Sewer Gas Smell in Laundry Room

Discussion in 'XDTalk Chatter Box' started by Spammy_H, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. Spammy_H

    Spammy_H XDTalk 1K Member

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    If I have to call in a plumber, I will, but thought I'd try to pick the collective brain of the XD Forum first:

    I'm getting a persistent sewer gas smell in my laundry room. I'm thinking it has something to do with the trap not holding water, but not sure why.

    Could there be something messed up with my vent stack?

    I appreciate any ideas all of you might have.
     
  2. Groo

    Groo XDTalk 10K Member

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    yup, a clogged vent stack could cause the trap to empty.
     
  3. Bucc5207

    Bucc5207 XDTalk 5K Member

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    Do you have any little-used drains that might have gone dry? Maybe a floor drain?
     
  4. rayikeo2

    rayikeo2 XDTalk 4K Member

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    Nothing to worry about, you can fix it 5 minutes at no cost. It happens all the time at my house. The reason, one of your drains has evaporated the water that blocks sewer gas from backing up into the house.

    The fix: Locate all drains in that room (floor drain, sink drain, unused washer drain pipe, and ony other drains you find) and pour 1 quart of water into each drain. The smell will go away in a short time.

    I have a floor drain in my furnace room, durning the winter it evaporates the water because the AC is no longer draining condensation into that drain. I have to pour in water every 2 weeks. It is as simple as that. Absolutely no work involved.:D:D:D

    Don't worry about the vent either!
     
  5. Mr Evilwrench

    Mr Evilwrench XDTalk 500 Member

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    I have a shower stall I don't use for showering because it gets water all over the wall and floor, so I have the litter box there. I eventually wound up duct taping the drain closed to keep it from doing that.
     
  6. Smiley

    Smiley XDTalk Newbie

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    you can also fill unused drain with water then pour about a half to full cup of vegetable oil in...the oil helps to keep the water from evaporating as quickly...
     
  7. Spammy_H

    Spammy_H XDTalk 1K Member

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    Thanks - I don't think the trap is evaporating - the washing machine is used almost every day. I guess I'm leaning more toward the vent stack being clogged.

    Any idea what would cause a clogged stack? I'll do some research online as well.
     
  8. partdeux

    partdeux XDTalk 1K Member

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    leaves, critters, debris.

    Is there a floor drain? That is the likely candidate for a dried out trap.
     
  9. Spammy_H

    Spammy_H XDTalk 1K Member

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    Partdeux - good points.

    No floor drain, just the wastewater for the washing machine.

    Will get onto the roof later, take a look, and report back.
     
  10. rayikeo2

    rayikeo2 XDTalk 4K Member

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    ^^
    This is my opinion also. Before you go up on the roof to check the vent pipe you need to double check the drains.. Look in other rooms too. There has to be a dry vent, it could be a sink, one side of a double sink, a bath tub, an unused washer drain pipe. These things are easy to check. If you put water into each one the smell will go away. It might take overnight if the air circulation is slow. Check all adjoining rooms for any and all drains. I think you are not finding a drain in a well hidden spot. Look again, be through.
    Vent pipe clogs are as rare as hens teeth.
     
  11. MFE

    MFE XDTalk 100 Member

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    Just pour water down each of the drains and don't overthink it.
     
  12. Pyle's BBQ

    Pyle's BBQ XDTalk 100 Member

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    How new is your house? I can't believe there is not a floor drain in your laundry room. Have you ever moved your washer to see if there is a drain under it?
     
  13. Groo

    Groo XDTalk 10K Member

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    won't fix anything if running the washing machine daily empties it each time.

    if you have sealed run, the flow past the trap just sucks the trap dry. the vent lets air in to break the suction after the trap. it the pipes are all exposed, you can put in an air entrance valve in place of the vent stack. You need something to let air into the plumbing or it will suck the trap dry. you could also potentially put in a taller trap that is harder to suck dry, but I'd start by cleaning out the vent and make sure you have a grill of some sort over it.
     
  14. Spammy_H

    Spammy_H XDTalk 1K Member

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    The house was built in 1997, and there is no floor drain.

    I got up on the roof, and used fish tape to try to clean out the vent stack, then run water down it. Found a tennis ball plugging each one of my gutter downspouts - glad I saw that. Anyways, after snaking the vent, and not sure if I accomplished anything, I went into the attic and noticed that the vent stack for the laundry room and the bathroom behind it was common with my A/C unit, so I don't think I actually successfully fished the right vent.

    I'm going to buy a reel of plumber's tape and see if I can direct it down the right branch to get into the vent stack for the washing machine waste water.

    Will post again . . .

    and thanks for all the advice. I appreciate it.
     
  15. Spammy_H

    Spammy_H XDTalk 1K Member

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    Groo - the run is not sealed - it's just the drain hose sticking into the hole in the plumbing panel for the washing machine.
     
  16. rayikeo2

    rayikeo2 XDTalk 4K Member

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    I think you are working on the wrong thing and wasting time and expense when you need to just add water to some drain in your house. Is there a sink or shower or tub you are not using. Look around your hot water heater and furnace for a drain. There is usually one for the water heater in case it ruptures. Is your house built on a concrete floor?
     
  17. slugger6

    slugger6 XDTalk 85K Member Founding Member

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    Dead rat?
     
  18. Spammy_H

    Spammy_H XDTalk 1K Member

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    Ray - Believe me, everything that could use water in my house is used on a regular basis - sinks, toilets, washing machines, etc. I'm sure of that.

    The smell is coming from the laundry room, and the washing machines gets used very regularly. There is no floor drain.

    The house is on slab.
     
  19. rayikeo2

    rayikeo2 XDTalk 4K Member

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    Slugger might be on to an alternate cause for the smell you are getting. It might not be sewer gas at all, it might be a dead mouse under your washer or under the sofa, refrigerator, sink. They have a sewer gas smell. If it is a dead mouse it will go away in two weeks, even if you don't find it.
    The only thing to clog a roof sewer vent is vegitation like leafs. The smell keeps animals like rats away from the vent. Rats don't get on the roof anyway.
     
  20. Groo

    Groo XDTalk 10K Member

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    I was referring to after the trap.
     

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