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6 year-old shower drain has strong odor. Had septic drained, did not resolve issue. Master shower used several times a day.

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If you are smelling an odor from the shower then I would suspect there is no trap under the shower. Without a trap you will always have an odor. So, are you 100% sure there is a trap. Another possibility is that the trap is leaking. Once the water barrier in the trap leaks out, you will have an odor. Check the trap for leaks and to maker sure there is one.

Posted on Jun 06, 2010

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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.

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1 Answer

Toilet bubbles when tub drains could be from stuck toy in tub overflow?


The bubbling sounds like it's trying to get the air it needs to drain. Kind of like holding your finger over thr the top of a drinking straw and then lifting it out of the water. The water won't drain out until you lift your finger off the straw, allowing air to come in so the water can drain out. If the vent is clogged it could cause this. Squirrels dropped walnuts down mine and clogged it. The vent is the pipe that goes up through the roof, nearest to the toilet and shower. If the shower drain vent line is clogged it is possible that it could be sucking the air it needs through the toilet, sometimes actualling pulling the water out of the toilet. This is not very common but it can happen. If you can get on the roof and get a garden hose into the vent line(s), you can tell if it is clogged because water won't drain, it will come back out. You should be able to turn the water on full blast and it will drain normally if the vent is clear. It's possible that there is a connection between the toys and your problem, and the way you access that drain line is usually thru the wall on the opposite side of the shower controls/drain. I would start by running water down the vent lines on the roof. Good luck.

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In mobile homes you have one drain pipe out. old water in the pipes can make a sludge and after a day or two can smell. My shower drain is open and i can smell the water when my washer drains too. White vinegar helps. Or if you have a septic tank your drain field may be clogged up and backing up into your pipes where they slowly drain.might be time for pumping your septic tank.

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Sewer Gas Smell Coming From Bath Tub


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!

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