We no longer play “What’s that smell?”

In lieu of your regularly-scheduled Sunday Funday post, I’d like to share a brief update on the house. We’ve been working fairly steadily on the small projects around the house, but one project in particular is a doozy: the guest bathroom.

A few months ago we started noticing a distinctly funky smell loitering in the house, which we originally attributed to the kitchen. The Man dismantled and cleaned the sink, dishwasher, and garbage disposal. The smell remained.

We moved on to hypothesis two: backed up sewage in the bathroom pipes. The Man climbed onto the roof and sprayed water down each of the three vents connected to our bathroom pipes; I confirmed that water was flowing through them by looking into the clean-out pipe (stinky), and we deduced that no clogs were present. The mystery remained…until we walked back into the house. A small puddle of water had accumulated at the base of a wall shared by our living room and guest bathroom. So, armed with what was essentially a hand-held jackhammer, The Man ripped apart our guest bathroom. Here’s a panorama of what we had left:


All pipes exposed, we ran the vent test again. I climbed up onto the roof with a hose while The Man stood in the bathroom to visually look for leaks. Shortly after I stuck the hose down the vent, I heard him scream “TURN IT OFF! OH GOD, TURN IT OFF!!”

A low point in an S-bend had entirely rusted out, with a hole the size of a quarter letting water gush through. Water had been leaking from the pipe and pooling in the wall throughout El Niño season and every time the guest bathroom was used. As my friend Katy says: some days are just Poopsmith days.

These surprises are inevitable when you move into an older home, or so we’re telling ourselves. Plumber comes next week to repair, and then we’re on to the cosmetic re-do! Wheeee!

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