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Plumbing Odor

We are having a strange problem. If I run our dryer with only one or two items in it, I get a sewer odor in the laundry room. However if the dryer is full of clothes I do not get the odor.
I am wondering if there could be a plug in the plumbing venting.
If I run only one item, there is more air being sucked out of the house than if the dryer is full. This may draw the odor from the washer discharge pipe. Does this make any sense at all?

Re: Plumbing Odor

I can't see the connection between your dryer and your sewer.

Can you tell us more about the dryer vent? like, what kind is it (flex or solid sheet metal), how long is it, is it sagging and where it goes out? Could be trapped moisture in your dryer vent.

About your sewer: it is possible that you have a partial blockage in there. It would be a good idea to check it.

Re: Plumbing Odor

The volume of air doesn't change with how much laundry is in the dryer. Your dryer can't tell how much clothes are in it. Some dryers have moisture sensors, but none have volume sensors that I know of. Either the blower fan is full on, or it is off. The dryer will not work at all without the blower working.

That being said, I think you smell less odor with more clothes because the clothes are sucking up some of the smell. Icky sounding but it makes sense to me.

While the dryer shows the plumbing symptom, I highly doubt they are directly related except for the negative air pressure you mentioned. Its time to start investigating the plumbing vent to the washer to see how the air is coming into the room. A feather, puffs of talcum powder, or a smoldering cigarette may help you with leak detection once the dryer is running. You can use the 'air fluff' setting and not waste the heat while looking for the leak.

Let us know what you find.

Re: Plumbing Odor

Thanks for the ideas. We tried using pipe smoke to check for leaks and were not able to see any. I don't really know of any other way to check for a leak or plug.
The dryer vent is flexed and does sag. We did clean out the dryer vent.
Now we are wondering if a mouse could have gotten inside the dryer itself. We do not have mice inside the house, but there is an occasional one outside.

Re: Plumbing Odor

Check your floor drain in the laundry room. Pour some water in the floor drain. If the trap has dried out you will get sewer gas into the home. Air pressure changes can cause the smell to be noticable. The floor drain in the layndry is probably the only one in the house, but there may be more than one. These need water in them and can dry, so add pour water down all unused drains from time to time. A couple times a year is usually plenty.

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