Latest Discussions : Plumbing


01:23PM | 07/27/04
Member Since: 07/26/04
1 lifetime posts
We have a moldy smell coming from two adjacent bathroom sinks, and it's getting worse.

Originally, my wife complained of a slow-flowing drain in the Hall Bathroom, and of a slight moldy smell.

I removed the drain stopper and saw a wad of hair between the sink and the trap. I got it out with a coathanger.

The sink drained faster, but the moldy smell from the drain was WORSE!

The smell is the most noxious near the overflow slot. Bleach kills mold, so I poured Clorox "Bleach Cleaner" in the sink, sealed the drain, and ran the water so the "Bleach Cleaner" solution flowed through the overflow hole. Afterward, the smell was WORSE STILL! Now it smelled like mold AND bleach. And now the mold smell seemed to come also from the sink in an adjacent room -- the Master Bath.

A salesman at a nearby plumbing supply store recommended cleaning out the traps and using a mild acid product called something like "Hair Away". I was not prepared to clean the traps myself, so I called my plumber.

The plumber said he had something better than the acid "Hair Away" --a proprietary bio-tech product with enzymes and micro-organisms (smells like yeast) called "BioChoice" that will clean the soap, hair, and other gunk from the inside of the pipes.

But, he said, the moldy smell could not be coming from beyond the trap, because the water in the trap would prevent those smells from escaping through the sink. He recommended cleaning the traps in both bathrooms. Since they were old, he replaced both traps with PVC. While the traps were out he also "cabled" the pipes beyond the traps.

Now we have brand new PVC traps, the sinks drain faster than ever, and the moldy smell is the worst it has been.

The instructions on the "BioChoice" label say to use it each night for five nights, and once a month thereafter. This is Day Two. I'm pouring as much of each dose as I can directly down the overflow slot in each sink.

But logic tells me this:

The micro-organisms in the "Bio-Clean" may eat soap-scum and hair, which mold and mildew grow on. But they may not kill the mold itself. And the water the "Bio-Clean" powder is mixed with probably helps the mold grow, and may even spread it.

In any case, liquids poured down the overflow slot may neither reach all the surfaces inside, nor all the mold deposits. Maybe I need a spray or a foam or an aerosol of some sort? Maybe I need to go back to bleach, or Tilex, or something?

Or is the plumber wrong -- perhaps smells CAN get from the pipes in the wall, through the trap to the sink? Why else would both sinks develop the moldy smell at the same time, when only one of them had a hair problem?

Any ideas?

Clothepin Nose

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