10:45AM | 01/24/05
Member Since: 12/09/03
7 lifetime posts
I noticed an odor in my 1/2 bath last week. AT first whiff, I thought it had a septic smell to it. But it no longer reminds me of septic. It is a foul, almost sour type odor that seems to be coming from the bathroom exhaust fan. This bath is a very small (toilet only) bathroom in our master bathroom. The shower and sinks are in a larger room and the toilet has a separate area for privacy. We always have the door open. The odor now seems to be coming and going. My husband got up in the attic this weekend and did not discover anything unusual. We thought an animal had died perhaps. He is going to set a mouse trap even though he did not see any droppings or signs of mice. Any thoughts or suggestions? The four walls of this bathroom are 2 exterior, 1 interior to the bedroom and 1 interior to the shower. So there is plumbing in between one of the walls. I'm a smell freak so this is very concerning to me. Oh my husband did discover a small puddle of something in the attic near the exhaust fan but did not detect any odor in this liquid. He was not sure what it was. Also was not overwhelmed by the odor while in the attic. Hmmm...


01:18PM | 01/26/05
Member Since: 11/27/04
172 lifetime posts
is the vent pipe solid and insulted in the attic space..

are the joints taped with metal duct tape.

. is there a vapor barrier over the fan case and insulation on top of that..

is the outer vent opening with the fan on..

posssible mold in the pipe or stale old water stuck in a low spot.


10:01AM | 01/27/05
Member Since: 01/28/01
171 lifetime posts
Have you checked in the exhaust duct? I had birds nesting in mine once.

Mold and mildew caused by whatever the puddle in the attic is leaking into the ceiling?

Take a broom on the roof and poke down into the vent pipes. The 30 yr old house I just bought still had a seal in one of the vents.


10:08AM | 01/30/05
Member Since: 11/06/02
1280 lifetime posts
There is dust eetc in the exhaust pipe. That same pipe carries warm moist air through a cold attic. The moisture condense on the inside of the pipe. Some of that water leaked out to make the puddle stain that hubby saaw. some of it remains in a fold of the exhauset line. Combined with the dust there, it is feeding mold. That smell drifts into the room sporadically according rto other atmospheric conditions and drafts.

I base3 this on the findings in the attic.

But my first thought is in another direction - that since it is a powder room it might not see regular use. This makes it possible that the traps under fixtrues dry out and allow septic gases to driftinto the room instead of up the soil pipe. Related to this ios a possibility that the soil pipe is clogged at the top by frost or something else and that causes water from the traps to siphon out and let sewer gas float in.

Solution - Send hubby into attic to disconnect and clean the exhaust pipe and reconnect it.

then up on the roof to look and be sure the soil pipe nearest is not clogged, if he can do it safely.

open water faucet and flush toilet occasionally top make sure there is water in the traps.

Excellence is its own reward!

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