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Horrible smell in new apartment in toilet, under kitchen sink, washing machine

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    4

    Horrible smell in new apartment in toilet, under kitchen sink, washing machine

    I just moved to a new apartment a week ago. I love it except the smell is horrible and I just can't handle it. I have been spending all my time at home in my bedroom with the door closed and the windows open, and just brave the living room/bathroom in the mornings to get ready for work when I have no other choice.

    I thought it may be an issue with the pipes however the plumber said the pipes are fine. He suggested the problem may be the sea water used in the toilet. That is plausible except for the fact that the pipes under the sink also have the same smell and its very strong. The washing machine also has the same strong smell. Also all Hong Kong uses sea water for the toilets so why would it just be my apartment that has this issue?

    I am at a loss what to do. I haven't tried covering the drains yet but that won't fix my washing machine smell or the smell from the kitchen sink. Does anyone have any ideas? Otherwise I don't know if I can stay here but I don't think my landlord is going to give me back my 2 month deposit any time soon


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    香港特别行政区
    Posts
    3,035

    Does your sink have a trap? Usually it would be a "bottle trap" or "u trap"? (Use Google for examples)

    Also, was the plumber hired by you or your landlord? Landlord plumbers are often unlicensed and are only able to fix leaks.

    Finally, is your flat subdivided? It's quite common in HK for a bigger flat to be split into smaller ones to increase rental yield and create properties which appeal to a wider demographic. A telltale sign is if your flat has both a number and letter in the address.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    4

    Yeah the one under the sink has a trap. My landlord came to the apartment and just said no, there is no smell LOL. But he sent his handyman later on and he basically was useless, he also said there is no smell, but he said the u trap had no water so he just turned the tap on for a while and said should be fixed. Then I found a plumber myself and he was the one who suggested it may be seawater.

    I was really hoping he could find a solution because I don't know what to do now...


  4. #4

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    318

    I had a smell problem in my apartment few years back. It was horrible but finally easy to fix. It was coming from the drains we were told. Just pour liters of water in the drains in bathroom and smell was gone. Was an easy fix and hope that works for you. Seawater thing doesn't make sense to be honest.

    coffee_break likes this.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    4

    Does anyone have a good plumber recommendation? I am in Wan Chai.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    6,593

    Why don't you get a plunger and have a good go at clearing up the drains?

    We do this periodically on our sinks and it really helps with smells and draining speed.

    It's a cheap, quick thing you can do immediately. You can then also rinse with baking soda and then hot water and vinegar.

    It's also strangely very satisfying...

    (and much safer than drain unclogging chemicals)

    https://youtu.be/VCd0d6hjsDc

    Last edited by Elegiaque; 11-03-2020 at 07:40 AM.
    jack55 likes this.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    1,185

    yep - second TigerSun. Pour water down the floor drains in your bathroom and kitchen. once you have flushed them out, use diluted bleachy water. you'll need to top this up at least every week...


    (i'm assuming the bad smell is poo-related?) worse case scenario, there might be a dead animal or something in the drains....


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    4,121

    in addition to the above
    - material inside the trap can allow water to escape through capillary action requiring frequent refilling
    - the anti-siphon valve if fitted might be stuck open
    - floor drain in the bathroom and kitchen are sometimes hidden
    - high rise? could be an external anti-siphon valve
    - could be the vent pipe, check all pipes are actually connected
    - does it occur / get worse after the bathroom extract fan has been operating?


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    475

    Honestly, your landlord sucks. I'd move out with the least financial impact as you can bear vs the smell, ASAP. If you really have to stay, make sure you get a 3M respirator with the cartridges that can filter out the harmful stuff. Smells are one thing. Dangerous mold is another. At a minimum they can remove the smell from what you are breathing in. Which is total BS anyway.

    Did pouring a lot of water down the various inlets work?


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