After some trouble I've finally figured out the source of the stink in my kitchen. The waste water pipe for the clothes washing machine does not have a U-bend/P-trap in it, and so the fumes from the outside drain are rising up through it:

enter image description here

A friend suggested I wrap the [washing machine] pipe tight with newspaper, like a cigar, and seal it off with silicone. Before I try this and/or if this fails, are there any other tricks that might eliminate the stink? Getting a professional plumber in to re-pipe things is a last resort. But I'd be open to getting a plumber in if there's something they could 'add' to this pipe to create a trap.

I should add that I don't own the property. But I have a pretty good relationship with the owner. After I reported the issue I said that I'd first try fix it myself.

Better picture of the pipe:

enter image description here

Also, I didn't think this was relevant so I didn't share it, but before I put 2 and 2 together (no p-trap, ugly mark from the fumes), I was using baking soda and vinegar to try to eliminate the stink. This exposed a leak in the pipe (see video on Google Drive) which I don't even care about for now because it's minor compared to the stench.

  • @Tyson, add how? This current pipe is pretty fixed into the wall, I should've included a pic of that, I'll try to soon. Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 16:37
  • Make a u bend in the flex at a minimum to create a P trap or purchase a couple pieces pre made and put in where the flex line goes in now not that big of a job. I missed this was a washing machine drain. It would be easy enough to cut off and glue in a trap on the outside of the wall better than nothing. Waste gasses getting into the living space is unhealthy and could cause explosions if enough methane enters.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 16:40
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    @EdBeal bending the flex won't keep sewer gas escaping.
    – Tyson
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 16:48
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    @Tyson, alrighty, will take your word for it. So I'll get a pre-made piece and glue it. If I screw it up I'll just call in a pro. To be honest I can't visualise how it'll fit properly without modifying the current pipe. Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 17:35
  • @EdBeal, thanks for the tips. Yeah I even don't like the idea of those fumes coming up that flex pipe and into the washing machine. It's absolutely rancid. Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 17:37

1 Answer 1


Cut the current pipe and install the p-trap near the bottom, close to however it's vented. Retain the cut piece of pipe and add it back above the new p-trap.

Gluing to the top (as mentioned in comments) will cause an overflow issue.

  • Only concern now is that it would protrude leaving less space for the machine. Would need to have the p-trap sideways against the wall. Fair chance I'll call someone in to help but at least I know what's required now so thanks. Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 11:52
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    You might need that professional plumber you mentioned. You also now mention that you don't own the property. This is a defect the landlord should either fix or have fixed.
    – Tyson
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 12:54
  • Definitely, on both counts. What makes it tricky is that the previous tenant(s) did not raise this issue at all (which mystifies me). Couple that with the fact that I've just raised another separate issue, and it looks like I'm being fussy. But I'll figure something out. Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 13:06
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    A landlord would probably never admit they knew a problem existed, so of course he told you "no ones ever complained before." It's clear you have a bad problem from the discoloration above the pipe. Get the landlord to fix it ASAP.
    – Tyson
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 22:00
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    Turning it sideways against the face of the wall is exactly correct. But it's hardly fussy to want a problem that is not merely unhealthy fixed - under the right sewer gas conditions it could blow up the house (small odds, but it is not unheard of) and therefore should be a priority fix unless your landlord really wants a smoking hole instead of a building to rent.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 14:58

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