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Please Help with sink odor in New construction

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  • Please Help with sink odor in New construction

    Hello,
    I am a homeowner and I purchased a brand new construction home in Oct 2012. We are struggling majorly with a sink odor and the builder is not being helpful. I am looking at you experts to help me solve the issue.
    About Dec we noticed a odor from one of the sinks in the master bath. There was no odor from any other drain in the house. We called the buider/plumber and they checked the traps etc. and all was fine. The replaced the sink, saying the odor was from the sink overflow hole. Well a month later in February the odor started back again. I opened the entire sink plumbing, cleaned everything (there was nothing to clean in a new sink) and no smell in any pipes. I put everything back start using the sink and the odor is back. While I was still trying to figure out the sink smell, as of last week the same odor started in the Kitchen sink.
    The builder is washing their hands off saying, I have to prove to them it is a construction defect and their fault. I am so frustrated with the odor in a new house. After much complaining the original plumber is coming to meet me on Mon. Please advise on what questions I should be asking and what are the areas he needs to be checking , pipes, vents? Anything else we can do? Please help, and thank you for your time in reading my long post.

  • #2
    Re: Please Help with sink odor in New construction

    Is anything in the overflow opening in the drain just below the pop-up stopper?
    I found something decaying there and removed it. Its odor was coming up and out of the overflow outlet hole in the basin.
    I also flushed water through the basin overflow hole to wash anything out.

    Could the odor be coming from somewherelse?
    I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
    It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
    "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Please Help with sink odor in New construction

      Originally posted by Robert Gift View Post
      Is anything in the overflow opening in the drain just below the pop-up stopper?
      I found something decaying there and removed it. Its odor was coming up and out of the overflow outlet hole in the basin.
      I also flushed water through the basin overflow hole to wash anything out.

      Could the odor be coming from somewherelse?
      Hi
      I do not believe it is the overflow drain at all. We replaced the sink and it smells. Yes, it is coming from somewhere else, just don't know where :-(

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Please Help with sink odor in New construction

        It's not uncommon especially for new homes to have many odors. Are you sure it's a sewer odor or could it possibly be something else? Mildew, mold? dead rodent covered up by drywall are other possibilities. Is it only coming from the sinks? Is it worse when you bend over while brushing your teeth or running hot water? Can the smell be coming from your water itself? If the house sat on the market not being used the water in the hot water tank can produce a nasty smell. There is an easy treatment for this by using hydrogen peroxide. Some guys use bleach, either will work. I find that the bleach treatment works better but not as safe. If the smell is coming from the hot water have the plumber change the anode rod using a different material.
        There's also a good chance that one or more of the plumbing vents was damaged after the plumbing close-in inspection, maybe during drywall and trim installation. Happens all the time. The plumber can do a smoke test on the plumbing system to check for this but it may come at a cost to you or the contractor.

        I have to assume that the sinks were properly installed and meet modern plumbing code standards. Some sinks can have voids in the overflows that can hold debris. But your kitchen sink doesn't have one. When this debris, (soap, toothpaste, makeup) breaks down it can put off a pretty foul odor. Filling the sinks with hot water and letting it wash down through the overflow hole can help wash it out. Follow this up with bleach and/or baking soda. You may have to do this every few months if that's the root of the cause.

        You mentioned 'one of the sinks in the master bathroom' does this mean there are two? if so, was it the sink that is used the most or the least? What was the reasoning for the sink to be replaced? just because it smelled? anything unusual about these sinks?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Please Help with sink odor in New construction

          i'd pull the toilets. typical rough plumbing is mounted to the plywood. Raising the floor with other materials, ie ceramic and underlayment, can cause the toilet to not seal.
          ~~

          ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Please Help with sink odor in New construction

            Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
            It's not uncommon especially for new homes to have many odors. Are you sure it's a sewer odor or could it possibly be something else? Mildew, mold? dead rodent covered up by drywall are other possibilities. Is it only coming from the sinks? Is it worse when you bend over while brushing your teeth or running hot water? Can the smell be coming from your water itself? If the house sat on the market not being used the water in the hot water tank can produce a nasty smell. There is an easy treatment for this by using hydrogen peroxide. Some guys use bleach, either will work. I find that the bleach treatment works better but not as safe. If the smell is coming from the hot water have the plumber change the anode rod using a different material.
            There's also a good chance that one or more of the plumbing vents was damaged after the plumbing close-in inspection, maybe during drywall and trim installation. Happens all the time. The plumber can do a smoke test on the plumbing system to check for this but it may come at a cost to you or the contractor.

            I have to assume that the sinks were properly installed and meet modern plumbing code standards. Some sinks can have voids in the overflows that can hold debris. But your kitchen sink doesn't have one. When this debris, (soap, toothpaste, makeup) breaks down it can put off a pretty foul odor. Filling the sinks with hot water and letting it wash down through the overflow hole can help wash it out. Follow this up with bleach and/or baking soda. You may have to do this every few months if that's the root of the cause.

            You mentioned 'one of the sinks in the master bathroom' does this mean there are two? if so, was it the sink that is used the most or the least? What was the reasoning for the sink to be replaced? just because it smelled? anything unusual about these sinks?
            The smell is from the sink /kitchen drains. We smell it when we get close to the drains. It is not from the water, I can drink the water and it is fine. I have used every possible cleaner to clean teh drains, the smell comes right back! We moved into the house as soon as it finished construction. The smell is sort of wierd , not really sewer but more musty / moldy? The one sink was replaced because of the smell as the contractor did not want to take the time and effort to go to source of the problem. There is another sink in the bathromm that is used just as much, but no smell. What is wierd is that the same smell is in the kitchen drain.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Please Help with sink odor in New construction

              how often the sink used?

              is there water in the trap,

              is the trap being siphoed dry or partly emptyed?

              does it ever ever bubble back air/gas when another drain is used?
              Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
              attributed to Samuel Johnson
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Please Help with sink odor in New construction

                Originally posted by BHD View Post
                how often the sink used?

                is there water in the trap,

                is the trap being siphoed dry or partly emptyed?

                does it ever ever bubble back air/gas when another drain is used?

                Sink is used everyday mornign and evening. Kitchen sink is used all day.
                When we checked the trap it was full.
                How do I check Bubbling air/gas ?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Please Help with sink odor in New construction

                  Just over a year ago I had a strong smell of what I thought was waste water in my upstairs bathroom. I pulled the toilet and replaced wax bowl ring. Still had strong odor. I was convinced it was waste water and called in a real Plumber. He took his time and poked around, made a inspection hole in sheetrock sealing downstairs, then checked out the basement. Odor turned out to be a dead rat that died behind a shower stall. If I'm correct water in the traps will prevent any gases from escaping into the living space. Does your home have a basement, crawlspace?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Please Help with sink odor in New construction

                    I just talked to a homeowner today who had a strong odor coming from a sink,,,,,,,,,,she said it stopped when they quit using anti-bacterial soap,,,,maybe we need those friendly bacteria after all,,,,,,

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Please Help with sink odor in New construction

                      Originally posted by stinkysinkinpdx View Post
                      How do I check Bubbling air/gas ?
                      usually you can hear it gurgling when some thing else is draining if it is happening,
                      My thought was a venting issue
                      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                      attributed to Samuel Johnson
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Please Help with sink odor in New construction

                        PC had all the right questions I think, if you can answer those plus this one you should find the problem.

                        Are the kitchen and bath on the same branch line? In other words are they back to back?

                        Strange that the one lav sink smells and the other in the same bathroom does not. That would seem to
                        discount my question above but I am just trying to find a link between the kitchen and the one lav sink.
                        "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
                        John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          dead rat

                          Woman told me about a kitchen odor.
                          Sink trap was full.
                          I filled the garbage disposer with ice cubes and flushed it with water as it ran.
                          Dishwasher draining fine.

                          Then I noticed the slight odor in the room next to the kitchen.
                          I partially lowered the lid on their grand piano and noticed a reflection behind it.
                          Removed the screws and slid out the action.
                          Their dead pet white rat was on the keys behind the keyboard cover.
                          At a Christmyth party months earlier, the daughter had brought her pet rat out to show everyone. She thought it ran away.
                          I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                          It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                          "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Please Help with sink odor in New construction

                            do a smoke test or peppermint test, call a licensed plumber....I had a job where the cabinet guys had put screws in the vent pipe on accident....a smoke test will reveal everywhere not protected by a trap seal....you could even have a cleanout plug that is buried by the drywallers......

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Please Help with sink odor in New construction

                              Originally posted by mrdpremer View Post
                              do a smoke test or peppermint test, call a licensed plumber....I had a job where the cabinet guys had put screws in the vent pipe on accident....a smoke test will reveal everywhere not protected by a trap seal....you could even have a cleanout plug that is buried by the drywallers......
                              Thanks for the suggestion, that is what I plan to ask of the builder. This is a new construction under warranty and they should be trying to figure out the leak.

                              Comment

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