Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




25 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 15


# 251416 24-Jun-2019 23:26
One person supports this post
Send private message quote this post

Hi all -

 

I've had an issue in my ensuite for about 4 or 5 months now - there's a pretty offensive smell in there but it only happens at night.

 

A bit about the house and bathroom. It's a two story house with the master bedroom and ensuite sitting on the second story above the garage. The ensuite is in the corner of the house (meaning it has two exterior walls) and the bedroom is the same just the next corner around. The bathroom has a sink, shower and toilet.

 

Since this began happening I've tried and done a lot of different things, tonnes of Google and YouTube searches but nothing's ringing out out me about what's going on. At first I thought it was a dead rodent, like a rat or mouse, in the walls as the smell kind of smells like rotting flesh. This drove me to get up into the ceiling and have a look around the bathroom area but nothing was there that I could see. Google's told me though that the smell from a dead rat should only last 3 ~ 4 weeks for the flesh to rot away and then a couple of weeks after that, so we're long past that point now. Also it doesn't make any sense that the smell only happens at night, if it was that it should be worse during the day.

 

I then read / saw on YouTube that the drains could be smelly, so I've done a couple of batches of vinegar, baking soda in both the shower and sink, as well as now three batches of draino and that hasn't done anything either. I should also point out I stupidly broke the drain for the shower and caused a leak into the garage below a couple of months ago and had to get a plumber around. Since then I can 100% say it's not the shower or sink drains causing the problem ...

 

I've also checked outside the bathroom window to see whether there's anything on the roof below it (which covers the rest of the garage below) but there's nothing on it that I can see.

 

So this leaves me with the toilet. A number of forums and other Google searches point to a S / P trap, wax seal or venting problem. Both while I was in the ceiling and last weekend I put my phone on an 8m extension pole and checked the roof for a venting pipe but I cannot see one anywhere. Then on level.org.nz I see that some toilets can have an air admittance valve. All of this is making me wonder whether I have something like this and this is the problem? Surely if I'm using the shower, sink and toilet everyday I can't have a dry S or P trap right?

 

I cannot 100% reproduce the issue either - some nights it's not as bad or simply doesn't happen at all. I've also been away quite a bit recently - weeks at a time, and when I return the bathroom doesn't smell at all. So it's like something different is happening at night and I think it's to do with the sewer system and sewer gas is getting into the bathroom somehow. Even though the bedroom is connected to the bath, if I close the bathroom door I cannot smell anything in the bedroom at all - it's completely contained to the bathroom. Even though I said I cannot 100% reproduce the issue, I'm about 70% sure it has something to do with flushing the toilet but then again I could be imagining it.

 

So hopefully this is a plumbing question that has a plumbing answer and someone out there is thinking "I know exactly what your problem is!".

 

 

 

Cheers - going slightly nuts over this!!!


Filter this topic showing only the reply marked as answer View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Mad Scientist
20457 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 2789

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  # 2263678 24-Jun-2019 23:34
Send private message quote this post

a bit of lateral thinking but - can anyone else smell it?

 

smelling smells is a very very very rare sign of a brain tumour (due to it being located in a specific brain area)





Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.




25 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 15


  # 2263679 24-Jun-2019 23:36
One person supports this post
Send private message quote this post

You know what, I read this on a forum post in Australia too! But yes, my partner can smell it too. So unless we're both really sick - it's not that :).


 
 
 
 


2941 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 672


  # 2263682 24-Jun-2019 23:59
One person supports this post
Send private message quote this post

Maybe not helpful specifically, but our spare bathroom sometimes doesn't get used for a few months. We noticed it started smelling a l little off. Realised the water in the waste trap of the shower would have evaporated ( especially over the summer months) and allowed some odour to waft up the drain pipes. Sure enough, ran a little water in the shower every few weeks an no problem.

 

So could it be you have a waste trap u bend or something that isn't always sealed with water?

 

What if the toilet wooshes a bit much sometimes and leaves a bit of an air gap?

 

Try getting a bucket of water, and after every flush, just pour about a litre slowly in to the pan. If no more smells you will possibly have proven it's gas coming up the pipes in through the toilet...  not a solution, just a way to track the problem...

 

 

 

 





Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler

2850 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 495


  # 2263690 25-Jun-2019 05:48
Send private message quote this post

The toilet may not have a separate vent if it is close to the main vent. If you have differing roof levels you could have a vent below your ensuite window level. You can easily see if the toilet has enough water to seal the trap. Sometimes wind across the vent can bounce the water in the traps and the level goes down.

124 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 26

Subscriber

  # 2263706 25-Jun-2019 07:01
Send private message quote this post

Is it external to you house? We live in Tawa under certain weather conditions we used to get smells from Porirua tip. The smell was mostly noticeable at night.

14878 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 2790

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 2263713 25-Jun-2019 07:45
One person supports this post
Send private message quote this post

Is it particularly bad after you have a curry for dinner? 😉


16957 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 3368

Trusted

  # 2263714 25-Jun-2019 07:47
Send private message quote this post

timmmay:

 

Is it particularly bad after you have a curry for dinner? 😉

 

 

Only when he also had baked beans for lunch


 
 
 
 


sxz

671 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 172


  # 2263729 25-Jun-2019 08:33
3 people support this post
Send private message quote this post

This is going to sound weird - but check your light fittings.

 

 

I had a spare bedroom with the exact same issue. I couldn't pin it down, and it was only sometimes, and only at night. It turned out the plastic light socket fitting had somehow turned rank, and when the light was on it would heat up and smell like month-old BO hotdog. It was rancid. I checked the walls, the roof space, I thought something had died behind the wall, but couldn't explain why it was intermittent. It was only at night for me, because that was the only time the light was on. It was only intermittent, because the light had to be on for 30 minutes or more to get hot and smelly.

 

 

When I realised it was the light fitting (weird, I know) I replaced it and the problem was 100% fixed instantly. It was such a relief!

 

 

The light fitting was a stock standard light fitting from a 1960s house. Most have since been replaced but it was only the one that smelt.

 

 

I know, I know, it sounds weird, but try it.

4328 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 880

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 2263732 25-Jun-2019 08:42
Send private message quote this post

I recently had a blockage in the drainage on my property and on a couple of occasions it caused a small amount of sewage residue to come up the shower drain. For reasons that I don't know it seemed inclined to occur at night.

 

You might want to check your external drains and see if the water level is sitting unusually high after showing, toilet flushing, etc.


8338 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 4596


  # 2263764 25-Jun-2019 09:33
One person supports this post
Send private message quote this post

Batman:

 

smelling smells is a very very very rare sign of a brain tumour (due to it being located in a specific brain area)

 

 

 

 

Forever the optimist, LOL.

 

Did that gem of diagnosis originate from "Deadwood"?


157 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 10


  # 2263767 25-Jun-2019 09:36
Send private message quote this post

I had a similar issue following a bathroom reno whereby the initial morning shower would generate a terrible odour.

 

Had the plumber back to look at it as I thought the toilet waste odour was in the shower drain...after a number of tests, it was deemed to be the build up of soap scum and stagnate water in the shower waste which was a 100m pipe with the water level about 300mm down leaving plenty of pipe wall to collect soap etc. As this only existed with the first shower stirring up the waste water after sitting overnight...still not 100% though.

 

The solution was I installed one of these https://www.allproof.co.nz/drainage/sudvalve and it has worked like a treat and reduced the noise. There are number of products like this on the market with a few good ones in Australia.


8338 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 4596


  # 2263788 25-Jun-2019 09:58
Send private message quote this post

Edit - after re-reading original post

 

Sounds like the toilet has an air admittance valve (a one-way valve rather than an external vent) that's not working properly - allowing gases from the sewer to leak back into the room. 

 

The main vent might also be blocked (bird nest, dead rat, whatever - if the mesh cap is missing),.

 

 


BoJo for PMUK?
3578 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1204

Subscriber

  # 2263809 25-Jun-2019 10:14
Send private message quote this post

Fred99:

Edit - after re-reading original post


Sounds like the toilet has an air admittance valve (a one-way valve rather than an external vent) that's not working properly - allowing gases from the sewer to leak back into the room. 


The main vent might also be blocked (bird nest, dead rat, whatever - if the mesh cap is missing),.


 



I believe OP has said that he can’t see any vent coming from the toilet plumbing - certainly nothing up through the roof. If there is an Air Admittance Valve fitted in lieu (excuse the pun) of a vent, are these permitted to be in the wall cavity - say behind the cistern? If there is one fitted, where/how might he find it - where are they usually located?

If a malfunctioning AAV is the problem, wouldn’t the smell be there all the time, not just at night?

Edit: Googled and I found how/where AAVs are installed.

575 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 395


  # 2264049 25-Jun-2019 13:42
3 people support this post
Send private message quote this post

It's me. I've been sneaking into your house and crapping up a storm. Sorry. Not sorry.


 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Filter this topic showing only the reply marked as answer View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic



Twitter and LinkedIn »



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Dunedin selects Telensa to deliver smart street lighting for 15,000 LEDs
Posted 18-Jul-2019 10:21


Sprint announces a connected wallet card with built-in IoT support
Posted 18-Jul-2019 08:36


Educational tool developed at Otago makes international launch
Posted 17-Jul-2019 21:57


Symantec introduces cloud access security solution
Posted 17-Jul-2019 21:48


New Zealand government unveils new digital service to make business easier
Posted 16-Jul-2019 17:35


Scientists unveil image of quantum entanglement
Posted 13-Jul-2019 06:00


Hackers to be challenged at University of Waikato
Posted 12-Jul-2019 21:34


OPPO Reno Z now available in New Zealand
Posted 12-Jul-2019 21:28


Sony introduces WF-1000XM3 wireless headphones with noise cancellation
Posted 8-Jul-2019 16:56


Xero announces new smarter tools, push into the North American market
Posted 19-Jun-2019 17:20


New report by Unisys shows New Zealanders want action by social platform companies and police to monitor social media sites
Posted 19-Jun-2019 17:09


ASB adds Google Pay option to contactless payments
Posted 19-Jun-2019 17:05


New Zealand PC Market declines on the back of high channel inventory, IDC reports
Posted 18-Jun-2019 17:35


Air New Zealand uses drones to inspect aircraft
Posted 17-Jun-2019 15:39


TCL Electronics launches its first-ever 8K TV
Posted 17-Jun-2019 15:18



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.


Support Geekzone »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.