I rent an apartment in a new high-rise and I´m on the 15th floor. Weird smells are in both of my bathrooms, with one being a lot stronger burdened with smell than the other.

In irregular patterns there are foul, sweet sewerish smells rising up around the area of the toilet and they make the whole room really smelly. And then on other days chemical odors are coming in the bathrooms and even affect the neigboring 2nd bedroom.

What has been evaluated.

  1. Maintenance told me to water the p-traps, which I do on a daily basis. But this doesnt solve the problem. Smell continues to come.
  2. A plumber came and inserted a camera into the pipe under the sink. He said everything´s fine with the pipes.

Maintenance and community management are out of ideas. I am too. But smell keeps on coming in.

Does anyone has an idea what this can be and what to do?

Thanks a thousand. Quality of life really negatively affected :(

  • 1
    Did the plumber check the wax rings on the toilets?
    – redlude97
    Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 16:58
  • 2
    If there's no leak from the traps, there's no need to "water" them daily. They get water added every time the sink runs anyway. Did the plumber put a scope down the toilet to ensure that there's nothing wrong there? It could be a bad glue joint is letting sewer gas out. This would also manifest as a leak every time the toilet is flushed. Is the vent fan from the apartment below venting into your bathroom?
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 17:04
  • It sounds like out of ideas might mean they're just not helping you anymore. Have they sent a licensed plumber to investigate yet? If not, insist they do so promptly. Sewer gas is toxic and you can become nose-blind to it, and not realize it's building up in your apartment. I urge you to get your maintenance people to agree to send a licensed plumber to troubleshoot immediately, and if they don't, contact your local health department for help right away. Your health inspectors may temporarily condemn your apartment if the problem is serious and can't be readily corrected! Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 17:48
  • So it´s definately not the p-traps. I let the water run for half an hour on all outlets. Sink, shower and toilet. Smell keeps on coming in nonetheless.
    – Timbo
    Commented Nov 7, 2020 at 2:19

2 Answers 2


While this falls under the generic "water the p-traps," check for presence of any floor drains or a connection for a clothes washer. Those have traps too but can easily be overlooked.


I have a similar situation and is due to a poorly installed tile floor and flange under the toilet. It has been removed once and reset with some improvement, but I ended up taking a ton of silicone caulk and caulking every single part of the toilet base and back (it’s a Kohler open back, horrible toilet design). This is probably where yours is coming from too.

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