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Just in the last few months we have noticed a urine smell

coming from the shower....
Just in the last few months we have noticed a urine smell coming from the shower. I have cleaned the drain and removed the hair balls that have collected, in the past this remedied the odor. Recently that hasn't fixed it - I have used baking soda and vinegar multiple times, used a large bottle brush to clean the drain and it still stinks. It gets worse if the shower is really hot and/or long. The trap doesn't appear to be losing water and there is no odor or sign of leakage in the rooms below. It's making me crazy.
JA: How long has this been going on? And how severe is the problem?
Customer: Probably since July, it bothers me but I have a sensitive sense of smell. I don't know if it is severe since there are no visible signs of leakage.
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: preferably unless its more than I can handle.
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: We had the bathroom remodeled about 8 years ago, the shower is now where the bathtub used to be. The contractor used the PLEX plumbing for the water lines for the control, the actual shower head tapped into the existing copper pipes that were there for the shower that was removed - basically flipped the shower head 180 degrees and turned the old shower into a closet.
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
11/6/2017
Rick
Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 22,573
Experience: Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
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Welcome to Just Answer, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you with your

issue. First I’ll need some more info so I have a more complete picture of your situation. Is the odor coming from the shower drain or the vicinity of the shower?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I originally thought it was the shower drain but I also smell it towards the back of the shower where the showerhead is, haven't been able to determine if its just the air circulating it that direction with the shower flow or if the odor is really from there. The closet behind does not have the odor or any signs of water damage.

Generally urine odor (a very specific odor) only shows up around the toilet. If it not coming from there then you probably have a broken plumbing vent (buried in a wall) and the odor is coming from there. Finding a broken vent is probably a job for a plumber.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I prefer to continue through this chat

Call prompt is automatic I have no control over it. We can continue here. Did you see my last post?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I saw it - trying to figure this whole system out. I was present during the remodel and believe I have pictures of the shower and closet area during construction. I think I know where the vent pipe is but obviously need the plumber to repair, I can fix the drywall but not the pipe. Have you had any issues with the PLEX plumbing?

PEX water piping is the standard these days and has advantages over copper and other plastic pipe.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok, that is reassuring. One neighbor complained that it has a short lifespan and that had me worried that maybe it was leaking. If it was leaking in the wall I would see signs of it by now.

PEX will last longer than any other piping material.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The toilet waste line has a separate vent I am assuming? Otherwise the odor would be more sewer gas than just wet-dog/urine smell?

Possibly, it depends on how it was piped.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
what would cause it to start leaking?

It's not "leaking" anything but air/odor. A material or installation defect would cause the break.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok that's reassuring. would the vent pipe usually run through the roof and vent directly outside? I am guessing that is one of the many pvc pipes sticking up out of the roof?

It can or it can tie back into the main vent stack.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Sounds like I need to go investigate it in the attic a little too. I think you've helped point me in the right direction. I was afraid if I actually got a plumber in here, they would want to tear up my shower floor and pursue a leak. since the trap isn't losing water I didn't think it was leaking, never thought about the vent pipe.

Not likely in the floor since that would probably show as a leak. Wouldn't hurt to do some investigating on your own since you have some ide how the pipes were run.
I'd appreciate a favorable rating

Rick
Rick, Construction Supervisor
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Satisfied Customers: 22,573
Experience: Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you - I hope your idea is correct!

You're welcome

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