If you had a really disgusting sewagey smell in one area only of your house ...

(70 Posts)
FarleyD Wed 10-Apr-13 22:56:21

who would you call to investigate! The smell is in our en suite. It comes and goes. When it comes it usually lingers for a few days. This time however it has been here for at least a week and smells even more disgusting than usual. There are no signs of anything being blocked or leaking. The smell is nowhere else in the house.

Is this a job for a plumber? Or, if not, who could I contact. Grateful for any advice, can't go on holding my nose for much longer. TIA. smile

CointreauVersial Wed 10-Apr-13 23:19:21

We get this too, but only in the summer, and only in/around the DCs' bathroom.

Marking my place in case someone has any bright ideas.

HotelFromage Wed 10-Apr-13 23:21:48

Nothing helpful to add, except that at work years ago I suddenly smelt a sewagey smell, whilst sat at my desk, in a basement office. I stood up and there was literally raw sewage coming up through the carpet, from directly under my office chair. Turned out my office chair was located over a manhole cover. Needless to say, I ran out of my office. grin

The main drain in the area had been blocked up by grease from a supermarket across the road, and it had all backed up towards our building.

Took weeks for it to get removed, disinfected, steam cleaned, etc. Never felt quite the same in there after that...

givemeaclue Wed 10-Apr-13 23:28:20

Had this. Had plumber out, floorboards up etc. Turned out dcs had left beaker of milk behind sofa creating sour stink. Didn't find that out till expensive plumbers drew a blank...

We had this in our en suite when we moved to our new flat. Came and went despite lots of cleaning and throwing drain cleaner and bleach and anything else possible at the issue. Gradually (after a few months) started in the kitchen. Eventually blocked shower and sink in en suite (wouldn't drain). Called a plumber, took him 2 days to unblock,including cameras down the internal plumping and resulting in him drilling into the drainage pipe under our floorboards to clear the blockage. Essentially a blockage that had built up over time until was too blocked to let water through. He said if you can smell in in your property generally it is an issue before the drains hit the mains (as the join to the mains tends to have a non return valve blocking any smells). Our problem was past resolution without a plumber and some serious intervention but as prevention he recommends running scalding water in the showers and sinks for 5 mins each week and a regular application of drain cleaner. I would suggest calling someone sooner rather than later to avoid the hefty bill we faced for leaving it so late

ShootingStarsss Wed 10-Apr-13 23:36:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FarleyD Wed 10-Apr-13 23:41:17

givemeaclue - oh dear, expensive drink of milk. Hotel, yuck that's truly revolting. Think I'd have to move. NotWithout - thanks, that's interesting.

Seems consensus is it's a blocked drain so I'll get onto someone tomorrow and let you all know (cos, ya know, I'm sure you'll be on edge of your seats waiting). Thanks again for help.

FarleyD Wed 10-Apr-13 23:43:06

I can't really tell Shooting, other than that it's the en suite, and only the en suite. I demand you go and wake dp up, sure he'll be delighted to help random woman on internet out! (Am joking, honest). Have tried drain cleaner many times to no avail.

idlevice Wed 10-Apr-13 23:44:16

Is it from the toilet? We had this in our en-suite but coming from the shower dran which was connected directly to the soil pipe. We spent a small fortune on drain unblockers & finally the plumber came. It took 2 minutes for him to tell me that I was using the plug wrong! It has a well in it which has to be full of water to absorb the odours & I'd been emptying it out to clean it. I was beyond embarassed.

ShootingStarsss Wed 10-Apr-13 23:48:29

Farley he probably would answer me half asleep!! grin
Whee are you south, north? Sounds like the drains probably need jetting and clearing. ( I am no expert, we had bad smell in kitchen coming from sink, this is what do done to ours at the time)

We had a smell in the family bathroom, it came and went and drove me mad. Dh pulled off the loo replaced the wax seal thing, no change, then he pulled the pop up plug on the bath/shower and omg it looked like a rat he pulled out of there, so much hair, I gagged it smelt so bad. That was out nasty odor, I was convinced it was the toilet.

*He pulled off the pop up plug.

FarleyD Wed 10-Apr-13 23:54:53

Shooting - am in SE. Squinkies - sorry but smile at "looked like a rat". Cleaning the plughole out is my all time least favourite job, would rather clean minging toilet than do that, I gag every time.

I have this problem too! Comes and goes intermittently but can't trace source of it. Tried various drain unblockers. At the moment we are 'smell free' but I am aware that could change any time! confused

whodunnit Thu 11-Apr-13 00:00:48

Sounds to me like the smells form the sewer main are venitng into your bathroom.

You should have a soil vent pipe connected to the sewers on your house that vents the main drain to fresh air and not into your bathroom. The soil vent pipe is a 4 inch diameter pipe that should run up from the ground to your eaves of the roof . It will probably have a grill on the top - not important but may help you to spot it.

The 4 inch pipe will probably be outside your main bathroom and you should see your loo pipe (same diameter) and maybe a bath/ shower/ sink smaller pipe going horizontally into it.

Do you have such a soil vent pipe? If you don't have a pipe, then the main sewer could be venting into your ensuite. Or if you do have a soil vent pipe - your ensuite may be too far away from it.

You should not be having a smell from your loo as it has a water trap to stop the smells coming out of it. Likewise your sinks and showers shoudl have a water trap to stop the smells venting up. This will look like a u bend behind the sink.

Go and look at these and tell me what you see.......get your torch...

ShootingStarsss Thu 11-Apr-13 00:01:16

Have PM you Farley smile
It's hard trying to find out where the smell is coming from & then working out if it is a drain problem, drain problems don't fix themselves and over time do get worse & they are very pricey work.

Although I read someone reply about the responsibility now changing and sometimes this falls on the water company because the law changed this is right advice, any decent drainage company you call will let you know who is responsible.

whodunnit Thu 11-Apr-13 00:02:00

should say that the soil vent pipe will be on your outside wall, not inside the house.

FarleyD Thu 11-Apr-13 00:08:19

That's really useful info whodunnit, thank you. Can't go and look now, it's dark and am in bed with the offending smell swirling all around me! But will get dh investigating in the morning and report back.

fortyplus Thu 11-Apr-13 00:11:00

I had this and it turned out my cat had brought a dead rat in - smelt really cabbagey after a few days - took me ages to find it!

FarleyD Thu 11-Apr-13 00:12:12

Have replied Shooting smile

FarleyD Thu 11-Apr-13 00:13:58

Where was it Forty? We did once have similarly disgusting smell downstairs, but managed to trace that back to a decomposing mouse. Who'd have thought such a small thing could create such a foul stink.

TheChaoGoesMu Thu 11-Apr-13 00:20:06

Our ensuite was like that upstairs. Downstairs toilet fine. Turns out the pipe was blocked, and reached a point where water wouldnt go through. The pipe holds a heck of a lot before you notice a problem.

whodunnit Thu 11-Apr-13 00:20:26

just a couple of more ideas for you to try tomorrow....

Find the nearest drain cover to your enuite, and any other in your garden. Lift the lids if you can, then get someone to flush the loo in your ensuite. You are trying to work out the connnections in your garden and see which way the drains run, also if they react quickly to you flushing or is the flow a bit weak and sluggish. Do the same for your other toilets and sinks in turn. You need to get a lot of water down the pipes quickly and see where it is going and if it is travelling straight through the pipes or whether it it is trickling through a puddle of standing water caused by a blockage. This is all good information for you to find out what is going on.

Bettter that you do it for free than pay a plumber to find out for you. I think so anyway. Then wash your hands and let us know what you find.

Sleep well...

FarleyD Thu 11-Apr-13 00:23:10

You are a mine of information*whodunnit*, and aptly named for a stinky smell thread I think! Thanks again.

whodunnit Thu 11-Apr-13 00:25:22

It might be shit to you but it is my bread and butter! boom boom......

olgaga Thu 11-Apr-13 00:31:25

Well I have a very cheap potential solution.

A bag of soda crystals and a kettle full of boiling water will usually sort out most drains if it's just whiffy and not yet a full-blown (bleurgh) back-up.

Cheap and cheerful.

While you're at it have a good look at the soda crystals packet and see where you could be using it elsewhere in the house and saving yourself a whole heap of ££ on expensive cleaning stuff you don't actually need.

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