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Rotten egg smell / sink

Whenever the water is on in the bathroom sink a rotten egg smell emmits from the pipes and the water doesnt drain properly

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Two different problems. Rotten egg smell is sulfer from the water supply, especially strong in heated water. Drain may need to be cabled out. 

Posted on Mar 12, 2009

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As someone who has had a deep well drilled and found water, but water contaminated with iron and sulfur, I can tell you first hand about the rotten egg smell. The water softener will remove the iron that can turn clothes orange, but doesn't do anything to remove the rotten egg odor. You will need a charcoal (carbon) water filter to eliminate the sulfur smell.

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This is likely "sewer gas" and can cause headaches, dizziness, etc. if you remain exposed to it for a prolonged period of time. This originates mostly in the drain openings of fixtures that are seldom used - such as sinks and showers of basements, guest rooms, etc.

When these fixtures do not get used regularly, the relatively small amount of water that is designed to always be present in the "trap" portion of the drain pipe eventually evaporates. This trapped water prevents the the gasses in the sewer / septic system from passing through the trap. Without it, these gasses will rise through the pipes connected to the sewer / septic system and exit into your living space via the drain opening in the floor drain, shower, tub, sink and even toilet if left unused long enough.

It is usually resolved very easily by slowly pouring about a 1/2 gallon of water down the drain. The water now isolates the drain opening from the sewer / septic system and effectively stops odors from escaping. If you find that this is happening regularly (often from floor drains in dry basements) you should slowly pour water 1/2 gallon of water into the drain, and then add 2 to 3 ounces of cooking oil. The oil is lighter than water and will sit on top of the water surface. Oil does not evaporate and blocks the water from evaporating through it. Evaporation of the water in the trap will take place from the sewer / septic side of the trap, but it occurs at a much slower rate.

After filling the traps with water or water & oil, just ventilate and you're done!

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Copy following link for sewer smell:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Plumbing-Vents.html
Copy following link if drain is clogged, and that appears to be source of smell: Use white vinegar and or hydrogen peroxide:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-repair-and-install-Garbage-disposal.html#tubular
Copy following link if rotten-egg odor is coming from hot water:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html#smell
Add a comment... and it is possible that fixya will sent me note, and I can answer further questiions

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I bought a new kitchen sink and pipes with a garbage disposal. Over night the smell in the garbage disposal is like rotten eggs! How can I make it smell good?


Use hydrogen peroxide and/ white vinegar to safely deodorize disposal.
Clean out drain line under sink, and bottom of disposal under cutter blade.
Copy following link for clogged disposal, and drain line tips.
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Bathroom sink smells strongly like sewer when water runs fast.


Suppose you plugged the drain of the sink and filled the basin with water, then removed the plug. I must think that only after the basin empties you would get the sewer smell, and the smell would persist until you slowly ran some more water. If you try this, and this is the result, then the problem is that the sewer vent (that is supposed to prevent the water in the trap under the sink from being sucked down the drain) is not working right. If this is a new problem then you may be able to clear what is probably a blocked vent pipe. If this bathroom has always had this problem, then you have a poorly designed or executed vent pipe setup that you can only fix it with some surgery to your plumbing. However, to clean the vent you can try pouring a good bit of drain cleaner down the vent pipe on the roof, followed by water. But because there may be several vent pipes sharing the same vent stack out the roof, the drain cleaner may not get to your blockage and may simply go down a different path. Good luck.

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When do you need to vent a bathroom sink?


You always need to vent a sink. If you do not vent the sink it will create a vacume and **** water, or air from the nearest fixture.. example, if you connect to the sewer line near a bath tub, when you run the sink water it will **** air from the bath tub drain. If it sucks a lot of air, you will smell the sewer odor since the water is no longer blocking it.
If you cannot run the vent to the roof, there is an in wall vent valve called a studor vent that may work. Get with someone at Lowes or Home depot to show you one.

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open to drain pipes. remove the collars that hold trap on, sometimes you may need pliers or a pipe wrench to remove.install is reverse of removal the trap is there to contain the gases in drain pipe. if no trap. you will smell sewer water all the time. 1-1/4 for bathroom drains and 1-1/2 for kitchen sink drain.

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1 Answer

Fowl smell in bathroom


Fowl smells related to plumbing can have several causes. Here's a few potential issues that you can check. If none of them solve the problem you may need to call a plumber.

1) Look at your pedestal sink drain connection. Is there an an elbow connecting to your drain or a P Trap? A p trap is a pipe shaped like the letter "p" (hence the name) and it prevents sewer gas from rising into the bathroom. **sometimes an apprentice plumber puts in a pedestal without a p trap because they are fairly difficult to install, and ALL fixtures need P traps. If there is no P trap, then you need to put one in. It will be a tight space, but you may be able to do it yourself.

2) Do you have a floor drain? If so, your sink will need a trap primer at the drain. Or you can pour water into the drain from time to time before it evaporates from the trap

3) If the smell is more of a sulfur type smell and it appears from running water in other places in the house, then it could also be due the type of tank you have if you are on well water

My offhand guess is that number 1 is your issue.

Without further info, those are some of my best solutions so far, but if none of these are potential solutions, then make the following tests

1) close the door to the bathroom and leave it for an hour or two. Return to the room. Do you smell sewer smell? Is it in the entire room or more concentrated in a certain area? If you don't have a floor drain and its everywhere, there could be a missing P trap from a fixture, a lose toilet flange, a cracked drain pipe
2) without running water, smell your drain. Does it have a sewer smell? Then the P trap either is not present or you need to clean the drain with a drain cleaner due to a list of reasons
3) run water. does the sewer smell increase or does one suddenly appear. Is the smell more a different odor than sewer. See if it is the water itself. If so, check other places. If they do not have the smell then you may have recently installed your sink and there is some smell related to the new valve. Then you would need to use it some more until it disappears.

Check the top list, though because I really think you're just missing a P trap

Sewer breaks below the slab, an open pipe somewhere, some issue with the water supply, are among some other issues but that depends on the test

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How do you have your drain hooked up?
I have seen people stuff the pipe so far into the stand pipe that when it goes into drain it siphons the water back. The water doesn't go all the way into the unit, but enough that the water in the 'P' trap moves, gas can then come up from the sewer. Make sure your drain pipe is hooked up properly. It should also not be a sealed fit either.

Sgt 48

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Rotten Egg Smell


Repair man told me this is common with front load washers. I was told to put Sunlight dish washing detergent (for dishwashers not hands) in the machine (about 1/2 cup) and do a hot wash with the machine empty.

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