My wife insists that when our bedroom/bathroom starts to have a sewer smell it can sometimes be alleviated by turning on the sink in the laundry room (on the other side of the house) to fill the p-trap with water. Could this possibly be true?

No other rooms in the house seem to get this smell (including the laundry room where the supposed dry p-trap is located).

All of the drains in our bathroom where the smell occurs are used regularly, so they can't be drying out.

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    It is possible that running water down the laundry drain fills a trap somewhere else through backflow on that drain's branch. Hard to say without some knowledge of your entire plumbing network. – isherwood Dec 18 '17 at 3:36

I rather suspect that you have a venting problem that is periodically forcing air back through the p-trap in your master bath. A venting problem can also result in the water of a given trap being sucked into the drain line. When this happens you will get odors through that trap. The likelihood of the restoring of water in another trap in the house affecting the traps effectiveness in your bath is almost nonexistent.

  • I think this sounds likely as I have previously discovered a vent pipe near the laundry room that was cut off and capped just below the roof in the attic. They left the remaining pipe section sticking out of the roof and it caused a rain water leak. Maybe something similar was done by the master bath. Not sure why someone would have done that. – rhefley Dec 19 '17 at 12:34

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