditions (negative atmospheric pressure compared with the outdoors), sewer gases can enter the house at an open trap. Like I said, in preceding post, even around the base of a toilet that normally does not leak water, also.
 
 

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