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 [email protected]


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).]


06:36AM | 11/16/03
Member Since: 07/12/03
9 lifetime posts
Does anyone else in your condo unit have it?
Is it just in One Room? (like Ours)
Are you living near a body of water?
Are you on the first floor?

I have still not figured out our ghost odor.
Just looking for similarities that may help us out.

Has anyone heard of underground crevices that might give off such odors according to the movement of the tide in the SF bay?
(ok, this is just one of the suggestions I have heard but find so hard to believe)

Our Stink releases about every 2-7 days now. Usually in the evening (of course that is when I am home to smell it)
every time we create a movement of air at about 8:30 pm in the room it will go off if it has been about 5 days or so. Even the ceiling fan can get it to release.
What could be under this house? Of Course, the landlords have still not smelled they don't want to deal with it.

Let me know what you think.


01:02PM | 12/03/03
Member Since: 12/01/03
8 lifetime posts
Just a thought, could the smell be mold? Do you smell it when the floor gets damp? Mold will give off a real bad smell, sometimes it will stay do dormant until moisture or dampness its it. If the bathroom is under the crawl space that could cause a smell if the wood indeed has mold in it.

I would also ask the landlord if before you rented did any tenants before you have pets such as a dog or a cat. I would try cleaning the whole bathroom with white vinegar top to bottom a few times, this will help to get rid of the smell had an animal been there.



04:45AM | 12/04/03
Member Since: 07/12/03
9 lifetime posts
Thank-You Kat for your ideas.
this is not a pet odor. Previous tenants did not have pets and supposedly never smelled this (altho none stayed longer than 6 months)

It is intermittent....It releases every 3-5 days. It's like a big cloud of dead fish smell that emits into our master bedroom.

We have cleaned extensively. over and over again.
The floor does not get damp. It does not smell like must or mold. we did have a mold inspection.....nothing turned up.

Plumbers out there: If there was a leak in the P-trap under the shower....could that take 2 days to dry out and get back flow from the drain????

Still trying to find the source of the Stink.


03:17PM | 12/09/03
Member Since: 12/08/03
1 lifetime posts
The same thing is happening to us. Just started happening last week. Smell only occurs in the evening in the master bathroom. Fishy/ammonia-type smell. We live in Texas in a warm climate but the weather has been cool lately. Husband has checked the attic and found nothing there. Haven't checked the vents yet.

We did see a racoon in our garage 2 nights ago. Wondering if it's somehow crawling in the attic. We live in a 2-story house though. Attic is pretty high and roof is steep. Smell can only be detected in the master bathroom. If the animal was living somewhere outside under the house somehow (we don't have basements here), could the smell be that strong to come through the walls from outside. Our bathroom is really the only room that's right on the grassy part of the backyard.

Please let me know if you figure out what your smell is.

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