bad smell from laundry room and water heater tank room

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by ttaiko, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. ttaiko

    ttaiko New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    North Bergen, NJ
    Hi, I live in a condo. today I noticed bad smell like urine in my loundry room and the same smell in water heater tank room. it's really bad smell, but I can not figure out where exactly the smell is coming from. Does anyone have any idea? please help!
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,636
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If you have a floor drain for use in case of overflow, which would be very likely in a condo, it has dried out and needs a liquid poured into it.
  3. ttaiko

    ttaiko New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    North Bergen, NJ
    no, no floor drain. it has draing pipe on the wall about 40"H from the floor. and water heater tank has the same about 30"h from the floor. it's the same odor in 2 different rooms... but they are back to back of each other.
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    By what you are saying it sounds to me like the T&P Valve on the water heater is going into a standpipe similar to what a washing machine uses.

    I would venture a guess there is no water in the trap of this drain. Test your T&P Valve and your problem will be solved for now as long as the T&P Valve closes again.... Or, pour some water in it.
  5. ttaiko

    ttaiko New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    North Bergen, NJ
    Redwood&hj,
    so I need to pour water into the drain where the discharge pipe line is goint into?
    just regular water is fine? how do I test T&P valve?
    Thank you so much for your help both of you!
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,636
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Your laundry room does not have a washing machine in it? If not, then that is the same as having a dry floor drain, except it is the laundry drain's trap.
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,349
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    P traps work by holding a small amount of water the the U shape. This water is replaced each time the drain is used. If a drain is not used for a period of time, the water in the trap will evaporate and the seal is lost. The T/P on the water heater is opened with the handle or lever on the valve. The T/P is either on the top or the top side of the tank and has a pipe that goes to the floor it sounds like yours goes into a standpipe similar to the washing machine. Since when a T/P is opened for testing, it sometime does not close and water will continue to be discharged, I would suggest you just pour a couple of quarts of water in the standpipe and see if that solves the odor problem. If you do open the T/P and it does not close tight, you will need to replace it. This is not terribly difficult, but you do have to have a pipe wrench or two and some Teflon tape. You would turn the heater off, close the intake valve, and remove the drain pipe then the valve itself. Replace with a new T/P, refill the tank if needed, then restore the power. Never power up a water heater that is not full of water. If this is not something you feel you can do, call a plumber.
  8. ttaiko

    ttaiko New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    North Bergen, NJ
    Thanks Gary!
  9. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,349
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Keep us informed on your success or lack thereof.
  10. ttaiko

    ttaiko New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    North Bergen, NJ
    ok, the smell from loundry room is gone after pouring the water in drain.
    but the smell from water heater tank room seems still there.
    i sprayed so much fabreeze yesterday so partially it smells that way too...
    whatelse can I try..?
  11. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,349
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You seem to have 2 drains. One for the laundry room and one for the water heater's T/P. That means 2 P traps. You filled one, now fill the other one. Every fixture must have a P trap except the toilets. Toilets have a trap, but it is built into the fixture. Look under your kitchen sink or bathroom basin. Those are easy to see. The shower and bathtub also have traps, but they are hidden by the fixture or even buried in concrete under the slab. Most traps are self maintained because the fixture is used frequently. Those like the one for floor drains and the T/P are rarely use so they will dry up and allow sewer gas to enter. One down, one to go. Your doing good.
  12. ttaiko

    ttaiko New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    North Bergen, NJ
    Hi Gary, I did pour water in both drains Sunday night.
    I poured some more water last night As well.
    But odor from the water heater room is still there this morning.
    Seems like not as bad but I still smell it.
    Is there anythingelse I can do?
  13. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,349
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I don't know how much water you poured into the drains, a quart or so would be enough. If you did that, then I have no other ideas except to give the room(s) time to air out. Perhaps some of the pro plumbers will chime in with other possible solutions, but I'm tapped out.
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