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Rick
Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 14221
Experience:  Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
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My clean dishes have a bad wet dog smell after the dishes

Customer Question

My clean dishes have a bad "wet dog" smell after the dishes go through the dishwasher. Since then, I have replaced the dishwasher and the tube that goes to the garbage disposal. The garbage disposal is new also. Everyone says to run tang or bleach or vinegar through a load but as I said, everything is brand new. The washer is only 1 week old.
I am at a loss for what to do. the old tube that went from the garbage disposal, went up hill then back down to the dish washer. I made the new one go up then down, then back up again before going down to the dishwasher so no dirty water could go back into the washer. I still had smelly plates in my dishwasher. the thing is, not all the plates smelled bad. just a few. I really would like some help.
Some people pointed to the hot water heater. but My showers don't smell and neither to my whites that go through warm water washes. any thoughts?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Rick replied 5 years ago.
HiCustomerbr />I suspect there is something wrong with your dishwasher. If the dishwasher empties out entirely at the end of a wash cycle (no water is left in the bottom) then you probably don't have a drain stoppage. There is no need to route the drain hose the way you did in fact you are trapping dirty water in the hose by running it this way. The hose only needs to be routed as high as possible under the sink (up to the bottom of the countertop is best) then down to your disposal. We used an air gap fitting in the past for the drain connection but they were more trouble than they were worth and their use is no longer required by code.
It is possible that the odor you notice is caused by the dishes not drying completely. If your are not using the heated dry cycle you might want to give that a try. If you are using heated dry then you should complain to the dishwasher manufacturer.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I thought it was the dishwasher before and thats why I replaced it. This new dishwasher is, a brand new GE bought from Home Depot. the old dishwasher had the bad smell on the plates and so does the new dishwasher. I also replace the tube from the dishwasher to the garbage disposal. Since i ruled out the dishwasher and the tube, I am unsure what else it could be. I ran the tube uphill twice since I read it could be bad water backing up in the dishwasher. I also ruled that out by running the tube uphill twice.

As I said, it isn't the tube or the dishwasher that is making the smell.

my water from the tap never smells regardless of hot water or cold. clothes don't smell and showers dont either.

any thoughts?

Expert:  Rick replied 5 years ago.
What about the heated dry feature? I really don't have anything more to offer than I mentioned in my first answer. I would suggest giving GE a call and tell them your problem. They sell a lot of units and may have run into this before. It doesn't sound like a plumbing problem.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

i know that the heating works, we ran the dishwasher with no dishes once after I set up the dishwasher. Then when we ran our first load, the plates were so hot that they were dry and super hot to the touch. I did a google search on "dishes smell like wet dog" and a lot sites popped up. most said to do the whole bleach or vinegar or tang. the thing is, is that the old dishwasher and the new one both have plates that smell. they are both from different manufacturers too, so that is to much of a coincidence.

do you have any knowledge of hot water heaters or maybe hard water?

Expert:  Rick replied 5 years ago.
Hard water would not cause an odor. Hard water is caused by dissolved minerals that have no odor. If you have well water one possible contaminant is tanin which could cause an odor. Tanins are pretty rare but can show up in well water. The only way to know if tanins are present is to have your water tested. Water treatment companies will usually perform this type of test for free (we do). The only other water contaminent that causes an odor is sulphur dioxide which is a gas that smells like rotten eggs. If this was your problem you would notice the odor when you use the shower or other fixtures.
A water heater would not cause an odor issue such as you describe.
Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 14221
Experience: Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
Rick and other Plumbing Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
im on public water so no well. I did replace my whole kitchen and that is when the smell started. I replaced the sink, garbage disposal, cupboards and countertop, the whole 9 yards. I guess I will see if something there started the smell for some reason. I am still at a loss.
Expert:  Rick replied 5 years ago.
Sorry I couldn't be more help but hunting down the source of an odor from cyber space is difficult at best. You can be reasonably certain it is not a plumbing problem.
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