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Old 05-20-2008, 02:16 AM
 
1 posts, read 14,471 times
Reputation: 12
Default Sewer Gas smell in my apartment

Dear all,

I smelled very strong sewer gas from the bathtub in my bathroom when I moved into the apartment at the first time. I called the maintenance and they poured some powder into the drain. I was informed that it will remove the odor of sewer gas. However the odor came back few days later. I am going to call the maintenance again to have it fixed.

However I am thinking if I could break my lease if they can't fix it. Do you have any suggestion on how to break the lease? Thank you very much.

pathexplorer
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:28 AM
 
Location: NYC
860 posts, read 826,252 times
Reputation: 518
Sewer gases as far as I can tell are only supposed to come up from toilet pipes.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:57 AM
 
10,481 posts, read 17,689,846 times
Reputation: 3413
There's a problem with your drain trap. You could try running some water into the drain to seal it off, but they would probably have to completely rip out your bathtub drain to fix the problem. It's a health hazard, and you could just call the city inspector. But that's pretty much declaring war on your landlord...
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Old 05-20-2008, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Volker, Kansas City, MO
12,062 posts, read 18,648,139 times
Reputation: 3618
Don't break your lease until trying to get the situation solved with your landlord. If they aren't helpful, I would call my own plumber and get an estimate for the cost to fix it. Send this estimate via certified mail to your landlord.

Always make sure to document everything; this will protect you in the event you are forced to break your lease.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Chicago
249 posts, read 360,820 times
Reputation: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
There's a problem with your drain trap. You could try running some water into the drain to seal it off, but they would probably have to completely rip out your bathtub drain to fix the problem. It's a health hazard, and you could just call the city inspector. But that's pretty much declaring war on your landlord...
LK is right. It's definitely a problem with the trap -- the S-shaped pipe like you have under your sinks. This is supposed to be filled with water at all times to prevent odors from backing up into the house. The water that's in there is either evaporating or leaking (the latter being bad news for whomever lives below you -- could check with them to see if the bathroom ceiling is caving in) If it's evaporating, it's a matter of regularly running water down the drain to keep the trap filled with water at all times. Do you not use the tub that often? If regular use of the tub isn't enough to keep the water level up, you could run the water and then pour a small amount of clean cooking oil down the drain, which would create a film that would slow the evaporation of the water.
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Cabrini Green
248 posts, read 747,526 times
Reputation: 77
same problem here...

question

does the water move quickly in the drain or slow???


also, pour a quart of beach in the toliet, tub and sinks...let it sit...I would stay in the house...or open all windows.....then in about 2 hours run hot water for a couple minutes.....works like a charm....
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:23 PM
 
Location: South Side
3,584 posts, read 6,457,243 times
Reputation: 1185
It sounds like the catch basin is backing up. That means sometimes you can smell the sewer gas upstairs from the pipe to the street. But the 'S' in the system is supposed to prevent this. When the water gets a little low at the bottom of the elbow, the gas fills the apartment above.

There are some very technical steps to take before breaking a lease so the situation does not come back to bite you. One has to advise the landlord, give him time to cure, send a written notice that the lease is to be considered terminated, etc. See a lawyer or you may be on the hook for the rent for the entire term of the lease if the landlord cannot re-rent the place.
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