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Question DetailsAsked on 7/11/2017

Foul smell coming from second floor bathroom...plumber couldn't help so who should I call?

We live in three story duplex and for the past 3 summers we have had an foul smell linger in our second floor half bathroom (no shower/tub). Once the temp gets hot out it gets super strong, it's even noticeable in the bedroom immediately above the bathroom when the A/C is on in that room. The smell is like a dead animal or bad sewer gas. We have checked/replaced exhust duck and replaced the fan, replaced the wax seal around toliet, checked under the sink for p-trap leaks etc, cut holes in walls/ceiling and even had a plumber come out to check certain pipes for leaks (with no answers). The bedroom is my child's nursery so I am very nervous about it being toxic sewer gases! Any ideas on what it could possibly be? The plumber couldn't help, who should we call?

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1 Answer


Here are some previous similar questions with answers/thoughts which might help - sometimes it comes down to going room to room taping plastic sheeting over doors and windows to limit airflow (overnight wroks well - obviously with baby in another room when testing that room), to see if the smell concentrates in that room. Ditto to sink / vanity and tub and toilet - wrap in plastic to let odors accumulate some hours (being careful of infant access to plastic sheeting - suffocation hazard) and see if the smell builds up in one of those areas.

One possibility I may not have mentioned in other responses - the partly burned gases early in the firing cycle, and the burnt odorant in the gas, can cause natural gas fired appliance (water heater, boiler, etc) exhaust gas to smell somewhat like a sewer leak - so a rusted out or separated exhaust flue can cause that sort of odor too.

Who else to call, is the below don't tie down a source - handyman to sniff around and open small holes in walls/ceilings to smell and look with fiber optic scope, or a Home Inspector - some of them enjoy doing that sort of investigation.

Most expensive but they have chemical sniffers to track that sort of thing down - a Hazardous Waste investigation engineering or science firm - but thousands for that sort of bui8lding health survey.

Since it has recurred 3 summers, if I had to make a guess out of the blue - fungal growth in bathroom wall (since getting into upstairs room) or maybe floor due to a minor leak - water or drain line; or a cracked/disconnected DWV vent line (the one that goes to the roof).

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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