Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 8/15/2014

What is the sweet-sour smell coming from under my sink? Not my disposal or dishwasher—Seems to come from the wood??

I replaced the washing machine, deep cleaned the disposal using all the methods you find online. I ensured that the disposal was connected correctly, and the plumbing is set to not allow the sewer gas to come up through the sink.

The smell seems to be coming from the wood just under the sink, but the counter top was installed new last year. The smell has gotten worse since I replaced the dishwasher and has been present for quite a while, so I doubt it's a dead animal. I'm a little worried about it being sewer gas through a leak in the wall.

Any thoughts?

The smell is not the kind of thing that makes you gag, it's not pungent, it's sort of a sweet and sour smell. It doesn't smell good, but it doesn't smell like death and it doesn't smell musty like a basement. Are my options mold or sewer gas from leaky pipe?

Can wood sour and stink?

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

2 Answers


Assuming you do not have a bees nest in there - honey/bee combined smell (and some other large insect nests) can smell both sweet and sour almost like sweet and sour sauce, then I would say probably rotting wood, as dryrot fungus can smell musty or sweeet/sour like various of the wetter toadstools and mushrooms, which it is related to.

Could be from a leak in the pipes that leads to under the cabinets, a dishwasher leak into the subfloor (as most dishwahser cubbies are not floored but should be for this reason), or a leaking dishwasher vent or faucet that is letting water run down behind the sink and down the wall behind the sink.

Sewer gas should smell rank like sewage, or sulferous - and probably type to make you gag in concentration.

Some cabinets you can pull the flooring out from the cabinet under the sink, prying it out with a screwdriver - other times it is nailed or screwed in pretty good. Lacking that, maybe time to rent either an infrared thermal IR camera (Home Depot is starting a rental program, some auto parts stores rent them, many tool rental places do) or a fiber optic inspection scope, which requires drilling about 1/2 inch holes to get under the cabinets or into the walls, and into the subfloor under the sink from below, as it could be a pipe leak in the subfloor causing mold/rot.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


I have the same odor. At least it matches your description. Turns out there's a VENT, yes a freaking vent, under the sink. I checked with the plumber that put it in and it's to improve water drainage. Never had one before. Never needed one. For now I took a baggy, slipped it over the dang thing and closed it with a rubber band. I'll let a day or so pass to see if it works. If not it's a plumbing call or a vent replacement that he tells me on occasion goes bad. How I have no idea. There are no movin parts and it looks to be an open system.

Answered 4 years ago by tensace

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy