Re: Septic odor coming up tub drain
Posted by Lisa on March 13, 2002 at 10:52:47:
In response to Re: Septic odor coming up tub drain

Thanks for your reply to the stinky septic smell coming up from my tub drain. I have worked in the general hardware field for many years but this has me baffled.

I reached down as far as I could under the tub and dug out dirt as far as I could. There is definitely no p-trap at the end of the pipe that the tub drain and overflow are connected to, just an elbow (45 degree?) that connects to a run of pipe which is leading towards the outside of the house. Aren�t p-traps traditionally installed directly below the tub drain and overflow pipes, (so if there is a bad clog you can take it apart and clean it out)? It wouldn�t be usual, (or code), to have a p-trap farther down the line would it? Also, I found a teeny tiny leak at the joint where the tub drain pipe leads into the overflow pipe, but it is so small that the dirt is not even wet.

My septic tank guy said that he could install a p-trap in the line from the septic tank to the house so no gases could enter. A plumber said this is not code, but that no one would ever know.

Thanks so much for your help in this matter!

: You're a very smart lady! Your theory sounds very valid. Look at the plumbing that is exposed behind the tub and see if you can see the tub drain. Look closely and see if you can see anything that looks like larger size pipe, that may be a P trap. Can you also see the the overflow pipe that drains into the tub drain? If you can see the piping that connects to the tub drain, you might be able to install a P Trap to eliminate that horrible smell. If there is no way to install a trap because of the concrete slab, you might be able to install an exhaust fan into the vent that goes to the roof. You can have it wired into the light or bathroom exhaust fan heat circuit, so that it pulls the odor away from the tub drain, all the time the bathroom light is on. e-mail me if you need more help, at

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: : Really stinky septic odor comes up through my tub drain and overflow, (as well as behind the tub where there is exposed plumbing). I live on a concrete slab and my septic is in working order. There are no odors from any other drain in my home, just the tub. It is year round, but sometimes it is worse then others, (often in winter and spring), and almost always happens during and after a bath or shower. My theory is that there may not be a working p-trap on the tub or that the trap may not be vented. Any suggestions?
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