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  • Strange smell after running washing machine

    In the past several weeks we have had a strange smell in the kitchen (near the sink) and today, in a bathroom when we run the washing machine. The smell is "foul" and almost like a sewer smell or rotten eggs. It has only occurred after running the dishwasher. The kitchen is adjacent to the laundry room but the bathroom where the smell was strongest tonight is 3 rooms away. A vent problem or a clog? Any ideas? How should we trouble shoot this? Or, is this past my DIY skills and is it time to call a professional? Thanks. This forum serves a valuable purpose and I, for one, appreciate the time and effort that the pros on this forum expend. Thanks again.

    Keith

  • #2
    Re: Strange smell after running washing machine

    If your house is on a crawlspace, I would check for leaks first. If your house is on a slab, you're probably better off calling a plumber.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

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    • #3
      Re: Strange smell after running washing machine

      Try running a hose down all the vents, maybe something built a nest inside, also like ben said, if your on a raised foundation, check the crawl for leaks or a broken drain.

      Also, check for c/o caps that are off, I have had smell calls due to past drain cleaners and plumbers leaving caps off c/o's under house

      Rock the toilets and make sure they are tight to the floor with caulking around the base.
      sigpic

      Robert

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      • #4
        Re: Strange smell after running washing machine

        Any thoughts as to possible causes? I am not sure but suspect that the washing machine drains to the same waste water pipe as does the kitchen sink and dishwasher. What confuses me is the smell now occurring in the bathroom at the other end of the house. Leak? Any thoughts? We will probably try to find a plumber however, it may be difficult until after the weekend. Thanks for the reply.

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        • #5
          Re: Strange smell after running washing machine

          When you suggest running a hose down the vent, do you mean turn it on and try to flush out a possible nest, etc? We are on a slab. Thanks

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          • #6
            Re: Strange smell after running washing machine

            Originally posted by keithb View Post
            When you suggest running a hose down the vent, do you mean turn it on and try to flush out a possible nest, etc? We are on a slab. Thanks

            Yes, and have someone at the fixture while your running the water in case something backs up.

            Remember to read the rest of my post, these things are very impotant as you may have a loose toilet or something causing sewer gas to enter the house also.
            sigpic

            Robert

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            • #7
              Re: Strange smell after running washing machine

              We checked all commodes for tightness and also ran a hose down vents today. Ran water for a good while with no backflow or obstruction noted. No leaks observed (and we had paper towels placed where leaks had been noted). There is a vent right above the kitchen sink and 10 minutes of water down that vent produced no leaks or gas smell.

              We then ran the washing machine and the floor got wet. Clearly related to outflow of washing machine waste water. The water is seeping from under a kitchen cabinet near where I suspect the washing machine waste line ties into the kitchen sink/dishwasher waste line. I would have thought that the pipe would be in the wall several feet away but my wife is sure she hears water near the outer edge of the cabinet, not near the wall. My inclination is to jigsaw out an observation hole in the bottom of the cabinet. That idea has been met with howls of protest. What's next? A call to the plumber or is there a next step I can take to rule in or out a problem. Thanks.

              Keith

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              • #8
                Re: Strange smell after running washing machine

                Originally posted by keithb View Post
                We checked all commodes for tightness and also ran a hose down vents today. Ran water for a good while with no backflow or obstruction noted. No leaks observed (and we had paper towels placed where leaks had been noted). There is a vent right above the kitchen sink and 10 minutes of water down that vent produced no leaks or gas smell.

                We then ran the washing machine and the floor got wet. Clearly related to outflow of washing machine waste water. The water is seeping from under a kitchen cabinet near where I suspect the washing machine waste line ties into the kitchen sink/dishwasher waste line. I would have thought that the pipe would be in the wall several feet away but my wife is sure she hears water near the outer edge of the cabinet, not near the wall. My inclination is to jigsaw out an observation hole in the bottom of the cabinet. That idea has been met with howls of protest. What's next? A call to the plumber or is there a next step I can take to rule in or out a problem. Thanks.

                Keith
                If you for sure have water running out from under the kitchen cabinet when the washer drains, the drain is broke in the wall

                I use a seesnake micro so I can drill a small hole in the wall or cabinet without making a large hole.

                Find a plumber with a seesnake micro that will be gentle and scope the wall or cabinet without cutting into it right away.
                sigpic

                Robert

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                • #9
                  Re: Strange smell after running washing machine

                  I hope you haven't broken open your wall yet. Get a tube, either pvc pipe or paper towel tube and hold it with your ear next to the wall and you can hear leaks and such. Not the most accurate but not bad.
                  Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Strange smell after running washing machine

                    You may need a smoke test if the problem isn't obvious to a professional.

                    There's a couple of ways to do it. This will give you a sense of what happens during a test.

                    http://drainbiz.blogspot.com/2008/01...moke-test.html
                    Pete
                    Drain Biz
                    Articles, Videos, Industry News

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                    • #11
                      Re: Strange smell after running washing machine

                      Thanks all. I'll see if I can find a professional with a scope next week.

                      Keith

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                      • #12
                        Re: Strange smell after running washing machine

                        I used my micro yesterday to locate a leak in the wall, it was excellent, the new customer and his son got a kick out of, picture was excellent and I located the leak without making ahuge hole in the wall first.

                        Excellent idea before cutting open a large hole in your cabinet.
                        sigpic

                        Robert

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                        • #13
                          Re: Strange smell after running washing machine

                          do you have a floor drain some where that the trap may have dried up?

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