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      05-15-2018, 05:34 PM   #1
jaye944
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How to clean an overflow

Hey guy's,

I have a bathroom vanity sink, from time to time, when I run the tap, I get like a sewage, bad smell odor.

Now when the water slows down I do remove the plug unit and clean the hair out.


I recently started looking into the smell I sometimes get.

So on a test someone suggested, I filled the sink up with the plug closed, till it got to and past the overflow.

Thing is, the water level doesnt go down.

I'm assuming something is jammed up, how best to clean it?

See attached pic, (stock) my overflow is like a cut out where I have marked with the blue lines
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      05-15-2018, 06:03 PM   #2
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Best is to unscrew the gas trap U bend under the sink. Have a bucket and towels underneath. And use a plumbers wrench.

Oh. And use a cup to spoon out the water in the sink first.

This Old House has some good sink plus plumbing videos.

Last edited by ScottSinger; 05-15-2018 at 06:09 PM.
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      05-15-2018, 08:46 PM   #3
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so just to confirm,

Water level doesnt go down with sink full, i.e. down the over flow
but when I pull the plug it's fine
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      05-15-2018, 08:48 PM   #4
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Gel draino in the overflow wait 20-30min. Follow up with a pot of extremely hot water carefully poured into overflow; tea kettle would be useful.
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      05-16-2018, 07:58 AM   #5
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Maybe try this: http://zebrahamradio.com/german-sink/

It's a little hose that attaches to your faucet and allows you to flush out the overflow.
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      05-16-2018, 08:37 AM   #6
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https://www.amazon.com/THRIFT-MARKET.../dp/B00E1N07LY

Expensive but awesome. Really clears drains out which will help the smell.
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      05-16-2018, 08:42 AM   #7
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There is a lot of debate about using products like Drano - research on line.

It's really helpful to unscrew the gas trap because it prevents corrosion from seizing the connection either metal or PVC and it's a good time to replace any rubber seals.

Once you have the gas trap removed you can remove the tailpiece and use a plastic zip tie to poke through any crud.

If your in an old house with cast iron pipes them thats reason to stay away from harsh acids.
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      05-16-2018, 11:16 AM   #8
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When I brush my teeth and get THAT smell, I know it's time to take the U joint out and clean out the hair. A low, rectangular storage tray works a lot better than a bucket, since you still want to be able to pull it out from under the vanity when full of water WITHOUT spilling it all over.

I replaced all the piping under the sinks with PVC. Doesn't catch as much hair.
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      05-16-2018, 12:05 PM   #9
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Some sinks have the overflow cast into the porcelain (or marble-like plastic), and it travels down to the regular drain - so taking apart the under pipes won't help. Pouring bleach might do the trick, followed 30 min later by very hot water?
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      05-17-2018, 08:11 AM   #10
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If you are talking about true sewer gas smell, then you have some kind of leak up through the S-shaped 'trap' - usually b/c the water has evaporated or been pulled in, and there is no longer a water-seal working there. If running a little water down the main drain makes it stop/go away than this is the issue, and probably means your roof vent system is somehow blocked, or otherwise s/t is doing weird things to pull out the trap-water. If it is a drain you seldom use, like a guest bath, it can just dry out. If it is just the smell of the junk built up, then try the hot water first, perhaps with some TSP or cleaning soap in it (I haven't used drano in decades, and would discourage it - those plastic hair snags or a snake are all I've needed).
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      05-17-2018, 08:28 PM   #11
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Actually going to Home hardware tommorow
picking up something called "Water driller"
think it's the same typea thing

Quote:
Originally Posted by DETRoadster View Post
Maybe try this: http://zebrahamradio.com/german-sink/

It's a little hose that attaches to your faucet and allows you to flush out the overflow.
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      05-17-2018, 08:30 PM   #12
jaye944
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and yes mine does that,

Actually, I did exactly what you said and the smell is gone,
but going to clean the overflow with the waterdriller tommorow

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbbmw View Post
Some sinks have the overflow cast into the porcelain (or marble-like plastic), and it travels down to the regular drain - so taking apart the under pipes won't help. Pouring bleach might do the trick, followed 30 min later by very hot water?
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      05-17-2018, 08:32 PM   #13
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Hot water worked,

I get this from time to time, not to often, so I suspect it's the overflow
(according to the internet anyway )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maynard View Post
If you are talking about true sewer gas smell, then you have some kind of leak up through the S-shaped 'trap' - usually b/c the water has evaporated or been pulled in, and there is no longer a water-seal working there. If running a little water down the main drain makes it stop/go away than this is the issue, and probably means your roof vent system is somehow blocked, or otherwise s/t is doing weird things to pull out the trap-water. If it is a drain you seldom use, like a guest bath, it can just dry out. If it is just the smell of the junk built up, then try the hot water first, perhaps with some TSP or cleaning soap in it (I haven't used drano in decades, and would discourage it - those plastic hair snags or a snake are all I've needed).
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      05-17-2018, 08:36 PM   #14
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We have 2 bathrooms upstairs,
and only noticed it in my one, the bathroom downstairs again no problem

NOW, sometimes when I go into the basement, I get that smell as well, but dissipates after a few minutes. no washroom's as unfinished basement but so much junk I cant see the floor, I know theres a bolted/sealed connection for a toilet and there is like a long tube which from time to time expels water

There is a utility sinke, washer, dryer, HVAC down there

I wish I could work on the stuff downstairs, but it full of wifes crap and am NOT allowed to touch or move anything
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      05-17-2018, 08:37 PM   #15
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oh thxs all for the replies!
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      05-17-2018, 08:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaye944 View Post
oh thxs all for the replies!
You say you have that stink in your basement too. Check that your utility sink has a P-trap. I've seen utility sinks plumbed right into the washing machine drain w/out a P-trap; that could be the cause of the stink in your basement.
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      05-17-2018, 09:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSB335d View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaye944 View Post
oh thxs all for the replies!
You say you have that stink in your basement too. Check that your utility sink has a P-trap. I've seen utility sinks plumbed right into the washing machine drain w/out a P-trap; that could be the cause of the stink in your basement.
^this. And the P trap is very necessary, to keep deadly swamp gas out of your house.
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      05-18-2018, 07:34 AM   #18
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" I know theres a bolted/sealed connection for a toilet and there is like a long tube which from time to time expels water "

Not sure what you are talking about, but this sounds like something is wrong with this. Might be worth your time to have a pro check out the system to be sure everything is hooked up properly. Our first house had a floor drain that had been hidden by a wall, and when the trap dried out the basement stunk like this - once we found it and kept it full, it was no problem (they sell an oil-like product for this that lasts a loooong time, if it is really in a tough spot to reach). As others have noted, that nasty smelling sewer gas is actually quite unhealthy too - you need to be sure everything is properly sealed off. If the wife is balking, you might mention that without those traps, the rats can climb right up from the sewer into your house (sort of an exaggeration, but all's fair in love and home repairs ).
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      05-19-2018, 09:45 AM   #19
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oh good call,I never thought of that

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSB335d View Post
You say you have that stink in your basement too. Check that your utility sink has a P-trap. I've seen utility sinks plumbed right into the washing machine drain w/out a P-trap; that could be the cause of the stink in your basement.
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      05-19-2018, 09:48 AM   #20
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txs,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maynard View Post
" I know theres a bolted/sealed connection for a toilet and there is like a long tube which from time to time expels water "

Not sure what you are talking about, but this sounds like something is wrong with this. Might be worth your time to have a pro check out the system to be sure everything is hooked up properly. Our first house had a floor drain that had been hidden by a wall, and when the trap dried out the basement stunk like this - once we found it and kept it full, it was no problem (they sell an oil-like product for this that lasts a loooong time, if it is really in a tough spot to reach). As others have noted, that nasty smelling sewer gas is actually quite unhealthy too - you need to be sure everything is properly sealed off. If the wife is balking, you might mention that without those traps, the rats can climb right up from the sewer into your house (sort of an exaggeration, but all's fair in love and home repairs ).
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      05-21-2018, 10:49 AM   #21
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J,

I thought of you this weekend when my son walked in to use my shower because when he pulled the diverter in his, it came apart in his hands. I REALLY should have made him fix it, and observe to make sure he did it right, because some day I won't be there.
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