09:24AM | 08/03/03
Member Since: 07/12/03
9 lifetime posts
The Stink is still here. Please Help....
Cleaned out the vents to the roof & vented the exhaust fan.
Now it is showing up approximately every 5 days......we have noticed it in the evenings (when the day is cooling off) at around 8 p.m. to 8:30 P.M.

I cannot imagine it being anything other than plumbing related based upon the foul (urine-like) odor and the intermittent nature.

What else do I look at?
Seems like it should be so obvious because the odor is Sooooo strong when it does erupt. Seems to come right up through the floor throughout the Master Bedroom.

What could be under this House?


02:44PM | 08/04/03
Member Since: 09/01/00
312 lifetime posts
Well,this is a little far fetched but it happened where I work.Same deal,no real pattern,rotting smell coming and going,etc;etc.I finally discovered a small roof leak,which would pool in an aluminum header inside one of the drywalls.I had never known that rusting aluminum when wet can smell like garbage.Right after the leak was repaired, the smell left for good.


05:33AM | 08/05/03
Member Since: 07/12/03
9 lifetime posts
Dear Member:

We have found dry rot/termites in the outside wall & in one other bedroom.
The other bedroom never stinks & it has not rained in months.
Was your foul odor intermittent? Every 4-5 days? Thanks.


12:56PM | 08/05/03
Member Since: 09/01/00
312 lifetime posts
I don't recall that we had the time of the odor pinned down specifically,but it seemed like once a week, or more, for a year or two. I would keep a detailed log of dates/times and weather (esp. humidity).Condensation can form on hidden pipes and drip onto other surfaces.Also,draw a detailed map of the house and immediate area which includes locations of venting equipment.Also,attempt to get a history of the property site to insure you're not getting bursts of gas from an old land fill.


09:58AM | 08/10/03
Member Since: 12/26/01
10 lifetime posts
We had something similar in our bathroom when we moved in. 50 year old house, with little maintenance. Unluckily (or actually in this case luckily) we had a leaky toilet and had to take the toilet off - we then ended up removing the top layer of flooring, and then the next and the next. Well the stench coming from this was overpowering. Someone in the past wasn't too careful when using the bathroom and didn't clean anything up before replacing the floor. Yuk! If you have hardwood floors - and it being a rental -could the stench not be coming from between the cracks in the floor. As for the time of day - more humidity, less circulation?


05:56PM | 09/04/03
Member Since: 04/22/03
5 lifetime posts
I have a similar problem, in my rental house. The house was unoccupied for four months. The new tennant moved in last Friday. She has called me three times since then, complaining of a rotting fish smell (in the AM only).
Please let me know if you find an solution. I am contemplating tearing the drywall out of the room ajoining the bathroom, and or replacing all of the waste pipes with Plastic piping.
This house is close to the water (Puget Sound). I thought this may be part of the reason, but why??


05:40PM | 09/07/03
Member Since: 07/12/03
9 lifetime posts
Wish I had some good news for You........we are still trying to find the cause of the stink. There are times when it smells like dead fish. Is yours intermittent or does it smell all the time? Our house was vacant for a few months before we moved in here. I live about 10 miles from the SF Bay. The Landlords have given up....they say they have done all they can. If your plumbing updates cure the stink at your rental, please let me know. good luck.


06:26PM | 09/08/03
Member Since: 04/22/03
5 lifetime posts
the smell is intermittent and seems to arrive after a shower or bath. its most noticeable in the morning. My brother in-law works as a chemist for LA County utliliies (sewer discharge). He recomneds using Draino, followed by pure bleach in all of the drains and in the vent. I will be trying this on Tuesday. My tennant says that the smell is most intense at the water heater, so i will be putting bleach in there too. You may e-mail me directly at


09:02AM | 11/15/03
Member Since: 11/12/03
3 lifetime posts
Hi, Stinkhouse!
We have the same problem, and we've had it for over a year.
We live in a condo complex and have tried to get the management company to find the problem, and of course, no one can really smell it when they come by to check it out.
We've had plumbers, pest control people (because when this first started, we could hear something scurrying in the walls and ceiling, but no more, but the smell remains.)
Our smell arrives in late afternoon and throughout the evening. We've kept a log, and it doesn't seem to occur when the heat comes on or after we use the plumbing.
The one pest control guy we had come over when it did smell (in the AM) he only noticed a faint ammonia smell. He then left without any idea what was causing it.
We are at wits end! Do we just start tearing into the walls and floors?
It's weird, because we can smell it so strongly, but we can't pin-point its origin.
We haven't had our heating vents cleaned out, but I did get an estimate from a guy who said that if anything were in the vents, you'd see insulation parts at the vent opening. We don't see any of that. But, sometimes it does seem like we can smell it faintly at other vents.
So, here's what we know:
--The smell: ammonia/urine-like
--The location: strongest at entry into bedroom, which is near a bathroom
--The experts: a plumber checked for leaks (in a cursory way, if you ask me) and found none; pest control found no point of entry for possible pests, nor any pellets; contractors found no screens on vent openings open or broken
--The last plumber was also a contractor and his only advice was that we start tearing up walls, which he was sure we didn't want to do. However, he couldn't smell the smell and has no idea how annoying and unpleasant it is.

Does anyone know if this ammonia-like smell is toxic? Our daughter sleeps in that room!

Perhaps it's worth having the vents cleaned out just in case (this isn't cheap!)

sign me, stinkycondoinCA

[This message has been edited by arichardson (edited November 15, 2003).]

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