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Reddit Users Actually Manage To Solve Mysterious Smell In Someone's Home

Handling household problems when you have no clue where they even begin can be a stressful experience. When your own research shows up short and you don't want to pay just to have someone look and tell you nothing's wrong, you turn to some lesser-used places to get your answers.

At least, one homeowner did when they were faced with a questionable smell coming from one of their bathrooms.

No matter where you live, it's imposible to escape some mystery problems.

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Whether you rent an apartment or own your own house, any place we call home has the chance to run into some truly strange issues. Normally, there's someone we can call for help, but in one Reddit user's case, they didn't know where else to turn.

User Hyzyhine took to the WhatIsThis subreddit with a bit of a strange request.

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WhatIsThis is most often used for identifying mystery objects that people stumble across. Hyzyhine didn't have an object, though, instead asking the forum's almost 200k users to help them identify a smell that kept emanating from one room of their home.

With their post, they attached five photos, and promised details in the comments.

The photos showed a small bathroom and the area surrounding said small bathroom where Hyzyhine said the smell was coming from.

Their comment begins, "Over the past two weeks, there’s been a weird, intermittent smell here. And no, it’s not created by any of the humans who live here…"

They lay out the situation for involved readers.

"[These photos are] the downstairs toilet in my house. The smell is sickly, slightly fishy, sometimes like rubber. It comes and goes at random times as far as I can tell. It doesn’t seem to be coming from any obvious source or area – it’s just there.

The room’s been cleaned repeatedly with various detergents. I even washed the lightbulb. But sooner or later – the smell comes back."

They also knock out a few initial possibilities.

"There is no trace of damp – no efflorescence, no stains, nothing. The drains are fine. The room sits below an upstairs landing, and there’s no trace of anything amiss up there. Through the wall is an understairs cupboard which has no smells.

Outside the house, the wall looks fine, no marks, stains, cracks, or anything. The house dates from the 1970’s, and was built on a concrete slab (due to mineworkings in the area) – so there is no fond to check out if anything’s died under the floor, it’s just solid concrete."

They ask again if anyone knows what it is, and the guesses start rolling in.

The first one was a direct reply to their detail comment, user killthou755536 asking if the p-trap for the sink has been checked, thinking it could be something in the pipes.

Hyzyhine replies, "I put one of these long drain scrubber things down it - it didn’t meet any obstacles that I could feel," but goes on to say they'll check it again.

Someone else makes a comment of their own, asking about the nearby window.

"Are there any air vents that could be sourcing the smell?" user Wookanash asks, "What is outside of the window?"

Again Hyzyhine replies, "It’s a flower bed with a few bushes in it. I checked for cat poo etc…nada!"

Finally, a potential answer came from a third commenter, Cojesa.

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"Overheating electricity cables can smell 'fishy'. Difficult to [self-diagnose] but perhaps check that the fuses or trip switches are the correct rating. Depending on where you live you might need to call a certificated tradesperson."

Wookanash returned to agree, "My mind was going to electrical as well which is why I asked about air vents. If there is a fuse box and lots of wires nearby, I would definitely keep an eye on that. And if the house is from the 1970s, some of the wiring could be less than ideal and at the least aged."

After some investigation from Hyzyhine, this looked to be just the case.

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Their first comment read, "I left the light on for 10 minutes…the smell came. The area round the light fitment is warm on one side. I think we have a problem here. Thanks!"

Then they later returned to thank Cojesa, "I think you have found it [...] many thanks for your suggestion. I love Reddit sometimes!"

It was nice to see people come together to help someone out like this, and potentially prevent a disaster!