LESLIE: Christine in Kalamazoo, welcome to The Money Pit. What’s going on at your house?
CHRISTINE: You know, my drain that’s in the bathroom …
CHRISTINE: … (inaudible at 0:01:46.1) pipe that goes right behind the toilet?
CHRISTINE: A lot of people call it a stink pipe or something like that. (Tom and Leslie chuckle)
CHRISTINE: But you know the fumes come back through that pipe some kind of way and I was wondering if it could be clogged.
TOM: Well, something might not be right. Are you talking about the vent pipe that goes from the toilet up to the roof?
TOM: And you’re getting odor through that – like from the walls or something?
CHRISTINE: I think it’s from the pipe.
TOM: Well OK, but see the pipe should be filled with water and it should be vented up to the roof. So if you’re getting odors from that area then it’s possible that the pipe was not connected properly or, if you have an old sink or something in that area where the trap dried out, you could get sewage gas back from that. Is there a floor drain in this bathroom?
CHRISTINE: No. There’s one in the basement though.
TOM: OK, that’s another area where very often you get odors because those drains are not used very often and if they get dry then they can leak sewage gas back up into the house. Generally, if you have an odor it’s because the vent pipe is not working correctly. If it’s clogged, that’s not necessarily going to contribute or take away from the chances of an odor, but if the vent pipe is not installed right that’s when you’ll get odors. So that’s the solution to the problem; get that vent pipe straightened out.
Christine, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.