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Question DetailsAsked on 1/7/2012

I have the same problem. I had plumbers out, reset toilet, snaked drains, plugged basement drains, replaced anode rod in hot water heater

I cannot get rid of the rotten egg/sulfer smell in my master bathroom despite all of the work mentioned above. Any ideas?

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3 Answers


csrub with a bottle brush the very top portion of your lav drain or shower drain realo good with a good cleansr like ajax as a choice or any suitable substitute. scrub the insides of the frain down to the water sitting in the ptrap good luck!!

mel nussbaum

water works plumbing

overland park, ks

816 918 8286

Answered 8 years ago by mel the plumber


Anode for rotten egg hopefully they have the wright rod but If you have a shower drain remove the cover and scrub that area may be soap scum and it smells. But have the plumber do a smoke test . Where they plug off the main drain and plug off the vent but they put a smoke bomb in the system and close it off and then go around and look or smell for smoke this may help.

Answered 8 years ago by owen klaus


Late answer but might still be relevant, and might be useful to other viewers:

1) put some cold water in a glass and stick your nose right down in it and check for smell - if so, then iron sulfide or sulfur producing bacteria or petroleum products in water supply or pipes in general (i.e. iron or sulfurous water supply), or water softener went anearobic

2) ditto to hot water - if in hot but NOT cold water, then hot water heater went anaerobic - need to go through hydrogen peroxide or chlorine flushing and treatment process. Can happen if hot water heater is left unused for a month or more, and changing anode will not necessarily solve the problem till flushed and disinfected, as it is already coated with sulferous gas producing bacteria inside the tank. Sometimes setting to max temp for a day will kill it, but not in all water heaters can get to the 170-180F needed to kill it. Of course, if you do this, put warning notes on all faucets ESPECIALLY tub and shower, so someone does not get scalded, and do not run dishwasher or clothes washer - too hot for them, can damage plastic parts.

3) if hot and cold water smells good, then do a thorough flexible bristle brush and foaming drain cleaner cleaning of all drains in bathroom that smells - Liquid plumber makes a kit with both combined. Just don't lose the brush down the drain ! Will kill bacteria/Fungal growth in drain plus remove hair that might be causing it to drain out and let sewer gas in.

4) if none of those do it, then if all bathrooms or other rooms with sinks on same floor (or entire house) smell too, possible clogged vent pipe. If this, there should be noxious bubbles gurgling up into drains (at least lowest level ones) when a toilet is flushed or tub drained - not in the one being drained, but in nearby ones. Can be flushed from the roof.

5) if none of those, then most likely leaking toilet wax seal - about $100-150 to get toilet lifted off, checked, new wax seal installed. (though you already changed this - presumably checked to see if there was leakage into floor space for that or bad flange thread)

6) if all these are negative, then probably broken sewer pipe or leaking joint. You may need to get a smoke test done, or get a COLOR (B&W does not show leaks well) video inspection camera into play - some plumbers have them, some home inspectors, some energy auditors, or buy yourself for about $100, and start tracking pipes with 1/2" holes every 5 feet or so (get one with 3' fiber optic reach minimum, if you buy one), from toilet and sink and tub and shower and such downward to main sewer pipe where it enter slab

Since you have done most of these, if it passes the water smell test I would do the liquid plumber routine to eliminate the traps as the cause (presume all traps were snaked ?), and if not that, then time to look for a sewer pipe joint leak or crack.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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