Soil pipe smell

2 Aug 2019
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United Kingdom
Hi all,

We live in the middle floor of a three story block of flats. In our bathroom behind the toilet we have a panel where the soil pipe runs and all our waste pipes run to.

We have always had a musty smell that we could smell every now and then in the bathroom but wasn’t ever that bad.
Recently we are noticing it a lot more and stronger. Also I can smell it in a kitchen cupboard where the washer and sink pipe enters this cavity where the soil pipe is like between the kitchen and bathroom.

I have had the panel off and had a look and none of my pipes seems to be leaking and as far down as I can see it’s all dry. But it smells in there. Does anyone have any ideas?
Iv got a plumber friend coming out next week to do some bits in the bathroom so il get him to look whilst he’s here but I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas? It’s like a fusty smell that you catch every now and then. Not a mould Smell it’s weird.

I haven’t asked the people below yet to look because they might think I’m being overly paranoid (we did have a leak two months ago) but as far as I can tell this is all drying out now. (Windows open and dehumidifier on daily) the smell is definitely coming from the soil stack hole.

Thanks in advance
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Tricky one even when on site and more so when it's a shared stack with multiple dwellings.

You could get the soil system pressure tested to rule out leaks within that but the odour is just as likely to be permeating up through the riser (shaft) around the pipe and this could be from the ground or from either property above or below. If you had a leak recently, how bad was it and where was it from? If water ingress got into the building fabric and pooled somewhere out of sight, this can take months to dry up and may be a cause of smells while it does so.

If your plumber can see no obvious signs, then it is worth keeping a diary and scoring the smell out of 10 and noting the times, dates and weather conditions.

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