LESLIE: Now we’ve got Shay from Tennessee on the line with a washing-machine issue. Tell us what’s going on.
SHAY: There’s a smell coming out of my washing-machine drain. It was like that when I bought the house.
TOM: Can you describe the drain? Does the drain go into a pipe or does it go into a sink? What’s the drain look like?
SHAY: It goes into a pipe.
TOM: And is the smell kind of a sewer smell?
TOM: So it may very well be that that drain does not have a trap in it. Now, if you’ve ever looked under a sink and see the U-shaped drain pipe, that’s known as a trap. Because what it does is it gets filled with water and then it stops sewage gas from backing up that drain and getting into the house. But sometimes when I’ve seen washers installed, it’s kind of almost an afterthought; it doesn’t seem to get the same kind of care and attention that a sink drain would. And if that happened to you, they may have put that in without a trap.
The solution is pretty easy, though. You can add a trap by extending that drain pipe and then adding that U-shaped trap to it. If you have the U-shape trapped in there, you will not get a sewer-gas smell, because that gas can’t back up through the pipe. Does that make sense?
SHAY: Yes, it does.
TOM: So it’s a minor plumbing repair but it should solve it.
SHAY: OK. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.