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Rick Ridley
Rick Ridley, UK Heating Engineer
Category: UK Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 1561
Experience:  30 Years on the tools, now retired, Ex CORGI
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I have two (maybe connected) issues with my ensuite bathroom

Customer Question

I have two (maybe connected) issues with my ensuite bathroom that consists of a shower unit, sink and toilet.
1) When I use either the sink or flush the toilet a gurgling noise is heard near the shower trap. Sometimes the toilet drains slowly but not to any concerning extent and eventually returns to a normal level.
2) After running the sink taps at fairly high water pressure i.e. fully open valve, a rotten egg smell emerges from the shower trap. Usually in the morning the ensuite has a drain like smell.
I have had a plumber round to take a look who put drain cleaner down the sink, toilet and shower trap but this has not worked. Do you have any advice?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: UK Plumbing
Expert:  Mike R. replied 3 months ago.

Hi my name is ***** ***** I have been in the plumbing field for 20 years. I will be glad to help you today. Is this a newer home or older? How long has this been happening? Is the underneath plumbing accessible?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The property is Victorian but converted for residential use in 2011 and consists of 3 flats. It has been happening ever since I have bought it in June this year. From speaking to the resident below she is having a similar issue (her bathroom is below mine). She said she first noticed something when the previous occupier of my property had a toilet blockage. The plumbing is mainly hidden although the sink P bend is accessible.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 3 months ago.

I would suggest as a test, if you remove the trap on the sink Then flush the toilet, does the shower still gurgle? I would also suggest placing a large bowl under the trap when removing it and leave the bowl there in case water does come out during this test.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Would that test go some way to address problem number 2 as per my original mail?
Expert:  Mike R. replied 3 months ago.

Very much, yes. If you will do the test and let me know the result that would certainly send us in a direction towards a solution.

Expert:  Mike R. replied 3 months ago.

I am sorry that our messages are so far apart. I am in the U.S. so different times and I have been working a lot. It is 420 pm here now and I will be online for the next 5 or 6 hours.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Sure, 22:30 here so won't be pulling apart sink traps just yet!
Expert:  Mike R. replied 3 months ago.

Fair enough.

Expert:  Mike R. replied 3 months ago.

Do you have a result from what I suggested?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Mike, sorry was I'll over the weekend. Yes, I tried it and the shower still gurgles when toilet is flushed
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ill not I'll (auto correct)
Expert:  Mike R. replied 3 months ago.

With the sink traps removed?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
that's right
Expert:  Mike R. replied 3 months ago.

When you look down the shower drain with a flashlight, do you see water? You should so, if you do that is good. If yo do not see water and you run the shower for a minute, do you see water then? You should see some standing water. If you cannot see very well then remove the shower grate. Once you do see water, will you have your assistant flush the toilet while you watch that water and see if it moves or goes down when the toilet is flushed? Sorry for all the tests, but this one very well may be the last one to determine the issue.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi Mike, apologies for the late response. There is water in the site trap and when the toilet is flushed the water level goes down.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 months ago.

Alright, so there is a venting issue. The drain piping must be connected in a certain order to allow venting. When something is used it needs to pull air from a vent. The vent is a pipe that goes out of the roof and when the toilet is flushed it pulls air from the vent pipe. The toilet does not have a vent pipe and instead it is pulling air from the shower pipe and pulling the water out of the trap. This may be a very easy repair or very invasive. There is one test I would like you to do to determine if this is an easy fix or not. Will you do the same thing as the last test but first remove the traps on the sinks in the bath first? Then with the traps removed on the sinks in the bath, does the water in the shower trap still move with the traps removed?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi Mike, there is no bath in the en suite only the sunk, shower and toilet. I have been away for the last few days by have noticed that there is dirty, brown water in the toilet. The shower is also bringing back a strong rotten egg smell drain smell too.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Sorry sink not sunk (autocorrect again!)
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 months ago.

did you do the test ? hand wounded today so messages may be short adjectives

Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 month ago.

I haven't heard from you. Was the information I provided helpful?

Expert:  Mike R. replied 1 month ago.

I see you still have not positively rated my service. Although the only way that I get paid is when my service is positively rated, it also tells me that you have not received the information that you were seeking to find a solution to your issue. Will you let me know what affect the information I provided had on the issue at hand and how else I may be able to help?

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