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Smelly Sink Problem

ApogeeApogee Lancks In Every Game EverRegistered User regular
edited June 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey guys,

So, I've long since moved into my new condo, and thinks are mostly hunky-dory. I've noticed, whoever, that my bathroom sink smells. Not terrible or overpowering, but it definately has an odour, and I'd like to be rid of it.

I've used that terribly caustic drain-o type stuff, and it goes away if I pour it down the run-off drain (the high level one on the back of the sink). So I'm guessing it's a mold or something in there? It comes back a couple days after drain-o-ing it. Any suggestions on how to kill/remove it? Lots of bleach? I would have thought drain-clearing fluid would be enough, but apparently not.

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Apogee on

Posts

  • 3drage3drage Registered User
    edited June 2010
    It may not be the sink. I remember in my condo when smokers moved in below, their stench made it through the holes my pipes had in the wall. I had to get some spray foam and seal it up. You could be smelling rotting insulation or kim chi from down stairs getting through a hole.

    If you are certain it's still coming from the sink, you could get a plumber to replace the piping and see if that helps.

    3drage on
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    It might just be some type of small blockage in the trap (the little u shape under the sink) which is pretty easy to replace. Just put down towels and shut off the water first. Try that since it's a cheap part and see if that works.

    amateurhour on

    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Also check the bottom of the sink/the pipes, there's a possibility that there could be some leakage mold/damage under it if it's in a cabinet that you don't normally look under. Another idea if the pipes are metal is to pour some close to boiling water in. I tried drain-o several times in my old bathroom sink and still had issues, but when I poured in some super hot water the pipes barfed out some kind of bizarre paper-ish looking stuff and it fixed things.

    Hypatia on
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    It's rotten hair in the trap or even just below the drain. It's an easy fix, and you don't even need to turn off the water to do this.

    You can find videos on Youtube showing you how to take apart a sink drain.

    Figgy on
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Figgy wrote: »
    It's rotten hair in the trap or even just below the drain. It's an easy fix, and you don't even need to turn off the water to do this.

    You can find videos on Youtube showing you how to take apart a sink drain.

    You don't have to turn off the water, but it's a good habit to get into, like turning off breakers when you do electrical work, albeit not nearly as dangerous obviously.

    amateurhour on

    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Figgy wrote: »
    It's rotten hair in the trap or even just below the drain. It's an easy fix, and you don't even need to turn off the water to do this.

    You can find videos on Youtube showing you how to take apart a sink drain.

    You don't have to turn off the water, but it's a good habit to get into, like turning off breakers when you do electrical work, albeit not nearly as dangerous obviously.

    If you're working with the drain, there is no reason to turn off the water.

    Don't compare it to electrical work. Apples and oranges, since any electrical work has the chance to shock you. Working on the drain in your sink, there is no chance that water is going to shoot up out of it, since gravity doesn't work that way.

    Figgy on
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment
  • NailbunnyPDNailbunnyPD Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    You could try pouring bleach down the drain. We do this instead of using Drain-o or similar products. The bleach will break down organics, eat away soap, and isn't as corrosive on the pipes like the drain-o products. (Our condo rules actually state that we are not allowed to use anything aside from some green clean product or bleach.)

    Wait about an hour after you shower, then dump about a gallon down the drain. Wipe away any bleach that may have splashed. Then, don't use that drain for a few hours, preferably longer if possible.

    Its worth a shot before disassembling pipes.

    NailbunnyPD on
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    I think they already did that NB, though, not quite as in depth as that.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • NailbunnyPDNailbunnyPD Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    bowen wrote: »
    I think they already did that NB, though, not quite as in depth as that.

    Yeah, they said drain-o. I find bleach works better, and the more I use, the better the results.

    Oh, and lemon juice works wonders for odors in the kitchen sink. Just something else to consider.

    NailbunnyPD on
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Ah yeah, I thought they said they used bleach too. Bleach will probably take care of the problem.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    The smell is coming from a clog in the drain. Bleach will clear any small gunk perhaps, but this is most likely just trapped hair. Bleach won't help here, but it's worth a try.

    Really, though, you only need a wrench and 10 minutes to fix this properly. If your drain has the kind of plug that you move up and down via a little knob above your faucet, then I'm even more sure that trapped hair is your problem.

    You could also have shit built up in the overflow channel underneath the sink itself. Most sinks have a plastic "channel" chaulked onto the bottom of the sink that takes water back down into the drain if the sink is too full. Lots of times, shit can get built up in here from going down the drain but diverting into here instead.

    If this is the case, you'll likely need to take the sink out completely and go to town with a hose/cleaner/rags/etc. Taking a bathroom sink out is a lot easier than it sounds if it's just a drop-in. You will need to turn the water off at this point, unless you have shut-off valves under the sink.

    If you own this condo, I recommend installing shut-off valves if you don't have them already. It's a $20 job.

    Figgy on
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment
  • GoofballGoofball Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    bowen wrote: »
    Ah yeah, I thought they said they used bleach too. Bleach will probably take care of the problem.

    Be extremely careful that if you are using bleach or anything that contains chlorine that you have flushed out any other chemicals previously used VERY THOROUGHLY. This is especially important if you've been using any stain or scale removers like CLR or Lime-A-Way or other acid or ammonia containing products. Bleach/Chlorine reacts badly with lots of things to create chlorine gas which can cause serious respiratory tract irritation that can lead to death depending on the concentrations you are exposed to.

    Goofball on
    Twitter: @TheGoofball
  • finalflight89finalflight89 Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Before you go and bust the chemicals out, let me first ask a simple question: Does the sink have a trap? I've run into a couple of situations where there wasn't one installed, and a slight, persistent odor was present. Of course, 99% all plumbing fixtures have them, so it'd be pretty lazy for whoever installed it not to put one in.

    finalflight89 on
  • DoraBDoraB Registered User
    edited June 2010
    You can try pouring baking soda down the drain (a fair amount of it) followed by a goodly amount of white vinegar. This reacts just like your science project volcano; lots of foaming bubbles and expansion. I use it on my sink from time to time to help deodorize the disposal and remove clogs, and I've actually had better success with it than commercial products. Of course, if your clog is huge, or if the smell is actually something else as other people have suggested, you might not have any luck with this. But I wanted to suggest it as an inexpensive option anyway.

    DoraB on
  • WileyWiley In the dirt.Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    bowen wrote: »
    I think they already did that NB, though, not quite as in depth as that.

    Yeah, they said drain-o. I find bleach works better, and the more I use, the better the results.

    Oh, and lemon juice works wonders for odors in the kitchen sink. Just something else to consider.

    I always use bleach when I get that funky smell in my drains and it works wonders.

    Wiley on
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  • RaekreuRaekreu Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Figgy wrote: »
    It's rotten hair in the trap or even just below the drain. It's an easy fix, and you don't even need to turn off the water to do this.

    You can find videos on Youtube showing you how to take apart a sink drain.

    Figgy, are you a plumber, perchance? My dad used to be one years ago and he used to tell me that working on sinks was the 2nd nastiest thing to do because of hair getting stuck on the drain plug riser mechanism. He said that worst case you'd pull out the drain plug and have nasty, moldy hair stuck to it that hung down for 6-10".

    Raekreu on
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Raekreu wrote: »
    Figgy wrote: »
    It's rotten hair in the trap or even just below the drain. It's an easy fix, and you don't even need to turn off the water to do this.

    You can find videos on Youtube showing you how to take apart a sink drain.

    Figgy, are you a plumber, perchance? My dad used to be one years ago and he used to tell me that working on sinks was the 2nd nastiest thing to do because of hair getting stuck on the drain plug riser mechanism. He said that worst case you'd pull out the drain plug and have nasty, moldy hair stuck to it that hung down for 6-10".

    I am in no way a plumber and my advice shouldn't be taken as if I am.

    In fact, I had a thread here a few months ago wherein I fucked shit up in behind my shower and had to call a plumber out to fix it... on the weekend.

    But I've taken my share of hair buildups out of those risers. When we bought the house we're in now, I did it to all the bathroom sinks/tubs and found a good size glob of rotting hair. Fun fact, all that sludge turns gooey and white. And it stinks.

    If your clog is in the riser, your job is even easier since you can just loosen the little arm mechanic under the sink in order to remove the plug and pull the hair out that way. You likely won't even need a wrench.

    Figgy on
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment
  • ApogeeApogee Lancks In Every Game Ever Registered User regular
    edited June 2010
    Man, this thread got real popular. Thanks guys!
    Raekreu wrote: »
    Figgy wrote: »
    It's rotten hair in the trap or even just below the drain. It's an easy fix, and you don't even need to turn off the water to do this.

    You can find videos on Youtube showing you how to take apart a sink drain.

    Figgy, are you a plumber, perchance? My dad used to be one years ago and he used to tell me that working on sinks was the 2nd nastiest thing to do because of hair getting stuck on the drain plug riser mechanism. He said that worst case you'd pull out the drain plug and have nasty, moldy hair stuck to it that hung down for 6-10".

    Wow, that is disgusting. I will try everything else first just to avoid doing that :P.

    The vinegar + bakng soda thing sounds fun, though. I'll give that a go. :P.

    Apogee on
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