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I live in a flat, on the second floor. When we run the washing machine (which is connected to the kitchen sink's plumbing) it gurgles a lot and often produces a nasty smell. Why is this, and how can I fix it?

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In what manner is the washing machine connected to the kitchen sink's plumbing? – The Evil Greebo Sep 7 '11 at 12:22
a tube into the white pipe under the sink – mcintyre321 Sep 7 '11 at 14:05
up vote 3 down vote accepted

One or both of these drains are improperly vented. There should be a pipe going up, shortly after each of the traps, to vent the plumbing to the roof. Often this is done inside the wall where you normally wouldn't see it. Without it, the flow of water going down the drain can build up pressure and push sewer gases past the trap and into your home.

The fix is to properly vent the drain, by either removing the blockage in the existing vent, correctly hooking the drain line to the existing vent, or installing a new vent either to the roof or with an air admittance valve.

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Imagine you are talking to a child. Does this mean I need to get roof access and pour some pipe cleaning substance down it? – mcintyre321 Sep 7 '11 at 14:07
@mcintyre321, If the vent exists and is installed to the correct location, I think snaking the line would be better. If cutting drain pipes and gluing new joints is beyond your comfort level, this problem is best resolved by calling a plumber. The fix will likely be non-trivial. – BMitch Sep 7 '11 at 14:18
think I'll hold my nose! thanks! – mcintyre321 Sep 7 '11 at 14:51
Don't light a match either; these sewer gases we're talking about can be highly flammable, like methane. You really should consider calling a plumber or fitting a vent to this drain. If you rent, have the landlord do it. – KeithS Sep 14 '11 at 23:01

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