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My plumbing problem


energy star
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I installed a new bathroom on the 2nd floor of my home. Two pedestal sinks, one toilet and tub shower enclosure. I have fed all of these with 3/4 inch supply water line. It travels from my basement to the second floor. What I did when installing was to take a supply line off the side to hit a washer/dryer. This dead-ended line is about 10' long. I decided not to use this feed because I found another spot for those appliances. Everything works just fine. But I have a smell. Smells like dirt. Very faint Every morning I wake up brush my teeth and then sip some water from the water spout. (they are very high) and I get this smell. It may be coming from the over flow hole on the pedestal sink. My question is, does the sinks require a deeper trap? or that line I ran for the washer I never used has accumulated mold in the line and I'm starting to smell it. If I fill a glass of water I can't really say that is the origin of the smell, I'm kinda leaning towards the traps. I was unaware of a deeper trap for this purpose. Anyways.... that bathroom is the only one that has that smell. Thanks for any suggestions.

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Every morning I wake up brush my teeth and then sip some water from the water spout. (they are very high) and I get this smell.

Do you get the smell with your head in the same position but without running any water? Without brushing your teeth?

If you have a water line that never got flushed, it's possible that you still have flux/solder/crap sediment in that line. Doesn't seem too likely, but I guess you could be getting some mixing from that. Dunno about it smelling like "dirt" though.

The pedestal sinks don't require special p-traps, but they do need proper p-traps. Got photos? You ran vent lines, right?

Did you run a drain for the original appliance location? If so...is that properly capped? Did you trap the shower drain properly?

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I changed the whole bathroom around. Sinks have traps. Shower has a trap. used CPVC. This is something I must admit I forgot to do. I just ran the 2" vent into the attic (yeah I know) I just have to tie it into the new 3" vent through the roof. I never did that. The attic has no hint of a smell, but I just did go up to check things out and saw I have a window blown out from the wind storm sometime ago. BUT, I don't think thats it because it (the smell)would have to blow past the water in the trap. It's like I have dirt smelling water in that one room.

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Originally posted by energy star

I installed a new bathroom on the 2nd floor of my home. Two pedestal sinks, one toilet and tub shower enclosure. I have fed all of these with 3/4 inch supply water line. It travels from my basement to the second floor. What I did when installing was to take a supply line off the side to hit a washer/dryer. This dead-ended line is about 10' long. I decided not to use this feed because I found another spot for those appliances. Everything works just fine. But I have a smell. Smells like dirt. Very faint Every morning I wake up brush my teeth and then sip some water from the water spout. (they are very high) and I get this smell. It may be coming from the over flow hole on the pedestal sink. My question is, does the sinks require a deeper trap? or that line I ran for the washer I never used has accumulated mold in the line and I'm starting to smell it. If I fill a glass of water I can't really say that is the origin of the smell, I'm kinda leaning towards the traps. I was unaware of a deeper trap for this purpose. Anyways.... that bathroom is the only one that has that smell. Thanks for any suggestions.

It's very common to get a smell from the overflow channel. It's a small-diameter passage that only gets filled with water once in a while and that often has a small obstruction at the bottom end where it joins the drain flange. (Plumber's putty from the drain flange often squishes in around the overflow drain's outlet.) Stuff can back up into it, not fully drain out and just sit there festering. I've heard people describe the smell as resembling potting soil.

If that's it, remove the pop up stopper and look down there. Use a mirror, if you have one small enough, and a small flashlight. This should reveal any obstructions. Use a bent coathanger or anything else you can find to clean out the excess putty and ensure that the channel can drain freely. Then stop up the drain and fill the channel with a weak bleach solution (no stronger than one part bleach to two parts water) and let is sit for a while. Remove your stopper, drain the channel and flush it all out with fresh water. The problem should go away.

If it returns, you might have to clean the channel regularly.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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