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 Basement shower has no p-trap...
Author: coach606 (IL)

About a week ago we had some serious rain and I got a strong sewer smell in my basement bath. The smell is totally gone now. But I've been looking closer at the shower drain and it really seems like it has no p-trap, just a 90 degree elbow on it.

It was a put in about two or three years ago. The guy was an all purpose carpenter, but his focus was supposedly plumbing. The work was never inspected and back then I knew nothing at all about plumbing.

I actually found the drawing the guy did of his design and it also looks like just a 90 degree elbow to the shower drain.

Is it at all possible that there's a p-trap down the line and so none was needed at the shower? From the design it looks like the bathroom group leads to a floor drain in the laundry room.

What baffles me here is that there is basically no sewer smell other than this one time. Wouldn't I have sewer smell problems more regularly than a spectacular rain? I'm very concerned that sewer gas could suddenly be filling my basement. I have two young kids.

Thanks for your opinion. Unfortunately, I have no desire to beat the shower pan out with a sledghammer or rent a cement saw. It's a pre-fab base, new angle corner shower. Maybe I can add a trap if I just knock the pan out.

Is it really possible that someone who knew how to tie into the stack, layout the new bathroom group, cut the cement floor, and relocate our old slop drain wasn't smart enough to put a p-trap in the shower?

Here's a photo of the plan he made at the time. I'm wishing I had a licensed pro now. I realize that this system is not vented either in the drawing, but the floor drain is vented a few feet away so I assume it is serving the bathroom group. No traps above the bath seem to siphon.

[i109.photobucket.com]

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 Re: Basement shower has no p-trap...
Author: e-plumber (NY)

That's what happens when an, 'all purpose carpenter' does Plumbing work, let's hope he didn't do the electrical.

Very important to file these types of jobs, it may end up costing more in the end but it will protect you, give you peace of mind and when you go to sell your home, you might not need to rip everything out.

There may very well be a trap. 99% of the time the trap is located directly under the shower strainer and you should be able to see standing water in it. A (licensed) Plumber will be able to tell you if there's a trap or not.

Is this fixture infrequently used? The trap seal, (water) may have dried up and sewer gas was able to escape, this may be the case since it happened only this one time.

e-plumber
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"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

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 Re: Basement shower has no p-trap...
Author: redwood (CT)

If you have a snake it can be used to tell if there is a trap on the line. You will feel the resistance of a trap ontil you pop through it. If there is no trap the snake will go right through. Also the Rigid Mini See-Snake can do a look see on 2" pipe.



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: Basement shower has no p-trap...
Author: coach606 (IL)

Thanks guys, I'll try to see if there's a trap.

What do you mean that I should "file" it?

I'll let you know if there's a trap. Seems crazy to me that even a plumber/carpenter could install a system with no trap, you know?

Thanks guys. I'll let you know what I find.

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 Re: Basement shower has no p-trap...
Author: coach606 (IL)

I pushed a snake into the drain. It went like two or three feet with no resistance at all. Then I think it hit that tee fittin in the drawing.

I can't believe this bozo put this in. I guess I am going to know out the shower pan and put a trap in.

I've plugged the drain for now, but why is it that I don't get sewer smell very often?

Thanks.

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 Re: Basement shower has no p-trap...
Author: redwood (CT)

By file it he meant having a permit and inspection on the job. The reason you might not have gotten the smell before this it might be that before the rag went in at the top of the stack the gases went out the stack. Either way there should be a trap.

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 Re: Basement shower has no p-trap...
Author: e-plumber (NY)

I was thinking a Plumber with a power machine, (snake) he'll know the 'feel' of it whether or not there's a trap although the fitting that you hit with the cable should be a wye, the snake cable that you inserted by hand should slip right through the wye with ease, but who knows what's truly under the floor.

e-plumber
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

Reply To This Message

 Re: Basement shower has no p-trap...
Author: hj (AZ)

HOpefully, he knew that the toilet did not need a trap, but not why, and might have figured the shower was the same thing. I don't know why he put that "box" where the toilet is, but if it means a trap then you have more problems than you thought.

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 Re: Basement shower has no p-trap...
Author: hj (AZ)

Sewer gas is a tricky subject. Quite often you do not smell it until it accumlates in a particular area, and then you cannot always tell where it came from.

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 Re: Basement shower has no p-trap...
Author: hj (AZ)

The drawing shows a tee, and my money is on him not knowing what Y's and combinations were or why they should be used. Besides T's were cheaper.

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