Bad Bathroom Smells

Last modified on May 4th, 2009

So before going to bed last night I walked into my second bathroom as was greeted with a not-so-nice smell. I thought maybe I had forgot to flush the toilet or something stupid like that, but everything was totally clean. I turned the fan on for a while, thinking it would go away, but it didn’t really seem to. This morning the smell was still there, and I debated calling my building manager to see if they could take a look (or a smell).

Before doing that though, I Googled around a bit to see if I could figure it out. One thing I found out is that there’s U-shaped pipe under each drain that’s called the trap. One of its purposes it actually to keep nasty gases from coming back up the pipe and entering your bathroom. Unfortunately though, it can only do that when there’s water in it, so pipes that don’t get used very often can sometimes lose their water and eventually start smelling.

The solution appears to be rather simple — just turn the water on for a while. Given that I haven’t used the shower in that bathroom for a few months now, that’s the item in the bathroom that was causing it. So I let the water run for a few minutes and turned it off. It’s been about 30 minutes now, and I’m pretty sure that fixed the problem. You learn something new every day I guess.

One response to “Bad Bathroom Smells”

  1. Tyler says:

    Plumbing is pretty simple isnt it? lol

    Yea like you’ve found out, just gotta make sure you run the water occasionally to ensure the trap is doing what it is meant to do.

    When I go fix sinks etc and need to take the trap off, you just shove a rag up the pipe so the sewer gasses don’t come back into the house. Traps are also nice when someone has dropped something down the sink like a ring, earing etc. most of the time, the item is in the bottom of the trap.

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