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Add a Trap to Eliminate Gray Water Odor

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  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Jackie in Colorado on the line who’s dealing with some issues from a sink drain. What’s going on? Stuff is only supposed to go down, right?

    JACKIE: Yeah, it’s supposed to. The only time I have trouble with it is when I use my washing machine. It’s connected to the same line as my sink. And the old-timers put it out in an open well. And so, the only time I have trouble with is when the washing machine drains, then it bubbles back into my sink. And then when the water finally goes out, I get this gray-water smell.

    TOM: So, you have a gray-water drain when you say it goes to a well. You don’t mean a drinking well; you mean a gray-water well.

    JACKIE: It’s just an old well that they dug and they used it to – as a drain. It’s not a septic tank.

    TOM: OK. So, yeah, it’s called a “gray-water drain.” And so, you’re getting odor back in. So the reason you’re getting odor is because you need an additional trap in the system. Before that line goes out to the “well,” that you’re calling it, there should be an additional trap.

    Now, the trap is a U-shaped pipe, the same that you might see under your sink. And the idea of the trap is it lets the water drain one way but stops the gases – the odor that you’re getting – from coming back in. And so, if they didn’t put a trap in that line, that’s why you’re getting the odor.

    The fact that you have the washing machine and the sink on the same line is not exactly legal but it’s also not unusual. And so, I’m not going to tell you to change that but you absolutely do need a trap in there. Otherwise, who knows what kind of gases you’re going to bring back in from the soil? And if you do that, that should solve that problem once and for all. OK, Jackie?

    JACKIE: OK. Alright. See if I can get that done then.

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