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Have a cold & still smell the odor...

Posted by kartmom ( on
Thu, Feb 18, 10 at 18:50

We first noticed a smell in a shower in our master bath that is now only used for storage due to previous leaking issues around the seal of a sitting bench in shower. Moved a suitcase that was covering the drain pan & odor went away. About a week or so later one morning while sitting in our living room outside our bedroom we noticed an odor similar to cabbage but much stronger. Smell went away by the evening. Didn't smell anything for a few days but the odor has come back & is usually around noon & goes away in the evening. The smell drifts out to the living room, but we've pinpointed the odor to our bedroom & master bath & to me the smell is strongest coming from the vent of a gas fireplace in the bedroom that hasn't been used in years. We have had plumbing issues on the opposite side of the house due to a frontloader (had drains unclogged twice in the last 2 yrs). I also know that the anode rod on the water heater that heats that bath needs to be replaced but we only smell the typical anode rod rotten egg smell when we first turn on water in the sink and it goes away after a few seconds.

If something were dead in the fireplace, wouldn't it smell 24/7? If it's a sewer issue, would the smell come & go & would it emanate from the fireplace?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Have a cold & still smell the odor...

If the shower hasn't bee used in a while it's possible that the trap has dried out, allowing sewer gasses into the house. The trap can be primed by pouring a few cups of water down the drain. These odors can be continuous or intermittent, they can vary based upon wet/dry cycles, or high/low barometric pressure weather systems moving through your region, or gusty/calm winds, etc.

In winter some vent stacks can ice over, restricting flow. Birds sometimes build nests inside the rooftop vent too. I've never seen a nest in a vent, but I have seen iced over vents.

As to the fireplace smell, depending on the envelope of the house and how well the damper seals itself, you can get air "cold stack" reverse air flow down the chimney. This can bring "wet chimney" odors into the house. Or dead animal odors. Fireplace odors can come and go depending on air flow, they don't necessarily have to be 24/7.

Remember that the anode rod is a sacrificial rod, it's there to prevent the tank itself from undergoing decay. If the rod has been completely eroded, the tank may start eating away at itself.

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