As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/

Cigarette odor coming from pipe my washing machine connects to...

Black IceBlack Ice Charlotte, NCRegistered User regular
edited November 2013 in Help / Advice Forum
A few months ago, I moved into an apartment with a washer/dryer unit. All was well until a month or two ago. Randomly, once a week or so, it smelled like cigarettes in my living room. I went on with my life... Until the smell became ubiquitous in my kitchen and living room. It typically comes in around 11 PM and it stays until at least 830 AM (I leave for work then so I'm not exactly sure when it's gone).

It smells strongest from the part of the wall the washer unit plugs into:

7big.jpg

I don't smoke, and allegedly, none of my neighbors do, either. Apparently, you're allowed to smoke in this complex, though.

My leasing office is open from 10am - 7pm. In other words, they're on site when the smell is gone. Maintenance flushed my washer's pipe, and 90% of the smell was gone... For a week. It's back in full force now. The smell also comes from under my kitchen sink, though the pipe and wall are caulked.

Maintenance (and the property manager) has never smelled the smell. They had someone clean my vents (when I wasn't sure where the smell was originating from), which were clean. The front office quickly turned into the biggest pain to deal with once they realized it wasn't an easy fix. They smile through their teeth and are extremely condescending and say "well, we've done all we can do!" (Bullshit). They're condescending in passive aggressive ways I can't bring to the building's corporate office. They are compete, trashy airheads on power trips.

I think they think I'm making up the smell or just don't care anymore. It's becoming incredibly uncomfortable to deal with them. Maintenance cannot think for themselves and will only do what they are instructed to do - I find the problem, they do what I ask (so far).

Does anyone know what the smell could be or how I could stop it? It's not from the washing machine itself, but rather the wall. Flushing it helped, but it smelled rather strange immediately afterward. Perhaps this isn't cigarette smoke? Could it be something in the water? I'm guessing so since a bit comes from the sink...

I want to keep contact with the front office at a minimum. I've worn out my welcome there, nevermind the fact that's their job. I'd rather deal with rabid raccoons.


Edit: so is that black pipe my drain pipe? I wonder if I should just replace it like they suggest here? http://cruftbox.com/blog/archives/001651.html sulfur smells like cigarettes, right? I just don't understand why it's only happening at night. I'm not even running the washing machine but once per week.

Black Ice on

Posts

  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    I had the same problem; the wall space between two apartment units is often shared and dryer hookups, plumbing, etc. basically left me smelling whatever the guy in the adjacent unit was doing (which was always either cooking or smoking).

    I eventually "solved" the problem by buying a roll of duct tape and going apeshit on everything that even looked like it might connect to the wallspace between the two apartments. Anything I couldn't tape over I plugged with wadded-up old clothing or covered over with a section cut from a plastic trash bag.

    The real answer is probably to move to a less shitty apartment.

    EncBlack IcebowenLostNinjaDonovan PuppyfuckerDisruptedCapitalistSkeith
  • Black IceBlack Ice Charlotte, NCRegistered User regular
    edited November 2013
    I will certainly try that, thanks! I am wondering if the smell is primarily coming up through the pipes, though, since flushing the drain pipe alleviated the smell for about a week.

    Maybe it's a combination of a bad drain pipe and smoke coming up through there?

    Also, the thing that is the most outrageous of all - this is a 'luxury' apartment in a major city. I could save money living in a host of other places. I think I'm just going to find a smoke free condo and rent from one next time. Unfortunately, my lease doesn't end until next summer.

    Black Ice on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Sulfur smells like rotting eggs or a really nasty fart.

    Cigarette is a really distinct smell that's unique to itself.

    As for fixing it, what you want to do is clear the washer itself. I'm betting the smell is originating from a previous owner somehow. Try using a few cups of white vinegar in an empty load (then do another empty load to rinse it out).

    Other than that, you may need to keep activated carbon in that room.
    http://www.amazon.com/Household-Essentials-99523-Moisture-13-5-Ounce/dp/B00CBB630C/
    Something like that.

    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
    Black IceEssee
  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    Sulfur does not smell like cigarettes, it's more like eggs, but I can see some combination of pipe-stank and/or sewage approximating a smoke-smell, and then flushing the drains providing temp relief makes sense to me (not a plumber). Cleaning your drains couldn't hurt, and you could ask them to make sure your roof vent isn't clogged/obstructed (though that seems unlikely given that no one else has complained).

    Black Ice
  • Black IceBlack Ice Charlotte, NCRegistered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    Sulfur smells like rotting eggs or a really nasty fart.

    Cigarette is a really distinct smell that's unique to itself.

    As for fixing it, what you want to do is clear the washer itself. I'm betting the smell is originating from a previous owner somehow. Try using a few cups of white vinegar in an empty load (then do another empty load to rinse it out).

    Other than that, you may need to keep activated carbon in that room.
    http://www.amazon.com/Household-Essentials-99523-Moisture-13-5-Ounce/dp/B00CBB630C/
    Something like that.

    I wondered if it was from a previous owner, but I figured it would've smelled bad when I moved in. There wasn't a smell at all for several months. I'm not sure if the seasons changing had something to do with it.

    The smell also doesn't seem to enter into the washing machine - when the smell is everywhere, I can open the lid, stick my head in, and there's no smell of it whatsoever. But it wouldn't hurt to try some vinegar.

    I will have to get some of that activated carbon though!! Awesome suggestion, thank you. :)

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    That is mighty strange then! Do you have heating/AC included in your rent? Maybe it's some sort of shared central air issue causing it.

    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
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    The fact that the smell has a timetable make it highly likely that you're being accosted by someone's nightly smoke breaks/chain smoking. I had the same problem in my apartment, that every once in a while I'd smell cigarette smoke inexplicably, until I finally realized that a downstairs neighbor would smoke on his balcony (robbing me of the pleasure of keeping my baclony door open, sadly).

    While it doesn't seem that any rich were eaten. It definitely feels like a soup course with broth made from rich stock - bouillonaire if you will - was had.

    My Dragon Age Origins Let's Play

    bowenEsseejmcdonaldGiggles_Funsworth
  • Black IceBlack Ice Charlotte, NCRegistered User regular
    edited November 2013
    bowen wrote: »
    That is mighty strange then! Do you have heating/AC included in your rent? Maybe it's some sort of shared central air issue causing it.

    I do indeed have heating/AC, but my ducts & vents were just cleaned and they are not shared by apartments. I've never noticed the smell coming from there. :(
    Cambiata wrote: »
    The fact that the smell has a timetable make it highly likely that you're being accosted by someone's nightly smoke breaks/chain smoking. I had the same problem in my apartment, that every once in a while I'd smell cigarette smoke inexplicably, until I finally realized that a downstairs neighbor would smoke on his balcony (robbing me of the pleasure of keeping my baclony door open, sadly).

    My thoughts exactly. I wish they'd smoke outside. The outside is clean, however. Most frustrating of all is that the neighbor below me doesn't claim they smoke.

    I had no idea a smoker living below me could cause such a stink. I figured it could be a minor nuisance. I will never be living on a smoking property again in my life, unless the building/housing is nowhere near a smoker.

    Let it be a lesson that you don't always get what you pay for... I am paying over $1100/month to live in a smoke-infested apartment and the front office is hostile in an effort to make me stop going to them, despite me being sweeter than honey to them. It's like they just can't stand to do any work. What a jip. Worst of all, the way they do it is ways I can't document/refer to if I were to complain to corporate.

    Black Ice on
  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    Can you ask the maintenance guy if the downstairs neighbor's place smells like smoke? Justify this by explaining it would at least solve the mystery and you could stop asking them to fix various shit trying to find the cause.

    bowen
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited November 2013
    If it happens to be smoking outside and it's getting into your vent system you should go attack them and tell them how horrible a person they are they are obviously subhuman. Don't worry, I think that attacking smokers with indignation and/or physical objects isn't even illegal anymore.

    How long have you been living in your current apartment? Cigarette smoke will soak into things and stink them up if it's never been properly cleaned. On an especially humid or warm day, or cold day running your heat it's entirely possible that no one is currently smoking, but your AC filter, carpet or wall insulation has decided to hold on to that delicious smell and give it to you as a gift once in a while.

    As an aside, though I quit smoking a while back watching someone walk up to a smoker and confront them about what they already know is a bad habit (also: addictive by the way) and spew little factoids at them makes me want to go buy a carton of lucky strike non filters and follow them around for the rest of the week chain smoking. So be nice and try to resolve the issue politely, people are more receptive that way.

    dispatch.o on
  • azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    I'm going to guess that the vent pipe/tube from your dryer is connected to other apartments dryer vents and the smell is coming from someone doing laundry. if this pipe is connected to the general air system of your apartment you may not be able to do much other then sealing vents or putting in air filters in every vent.

    Stercus, Stercus, Stercus, Morituri Sum
Sign In or Register to comment.