Hot answers tagged

11

You are correct that floor drains do need to be monitored and occasionally the trap refilled with water. So the first thing to check is that your floor drain actually has a trap. The way to do that is to slowly pour water in to the drain. You should notice the water level rise and stay there. If the water disappears quickly then it's likely you don't have a ...


10

Oi! this reminds me of an experience I had about seven years ago. Horrible smell with no obvious source. Turned out that the cats had killed a rat and hidden it behind the books on the bookshelf. Only noticed it because of an awesome slimy trail of maggots. Anecdote aside, my recommendation with this particular occurrence is to wait it out: rodents tend ...


8

The easiest and most cost effective way of dealing with it is to paint over it with something like drylok. You can't really do anything about the smell itself other than removing the epoxy but you can put up a good barrier.


7

When I light my fireplace I leave my flue open for the night. The residual smoke from your fire is putting the smoke smell in the house when you close the flue


6

open the little crate covering the drain. it's usually a small twist left and lift up. using a bottle brush or similar implement give the drain and the crate a good scrub, removing all the mess of caught hair. it's a bit mucky but should provide a cleaner smelling drain. not that it's ever going to smell like roses. bleach turns to gas a bit and will bring ...


6

Years ago, my wife and I moved into a condo that had a faint weird smell. I put charcoal into a net bag like the ones potatoes come in, and set it into the cold air return ducting at the furnace. I then set the fan to run continuously. We also put the same netted bags in some of the other rooms. After a few weeks the smells were gone. The charcoal absorbed ...


5

Modern water saving appliances seem to be prone to this. Usually using proper detergent keeps this in check. Since the smell goes away after a wash, it sounds like you are doing this. You might try a different detergent anyway. It may also be a plumbing issue if standing water is consistently left at the end of the cycle. Unless you're on a septic tank, ...


5

I had this issue with my electric GE dryer. The plate on the inside had trapped lint that was turning brown and causing the burning smell which smelled like sulfur or burning rubber depending who you talked to. It required unscrewing 3 torx bolts and removing the back plate on the inside of the dryer. I then cleaned out the lint with a vacuum and some wet ...


5

We had this same problem. The smell was only coming from our kitchen sink, and only for a few seconds after the water was turned on. No other faucet in the house had smelly water, so I was quite certain it wasn’t from water heater issues. We tried draining some water from the water heater just in case, but no sediment came out and no smell. Since the smell ...


5

I had a house I purchased that had previous residents that were very heavy smokers. Everything in the house was covered in a yellow brown film. Steps I had to take to remove the smell. All hard surfaces were washed twice with TSP in hot water. This was necessary because the yellow gunk was so thick that the first washing just could not get it all off. ...


5

Trying to sand off paint from drywall just isn't something that's feasible. Your best bet is to use a shellac based primer or other primer made specifically to block odors. A primer that I'm familiar with and have used with good results is Zinsser BIN primer. I'm sure other manufactures make similar products. The shellac base means the primer dries super ...


5

Where I live, it is mandatory that if you can smell the gas, you have to call a professional certified in detecting gas leaks in home installations, or if you can't afford that, emergency gas service. They will find the leak and fix it or, if it is not trivial, safely unplug your device so you could get it to repair shop, in a way that is up to a local code ...


4

The smell is created when natural sulfates found in some water mix with certain micro organisms (bacteria), they produce hydrogen Sulfide (H2S). The preferred treatment is to flush out the system with chlorination and in the process kill off the bacteria. Also by letting the water rise above 140 °F (60 °C) it should also kill off the bacteria but it ...


4

A sulfur smell is usually a sign of sediment in the tank. This is common if the tank is left on during long absences or low volume use. A spent anode can contribute to this smell, since other parts will start to corrode once the sacrificial anode is spent. You should purge the tank by draining it from the bottom valve with the water supply and power turned ...


4

Install a fan vented to the outside Install a fan with a carbon filter that recirculates air Spray a deordorizer/fragrance Put a clothes-pin over your nose Eat foods that result to less foul smelling bowel movements Close the door and hope for the best


4

A rotten egg smell in water is usually from high sulfer content in the water. Not unheard of in very hard water. Where it could possibly be coming from in the pipe perplexes me though. The fact that it only comes out one faucet is odd. If both the hot and cold smell bad at only that faucet and no other than the problem must be in the faucet itself, since ...


4

First, let me say, you are far from the first person to have smell problems with washers, especially front-loaded ones. This has been the topic of many conversations resulting from home inspections and with concerned customers. I have had followup consults with factory reps, appliance repair specialists and the like. The most common problem seems to be ...


4

Your contractor should not have sprayed that stuff inside your wall for a number of reasons: 1) it says on the label that it is for exterior use only. 2) It will not really do any good. That product is similar to many traditional wood preservatives that utilize copper napthenate to treat wood before it is exposed to moisture. Putting it on after the fact ...


4

If it smells like burning lint, it's probably burning lint. If the seals are worn around the lint trap (as evidenced by the amount collected underneath), the interior of the dryer can accumulate lint really fast. I'd remove the case and vacuum and or blow out the lint that has collected there. This would also be a perfect time to give your dryer vent a ...


4

If in ANY doubt about whether there is a significant gas leak, evacuate, alert the fire department, and tell the gas company to send someone over with a sniffer to check for gas and find the source if a leak does exist. However, remember that there might just be a skunk in the area... If you're using gas, it's probably worth investing in a gas alarm before ...


4

Yes, you have a problem! An orange flame, as opposed to a blue one, indicates too much fuel and not enough air (i.e. a RICH combustion condition) that is very dangerous. Excess CO is produced in this case and can be deadly. Get a qualified service tech to correct this immediately and don't use the oven until it's fixed! With respect to your igniter ...


3

Unfortunately nothing seems to work. I have tried an UV light, but no anomalous things popped out. I did not try an IR camera, and that's due to costs. The solution: move within the month. At this point it is the most economical. I have about a week left before I renew my lease, so unless something miraculous happens during that time I'll just rent a truck ...


3

As mentioned by Sam, you must leave the flue damper open until the wood has completed burning or is fully extinguished. This is really an answer to your follow up question. I tried to address it briefly in comments, but ran out of allowed characters. I also hate multiple run on comments and the inability to break my comment into paragraphs, so I'm making ...


3

60 year-old wood should not be "off-gassing." I suspect there's moisture behind the wood and you're dealing with mold and wood-rot. Did the home inspection note anything about it? I would hire a indoor environmental service to test the air near the wood to determine the problem. If it is moisture, you need to get the leak fixed, lose the wood, fix the ...


3

It took us 4 months to track down our odor. It was ghostly, in that you would only catch a small whiff once in a while while in the house; however, when you came back into the house after being out just a few hours it smelled much worse. It was mostly isolate to the kitchen, but, again, you could smell it at the front door when coming in from outside. To ...


3

Get a UV light that detects pet stains in the dark. It also detects a few other stains, you may find the source with that.


3

You should siphon the water out using a tube or flexible pipe. I have included an article containing instructions on how to do this here. You will have to adapt it to a much smaller scale, but the principle is the same. If you just do a search for siphoning, maybe you will find a better/more applicable example. I just chose this article bc it wasn't about ...


3

Think I found it, this time, at least. Turned out to be some rotten, moldy food that managed to get hidden away in the back of an infrequently-used pantry.


3

Since you have isolated it to one particular sill maybe you should simply replace it again. In five months that sill may have gotten wet and activated some fungus that has been latent in the wood. I think replacement is the best piece of mind as well because if you just try to cover up the smell you will always be wary of that fact and be stressed by it.


3

There is a burning smell inside my clothes dryer after it runs. Does anyone know what that could be? Yes. Burning smells are a common indicator that something is burning. So something is burning. There is no smoke (thankfully) but it definitely has a mild to medium smell or something burning. I think its a gas powered dryer (its hard to get to the back ...


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