Welcome to Plbg.com Welcome to the Popular Plumbing, Kitchen, Bath Advice Site
  We're sponsored by:
The Leading Online Plumbing Supplier Since 1995
www.PlumbingForum.com
THE Dynamic Plumbing, Kitchen and Bath, Information, Advice and Sharing Forum


Over 525,000 Posts in over 155k Threads

The most popular positive STRICTLY PLUMBING INFORMATION SHARING FORUM board on the Net. Ask any toilet, sink, faucet, pump, water quality and other plumbing related questions here. Plumbing professional and DIY tips, tricks, shortcuts, remodeling, plumbing advice forum and blog. Please refrain from asking business, pricing, contractor referrals, legal or any other non strictly plumbing related questions keeping all positive and with no advertising. 

New TopicSearchLog In Newest Messages
 Basement shower drain sewer smell
Author: jw (TN)

I live in a newly renovated home built in 1951. We've been in the house since March of '07. Recently, we started noticing a sewer smell coming from the shower in the basement. There is standing water in the drain, so I'm fairly confident that a P trap was installed. I snaked the line for about 15 feet and no blocks...except for trying to get through the P trap. There is no smell coming from the sink in that bathroom, but I do notice an ever so slight smell coming from the toilet. When we first moved in the sewer backed up into the basement..not once, but twice. I contacted the City and they determined the problem was on their end. They fixed it and we have not had a problem since. We have fairly low water pressure in the house. All the fixtures and plumbing in the house are new. Sorry for the detail, but am thinking more info is better than not enough. I've read post after post and still don't understand what could be happening.

Thanks in advance for any ideas you can give me before I have to call a plumber.

Reply To This Message

 Re: Basement shower drain sewer smell
Author: redwood (CT)

When you drain a lot of water I.E. washing machine, is there any water coming up in this drain? Does the height of the water in the trap rise?

How is the wax ring on the toilet?

Reply To This Message

 Re: Basement shower drain sewer smell
Author: jw (TN)

Thanks for your reply.

I have not noticed a rise in the water level when doing laundry, but I'll be sure to check that out tonight. I think the wax ring is good. Seems very stable and solid on the floor. I did, however, find a leak shortly after my post on this forum. The leak is between the toilet tank and the bowel. When it flushes, it drips water. Seems like an easy fix, but I don't know if that's a contributor to my odor issue or not. Thanks again.

Reply To This Message

 Re: Basement shower drain sewer smell
Author: jw (TN)

I fixed the leak in the toilet and I don't notice any rise and fall of water in the shower drain during the laundry drain cycle. Any other ideas? Could this be related to a vent? Also, the temperature outside has gotten cold here in Tennessee. Our first hard freeze was last night. I don't know if this means anything or not, but I've noticed the smell much more since its gotten cooler. Thanks

Reply To This Message

 Re: Basement shower drain sewer smell
Author: h2opro (NE)

It is possible that during renovation, or remodeling..that someone did not connect a vent in the wall or ceiling...unlikely but possible.
Shower drains are a haven for foul smells...pull up your drain cover and see if it needs to be cleaned around the edge where it meets the shower base. Is there a floor drain nearby that could be dry.....a clean-out without a cover? Keep checking...you'll find it!

Reply To This Message

 Re: Basement shower drain sewer smell
Author: redwood (CT)

Check everything including traps, AAV's, shower drain for cleaning, wax rings, it doens't even have to be in that area sewer gases are heavier than air and can come from above. When you run water can you hear water falling in the pipes anywhere? This could be an indication of an opening. Search "pepermint test" and "smoke test" on this sight these may be your best bet if a visual inspection turns nothing up.

Reply To This Message

 Re: Basement shower drain sewer smell
Author: jw (TN)

Thanks for the replies, everyone.

Well, I had a plumber out and he could not see anything apparent that could be causing the issue. However, I mentioned to him that I could not see a vent anywhere on the roof. We went outside and sure enough...no evidence at all of vents...except for the exhaust fans for the bathrooms. It's hard to imagine that this got by our city inspectors. I live in a historic district in Franklin, TN and they are very strict about codes around here.

Are there alternative ways to vent that wouldn't require pvc coming through the roof? If this got by city codes and the vents are terminated in the walls, I've got a mess on my hands.

Reply To This Message

 Re: Basement shower drain sewer smell
Author: dlh (TX)

yes you do and you might be bale to get the original plumber and or the city to help if you are lucky

- - - - - - -

PLUMBERS "Protecting The Health Of The Nation"

Reply To This Message

 Re: Basement shower drain sewer smell
Author: jw (TN)

Just got a note back from the guy who did the renovation on my home before I moved in. He's telling me that there is some sort of vent he is calling a 'pluma' vent. He wasn't sure of the spelling, but apparently its one vent for the entire system (I have 4 full baths) and its indeed terminated in the wall on the main floor.....directly above the basement shower where I'm smelling the sewer smell. I've done Googled 'pluma' and so far, no luck finding anything on it. Does anyone know anything about this sort of vent?
The builder has offered to come over and help figure it out, but he is suggesting we bring it up through the floor and conceal it in a closet. Don't I have to get that vent outside somehow? Thanks

Reply To This Message

 Re: Basement shower drain sewer smell
Author: dlh (TX)

i know of no code that will allow that type of vent with out at least one vent going out the roof. what ever brand aav they use is your problem

- - - - - - -

PLUMBERS "Protecting The Health Of The Nation"

Reply To This Message

 Re: Basement shower drain sewer smell
Author: jw (TN)

You are correct. I just contacted our city codes department. I have to have at least one. So begins the next journey :-). Good news is that the city has pledged to help me out and so has the guy I bought the house from. I just wonder what kind of mess I'm going to have getting a pipe up through a wall and out the roof. My attic is now a finished a room. Looks like plenty of drywall dust for me. Thank you everyone. Your comments have been most useful.

Reply To This Message

 Re: Basement shower drain sewer smell
Author: jw (TN)

Well, everything is in place to get this taken care of. The guy that sold me the house and had done the renovation took total responsibility and arranged to get a reputable plumber to route a vent from the basement to the top floor and out the roof. He shared his plan with me and from my perspective, it doesn't look like it will make much of a mess at all and the vent will be hidden. And there is no cost to me. Sure hope this takes care of the smell. I can't help but think that it will. Thanks for all of your help!

Reply To This Message

 Re: Basement shower drain sewer smell
Author: redwood (CT)

Looks like this can be our poster child story about doing work the right way, having it inspected and the responsibility of the homeowner that did the work even after the sale....

Now about that guy that wanted to slap in the basement bath without following code...:laugh:

Reply To This Message

 Re: Basement shower drain sewer smell
Author: jw (TN)

Followup on all of this..... The new vent is in. Overall, the house smells much, much better. I didn't realize what an impact of not having a vent had. However, I'm still getting sewer smell in the basement shower. The plumber and previous owner, in my opinion, did more to the plumbing than I expected. They actually corrected several things done prior. Apparently, the original plumbing was somewhat disjointed so they 'tied everything in' into the single vent and ran it up to and out the roof. I know next to nothing about plumbing, but saw that they put alot of new pvc in and took alot out. And it didn't cost me a dime. Anyway, I still notice an odor downstairs and am wondering what my next steps are. Its interesting that I didn't notice this smell all spring and summer. Why would it happen in cooler temperatures? Thanks

Reply To This Message

 Re: Basement shower drain sewer smell
Author: redwood (CT)

Its hard to say... A good start might be to get the former owner to get the plumber back for some more checking. Maybe a smoke test. You should not have any smell!

If you have additional questions start a new thread. This has fallen to page 2 and we seldom look this far back unless the forum is slow and we're bored. Put a link to this thread when you post.

Reply To This Message

 Re: Basement shower drain sewer smell
Author: jw (TN)

Thanks once again. I'll start a new thread once I get the plumber back out. jw

Reply To This Message


Note: Inappropriate messages or blatant advertising will be deleted. We cannot be held responsible for bad or inadequate advice.

Warning: Plbg.com has no control over external content that may be linked to from messages posted here. Please follow external links with caution.

Plbg.com is strictly for the exchange of plumbing related advice and NOT to ask about pricing/costs, nor where to find a product (try Google), nor how to operate or promote a business, nor for ethics (law) and the like questions.

Plbg.com is also not a place to ask radiant heating (try Heatinghelp.com), electrical or even general construction type questions. We are exclusively for plumbing questions.

Click here to view our old forum messages



to: Contact Us
to: Plumbing Manufacturers Address Directory
to: Plumbing Links Site
to: How to show an image
to: theplumber.com
to: Plbg Statistics
to: our FAQ's
to: Advisor List
to: Common Plumbing Terms
We're sponsored by:
The Leading Online Plumbing Supplier Since 1995
  We're sponsored by:
The Leading Online Plumbing Supplier Since 1995

Copyright© 2014 Plbg.com. All Rights Reserved.