Bathtub drain not connected to drain pipe; bathwater draining into foundation

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Michael Lee

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Hello. We bought a small single-story house in San Diego last year (built in 1970), and there was a mildew smell in the master bedroom/bathroom area. The exhaust fan in the bathroom was broken so we thought that this was the cause of the mildew. The house inspection didn't turn up anything really substantial, but the mildew smell persisted even though I installed a new bathroom fan, and cleaned everything thoroughly with a fungicide. Figuring that the mold might be hidden deep inside the walls, we tore down all the walls to the studs in our mold hunt, but still really didn't find much. However, there is a second bathroom adjacent to the master bathroom and seems to share plumbing. I noticed that the area under the second bathroom's drain seemed to be wet. Then realized that the tub drain is not connected to the drain system, and this bathwater was draining directly into the hole of the foundation; the bathwater doesn't seem to be collecting, and seems to be draining into the earth. We are worried about the foundation...has anyone heard of anything like this?
 

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Dj2

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This is why there are permits issued and building inspectors running around checking for deficiencies and violations. Your situation is a can of worms, and you better fix it soon.
If it's too much for you to handle, get a plumber to do the connection, and make sure it doesn't leak. Also, replace any rotten, dry or wet, wood members you can find.
 

JRC3

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Looks to me like someone probably tried to replace the drain strainer with a pop-up or something. Probably tried to do it all from up top and twisted the waste pipe right out of the waste elbow. Look how the elbow is turned away. I've seen a few cast and metal traps rust away and leak right into the crawlspace. Similar can happen with pvc when it wasn't winterized.

Are your hvac ducts in the slab? Worst way of doing things ever. If so they may be wet or even full of water. If so I'd scope them.
 

Michael Lee

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Snooky - I think the drain pipe is the one visible on the left side of the last pic _3.
JRC2 - that makes sense. We couldn't figure out why the drain was turned in the opposite direction. I don't think we have any hvac ducts in the slab, we have a furnace in the attic, and the ducts go from the attic to the vents near the ceilings in the rooms. There are no floor vents, and don't have any AC. Yes, it's quite the disaster...
 
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