Plumbing in the Home/Smell in bathroom sink


We bought a house last year, a 1920s bungalow near Chicago that has been, I think, completely re-plumbed by the flipper who sold it to us. (The flipper seems to have done a reasonably good job overall. No other problems.)

The problem is the smell in the upstairs bathroom sink. The smell is like decomposing vegetable matter not sewage kind like a bad wet forest smell. I think the smell is coming from the overflow drain because the smell starts a few seconds after you start running the water. Weve tried (down both main and overflow drains) baking soda and vinegar, and also bleach, but cant get rid of the smell, which seems worse in the summer (I assume because its humid) than in the winter (when it probably dries out).

Any idea on how to get rid of the smell? Thanks.

Hi Christine, These kind of problems are usually cause by sewer gas not being vented up and out as they should be. You don't say whether it's an original sink or a new replacement. also, do you notice any gurgling when the toilet or tub is used. That's a tell tale sigh of vent issues.
Try pouring a little peroxide down the overflow a couple times and retreat with the bleach but not at the same time.  On a side note , make sure the toilet does not wobble or move as this would indicate a poor seal

Plumbing in the Home

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Jay Nicholas


Plumbing & Heating (warm air, hot water & steam heat)


40 years in the business, 35 years as a lic. master plumber in NY State. Retired

Graduated Magna cum laude at the School of Hard Knocks

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Commercial, residential and light industrial. You name it ...I have probably worked on it

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