Stinky Shower Drain

jeff_90254September 24, 2010

My home is now about 10 years old and I'm beginning to have a problem with my lower level shower drain, which is just about at street level. Every once in a while it stinks. I tried pouring drain cleaner down it and this seems to work for a while, but then the smell comes back. Other than that, the drain works fine (drains as fast as ever) and I've never had any other problems with it. Any suggestions? Thanks

Jeff

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asolo

"Every once in a while it stinks."

Sounds like the trap is drying out. When you fill it up during your clean-out activities it's OK for a while. Then it dries out again and allows sewer-gas to drift up.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 10:36AM
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brickeyee

The trap could be drying out if the shower is rarely used, or if it is used a lot there could be buildup in the drain line before the trap.

If the shower is rarely used, fill the trap with water, then add about 1/4 cup of mineral oil (from the drug store) to slow the evaporation of the trap water down.

If the shower is then used, the mineral oil need to be replaced.

If the bathroom is used frequently you can remove the grate from the shower floor and use a long bottle brush to clean the inside of the pipe before the trap.
Shampoo, soap, hair, and whatever you washed of yourself can build up inside the pipe and start to smell.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 10:53AM
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davidro1

The trap might be getting emptied actively (instead of evaporating, which is a slower process). High winds can cause a trap to get siphoned out, but since this is a recurring thing, another possible cause is a big flush somewhere else in the house. It depends on many factors relating to the venting of your DWV system, and can be aggravated when venting becomes insufficient, due to partial blockages in an old system. Do you know the trap arm length ?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 6:38PM
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brickeyee

"High winds can cause a trap to get siphoned out, but since this is a recurring thing, another possible cause is a big flush somewhere else in the house."

This occurs when the vent system is incorrectly designed or (as noted) damaged by clogs.

The OP has not bothered to supply any more information.

Maybe they solved the problem.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 7:59PM
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jeff_90254

Thanks Guys. Just getting back so sorry for the delay. This shower gets used every day so I'm sure it's not drying out. I don't know how deep the trap is but I have a large, wide, toilet bowl brush I'm going to run down there. I'll let you know how it works when I'm done.

Do they make flexible bottle brushes wide enough for this purpose? Maybe at Home Depot? Thanks again.

Jeff

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 8:10PM
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