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Smell in shower -- please help detect problem

In our old house, we had (very good) contractors install a bathroom in what used to be a bedroom. For months there were no problems, but now we have an almost-constant odd smell coming from the the shower, possibly from the drain but it's hard to tell.

The floor is a solid-surface Corian-type tray, and the walls are travertine stone. There is a glass door for entry. We had plumbers do a peppermint test to confirm there's nothing wrong with the plumbing, the stone was re-sealed, and a few areas re-grouted. Still, the smell persists. I think it smells like an old sponge (sort of mildewy) but others think it smells more like chemicals. Any ideas? It is driving me crazy.

old man river
Re: Smell in shower -- please help detect problem

How many people are using the shower? If you have a large male using the area make sure he is not marking the area. Also, are you cleaning the bathroom often enough? Many times being lazy means being smelly.

Re: Smell in shower -- please help detect problem

Two of us use the shower daily. I'm not sure if you are serious, but no one "marks" the shower! Also, we clean weekly, and I have been cleaning very carefully for months now to ensure that's not the problem. Any other ideas?

Timothy Miller
Re: Smell in shower -- please help detect problem

Hi can you inspoect under the shower to see if any mold growth?
The grout sealer can give off strong odor for awhile.. I once used future car wax to seal the tile in a shower and regreated it for about a month till the fumes abated. Consider pouring 1/3 cup clorox into the drain and let stand 10 minutes and flush with water. How was the new shower plumbing vented hopefully threw the roof to the outside.

Re: Smell in shower -- please help detect problem

Is the bathroom properly vented? Both plumbing by venting to the roof and air inside the room by the use of a fan. For example, if steam from the shower builds up too much, you can get the smells embedded in any floor coverings, wallpaper, even in the walls themselves.

The next thing I think of is, maybe the shower drain isn't properly connected. Is there any way to check under the shower for leaking somewhere along the line? Either from the drain itself or around the shower. If there is a drywalled ceiling under the area of the shower, check for stains that may form as a result of leaking.

Next, is there any way to verify that everything else was vented properly. If a nearby toilet is backing up into the shower drain due to improper ventilation, thats a problem!

Re: Smell in shower -- please help detect problem

You may have to check the drain because that where most bad smell comes from. You can try pouring bleach, the brand with stronger ingredients, in the drain every day for several days. Then observe if the smell persists. Check also the shower curtain, walls and floors for presence of mildew.

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