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Thread: Basement Smell!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Default Basement Smell!

    Our basement smells like septic! We just bought our house this past April and the smell has gotten worse as we've lived there but it is not constant. Only in our finished basement do we notice this and have had the drain in the utility room fixed and the septic system is new. I am assuming there could be a drain under our carpet somewhere that is dry but we have no way of knowing that? Also, it seems like the odor is more "up in the air"....???? Please help if can.....I am wondering if it could be a ventilation issue but then who do we call or can we try and fix it ourselves? My husband is pretty handy if he has an idea of what he needs to do. Could we have a leaky septic pipe somewhere..but wouldn't that "pool" in the walls floor or ceiling??? My brand new beautiful expensive house smells like crap, literally, and I just want to fix it!! The house was originally built in 1875 but has been completely remodeled. I was reading last night that this can be really bad for you the more gas builds up...we have 2 young children and are expecting our third. PLEASE help me if you can!!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Basement Smell!

    Start with removing the carpet and seeing what's going on under it.
    You mentioned that your husband thinks he knows what to do. Can you tell us what he thinks?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Basement Smell!

    Quote Originally Posted by amanda4smith@gmail.com View Post
    Our basement smells like septic! We just bought our house this past April and the smell has gotten worse as we've lived there but it is not constant. Only in our finished basement do we notice this and have had the drain in the utility room fixed and the septic system is new. I am assuming there could be a drain under our carpet somewhere that is dry but we have no way of knowing that? Also, it seems like the odor is more "up in the air"....???? Please help if can.....I am wondering if it could be a ventilation issue but then who do we call or can we try and fix it ourselves? My husband is pretty handy if he has an idea of what he needs to do. Could we have a leaky septic pipe somewhere..but wouldn't that "pool" in the walls floor or ceiling??? My brand new beautiful expensive house smells like crap, literally, and I just want to fix it!! The house was originally built in 1875 but has been completely remodeled. I was reading last night that this can be really bad for you the more gas builds up...we have 2 young children and are expecting our third. PLEASE help me if you can!!!
    Hmmmm ---remodeled home .
    If you suspect there might be a drain covered by the carpet then you will have to lift the carpet to find out .
    If there is a finished bath in this space check the toilet if it's secured down tight enough or check the wax seal. Other than that it could be many things like a vent line unprotected by a trap -- for example.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Default Re: Basement Smell!

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    Start with removing the carpet and seeing what's going on under it.
    You mentioned that your husband thinks he knows what to do. Can you tell us what he thinks?
    He is handy if he has an idea...we do not. I can't just start tearing carpet out in my completely finished basement....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Red face Re: Basement Smell!

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    Hmmmm ---remodeled home .
    If you suspect there might be a drain covered by the carpet then you will have to lift the carpet to find out .
    If there is a finished bath in this space check the toilet if it's secured down tight enough or check the wax seal. Other than that it could be many things like a vent line unprotected by a trap -- for example.
    We have no idea what this is...I don't think the people we bought the house from would be that crappy as to cover a floor drain?? Who know's though...we also have a chimmney that they completely sealed off but it still lets heat out as we see it at night...a plumber came out for another reason a while back and he said he actually bid on our remodel back when the previous owners were "gutting it" and he said the guy took his estimate and just did the work himself...so I am assuming he did something incorrectly but don't know what???
    For some reason I just really think this might be a ventilation issue....do I just need a contractor to come and try to figure this our or what??????????????????????
    That plumber said that he told them they would have to run teh pipes for the bathroom down there across the cieling in the basement and said it could be a leak or improper piping, but wouldn't there be signs of a leak on the ceiling or walls then???
    Last edited by amanda4smith@gmail.com; 12-12-2011 at 11:02 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Default Re: Basement Smell!

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    Hmmmm ---remodeled home .
    If you suspect there might be a drain covered by the carpet then you will have to lift the carpet to find out .
    If there is a finished bath in this space check the toilet if it's secured down tight enough or check the wax seal. Other than that it could be many things like a vent line unprotected by a trap -- for example.

    all the seals in the finished bathroom down there are ok..we checked that a while back

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Basement Smell!

    Still sounds like a bad vent line to me. You might have to start tearing into walls to find what the problem is. Get that plumber back and see if he has any advice on where to start.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Basement Smell!

    To check for sewer gas you could do a smoke test on the plumbing. It will not only tell you if you have one or not but it will also give you the location.

    John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Default Re: Basement Smell!

    I had the same problem and my solution may or may not be your particular solution, but here goes. I have a basement toilet that is connected to an ejector sump. The ejector pump was set to drain the sump at a level high enough to allow raw sewage to enter the floor drain pipe. After time the floor drain pipe filled with sewage and caused the odor. I set the ejector to drain the sump before filling to the level of the drain pipe, flushed the floor drain with lots of fresh water and now I have no more odor. My floor drain was not covered with carpet. I hope this helps you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Default Re: Basement Smell!

    Quote Originally Posted by johnjh2o View Post
    To check for sewer gas you could do a smoke test on the plumbing. It will not only tell you if you have one or not but it will also give you the location.

    John
    How do we do this?? Does a plumber come test it or the people who installed our septic? This sounds like a decent place to start...

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