27 July 2009

In the words of the bard...

..."Bidet -- or not bidet -- that is the question."

Had to do a little more home repair here at "the Halls" the other day. Despite frantic disinfecting and cleaning, we'd been getting a really bad port-a-potty odor in the upstairs bathroom lately.

After a failed effort at isolating the smell to any one of our drains, I pulled the toilet and installed a new wax seal on the drain.

Strangely enough, the smell got worse the next day.

In a desperation move, I dumped a few pailfuls of water down the never-used bidet... thinking that sewer gas might be meandering up through the empty p-trap.

The problem is... for the moment... fixed... but I'm wondering whether it's actually the bidet, or maybe a plumbing system main vent issue?

Anybody out there ever run into this?

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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I had a situation where a harsh wind passing over the main vent was pulling water out of the trap of smaller fixtures.
Rob C

Neo Conservative said...

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rob... i've seen the same thing here occasionally in the downstairs toilet.

i think that would actually be a good thing here though... indicating that the main vent was unobstructed at the point of egress.

i've heard stories of vent pipes being obstructed by birds nests, or even animal carcasses... which would necessitate climbing up on the roof and snaking the vent.

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BDFT said...

Check your vent stack, as it may be plugged. Failing that, I have seen plugged septic fields cause the same conditions. Pump your septic tank,(if you have one). If the problem goes away then you have a plugged septic field. Either that, or you have a Liberal hiding in your bathroom.

Anonymous said...

BDFT I forgot about the liberal thing.
Rob C

Pissedoff said...

Are anoymouse detractor has not died down there

Blame Crash said...

You do know that the water in the trap below your bidet, toilet , sink etc. evaporates (especially in summer) and allows sewer gas to wander into your living space. The fix is as easy as filling it with water.

Anonymous said...

Bob in Ottawa here--yes I had the same trouble but it was with an almost-never-used shower drain rather than a bidet.

The drain in the (very dry) basement also caused a bit of a stink one time.

It seems that when the water in the drain evaporates below the bend unpleasant gases can come up. Half a bucket of water poured in slowly every couple of months seems to keep things nice and sweet.

Also, unused toilets should be flushed every couple of weeks or so to keep some water in the bowl.

Blame Crash said...

It's that , or BDFT is right.
Leftards will stink up a joint real easy. It's what they do best.

Neo Conservative said...

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if this is a dry bidet p-trap, i've got it covered. mrs neo wants me to tear it out and put a cabinet in it place.

thx all for the feedback.

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maryT said...

We had a similar problem when I moved the washer/dryer upstairs. After getting the town to do a check of the drains, digging out some tree roots, problem sort of solved. Every few weeks we have to run a hose down the unused washer/drain. Since we left the hoses downstairs and the water on, no problem.