Question about American Standard Cambridge 5' Americast Bathtub w/ Grab Bar Drillings & Le

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Sewer Gas Smell Coming From Bath Tub

We had the "smoke" test done twice to test where leaks might be in our sewer system. None were found. The subject bathroom had an Americast Tub installed about 4 months ago. We didn't really notice the problem till the gas-forced-air heating system came on. The air intake for the central HVAC system is in the hall right next to the bathroom. Somehow, sewer gas seems to be getting sucked out of the OVERFLOW vent of the tub and is very strong. I removed the cover plate on the overflow and duct taped the hole completely. This seems to resolve the issue of the sewer gas. Any ideas what would produce this very strong odor? Any thoughts are appreciated.

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  • drain and sewer cleaning

    A proper water trap full of water should not let this happen as the overflow pipe should also run in to this trap. The only thing I can think of is if the plumber run the overflow pipe to an air vent instead of the trap or maybe split the pipe, run one pipe to trap and other pipe to air vent.It may sound like a good ideal getting the extra air but it's not. It will let gas into the house. If this is the case I would have the pipe going to air vent stubbed off on both ends, and look for a new plumber.


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Hello all, I have been renting a house for over two years and all of a sudden this really bad sewer smell and some type of brownish film goes around the drain almost up to the spout the smell or what ever it is even burns my eyes a bit,this has never happened before it is worse over night,, is this bad for our health, I bleach it about 10 times a day, can anybody please tell me what it is?

Worried Mom

Posted on Aug 27, 2010

  • drain and sewer cleaning

    This is called rust it is a hard water stain, mineral deposit from the can clean it with something like iron out or other hard water deposit cleaner, then you might have to look in to getting a filter installed


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I've encountered this problem about 4 or 5 times. It has always been when there is more than one bathroom with more than one tub/shower. What has happened is that one tub/shower hasn't been used for a month or two and the water in the P trap evaporates and then the sewer gas or septic bed gas can come up the pipe into the room. If you have a sink, toilet, shower or any fixture that has a trap, make sure that you pour a cup of water down approx. 1 per month if your aren't using the fixture.

Posted on Nov 12, 2009

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I can think of two possible solutions to this issue.

  1. The trap is installed incorrectly. The trap is the portion of the drain that is U shaped under the tub. The wastewater must come out of the tub and into the trap. From the trap it goes into the trap arm which must remain horizontal until it reaches the vent. This is very important. The vent must remain vertical until it is at least 6" above the rim of the tub.
  2. The sewer could be plugged. Not the tub but the main sewer line. When this occurs the water has no where to go so it forces the air in the line to take the path of least resistance and that usually menas the tub since the shower has a 2" trap. You may hear a bubbling sound when flushing. The drain may not be completely plugged so it would appear as an intermittent problem.
Hope this helps and please remember to rate this!

Posted on Dec 10, 2008

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I am a plumber and I once dealt with a similar problem. As it turned out there was nothing wrong with the plumbing. Whoever installed the tub spout filled it with plumbers putty! The putty had begun to rot from constant moisture (I know it sound strange) and was giving off the most offensive, sewer gas like odor. The customer had had two other plumbers in before me and she said I couldn't leave until I solved her problem. Who would have thought of removing tyhe tub spout. I had to think outside the box - your problem may require out of the box thinking as well.

Posted on Jun 16, 2009

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