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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    West Michigan
    Posts
    38

    Default Sewer Smell - Need help!!!

    Good morning! We need help! We have a sewer gas smell in our house. We have tried several things and don't have a clue where to go next.

    Two story house + unfinished basement. The smell is worst in the NE corner of our house. We have a 1/2 bath and laundry room in this area, but the smell permeates through the whole house. The house overall is pretty air tight and I even installed an air exchanger installed to try to improve the quality of air in the house, which has helped some but not eliminated the problem.

    Things done already:
    -The basement is rough plumbed for another full bath. I first sealed all the rough plumbed pipes which improved the basement smell, but it did not go away.
    -In past posts I had mentioneed that I had sewer gas coming in around the main clean out plug in our basement, so we had those sealed better.
    -We had a mechanical vent not taped in the 1/2 bath mentioned above and that replaced and was fixed, seemed to help, but didn't solve the problem.
    -I reset the toilet in the 1/2 bath thinking it was the issue.
    - We had a smoke test done and it seemed like there was a little haze in that bathroom, but not billowing out or anything obvious that would have been the issue. We did not see anything obvious in the basement either with the smoke test.

    I will admit plumbing is a weak subject for me. I am questioning the original smoke test and questioning if I should try another???

    To what extent would a smoke test show anything with items that are mechanically vented and not attached to the main vent lines? I have both a kitchen sink/dishwasher as well as the 1/2 bath sink and toilet set up with the mechanical vent.

    I am desperate!!! Any advice would be incredibly helpful!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,208

    Default Re: Sewer Smell - Need help!!!

    A smoke test should show were the sewer gas is coming from. Just how was the first test performed?
    John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    West Michigan
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Sewer Smell - Need help!!!

    John,

    I did not watch per say but they guys were up on the roof by the vent stack. It was a very reputable large plumbing company in our area.

    Do smoke tests work well in the case of mechanical vents being used?

    I am wondering if I should try again, but they are incredibly cheap, but we are desperate!!!

    Thank you for your quick reply!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,731

    Default Re: Sewer Smell - Need help!!!

    Make sure every drain has a P trap in it and if you have any seldom used drains, pour water into them. A dry P trap is one way that sewer gasses get into a house.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,579

    Default Re: Sewer Smell - Need help!!!

    A little haze in the half bath means you have a leak there. I would concentrate there for a problem.
    Things may have been replaced, but that doesn't mean it was necessarily done correctly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,498

    Default Re: Sewer Smell - Need help!!!

    A smoke test is not science, but if haze shows up in one area of the house, that would be a very good indication that you found the source.

    You mentioned that you reset the toilet - how do you know that you did it right? did you replace the wax ring? did you install a new supersize wax ring?

    Look at other potential sources ans dee if you can improve them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    West Michigan
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Sewer Smell - Need help!!!

    Thanks for the replies so far!

    All traps have a Ptrap and the bathroom is frequently used so I am not too concerned about the dry traps.

    On resetting the toilet: I have helped do it before, so I am 95% sure I did it correctly this time. Yes I did replace the wax ring.

    I guess I am going to have to figure out whom else can do a smoke test in my area and try again??? Maybe we will have better luck that time. My next step might be to just start having pieces replaced if we cannot come up with a better solution.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,579

    Default Re: Sewer Smell - Need help!!!

    Any chance a vent pipe got pierced, came apart or broken?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    West Michigan
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Sewer Smell - Need help!!!

    The house was built in 2005. I don't remember the smell this entire time, but I guess it is possible. Again, the 1/2 bath where I am suspicious is mechanically vented (I hate these things) so there is not a vent line heading up. THere has not been any mechanical work on the house since I have moved in other than those moved above that could have pierced a line.

    There is a washer in the next room over from the 1/2 bath I am suspicious about that I will have to see how the drain line is set up, but I am still more suspicious of the 1/2 bath.

    Again, thank you!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,731

    Default Re: Sewer Smell - Need help!!!

    Mechanically vented?

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