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Hot water and sewer gas

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  • Hot water and sewer gas

    Hello all, I've got 2 problems that I need some help w/.

    My wife and I moved into a new home (finished build 2007, we moved in 5/09).

    First problem: noticed water in the floor pan under the 50g hw heater. plumber has been out 6+ times to fix, 2 or 3 new t/p valves, pressure regulator on tank (said pressure from street was too high) and today told me I had the temp set too high (120). None of this has made any difference. still leaking 2-3 gal/day thru the t/p (I put a bucket under the t/p, and there is no leak except that one). Any ideas?

    Second: sewer gas smell in guest bathroom. Started about 3 months after move in (aerobic sewer system). tried refilling p trap in tub (not really used much) and made no difference. Plumber ran a bead of caulk around the base of the toilet, which reduced the smell at least 80%, but I don't really consider that a fix. What do you do next to diagnose this problem? He really didn't want to change the wax ring, which I thought would be the first thing to do (no leak from the toilet is visible, though).

    Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    Re: Hot water and sewer gas

    Is this the Real Estate agents or "Home Warranty" plumber? If so, I've found them to be less than knowledgeable about alot of issues related to their trade. Could be wrong, I've got stuff to learn too.

    You should have a thermal expansion tank installed. The plumber should know this.

    The odor can be very frustrating in my experience. I've been called in to find some mystery smell and have succeeded. I've also been more than once to places and never detected this odor.

    There are smoke and mint tests that can be done to identify sewer gas leaks that once again, the plumber should know about.

    Good luck. And shut off the Natural Gas for awhile if you have it plus get the Wax Seal replaced.

    J.C.
    Last edited by BobsPlumbing; 08-27-2009, 05:27 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Hot water and sewer gas

      i agree with jc, plus you should add a prv, check to see what psi your plumbing code recommends and set accordingly.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Hot water and sewer gas

        Thanks guys. You've given me some info/ammo?

        I'll see what I can round up, and its probably time for a second opinion.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Hot water and sewer gas

          glad you're the dr.

          you gave us all the symptoms just like a good dr./ patient visit

          if all that's leaking is the pressure relief valve, then it's pressure related. you would know if it's temperature related.

          thermal expansion is your issue. very simple to diagnose.

          they sell a $10 water pressure gauge at lowes that has a second needle that will stick at the maximum pressure that was reached. connect it to the bottom drain bibb and only open it a turn or 2. let it sit overnight as the heater re-heats.

          chances are you're hitting the 140-150 psi mark.

          since you have a backflow preventer or check valve on your system, you need a thermal expansion tank installed.

          if you cut the odor 80% by caulking the toilet, then i would say you found the issue.

          at least according to our plumbing code "upc" every fixture in contact with other surfaces requires caulking. it's a sanitary issue.

          let me explain it this way.

          ball players with shorter bats, need to stand closer to the plate

          stick around, us plumbers always need medical advise

          my brother in law is my phone a friend. i could always use a second option so my wife doesn't find out what i did at work

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Hot water and sewer gas

            Replace the toilet wax immediately.
            Moisture could more than likely be ruining the floor.Which in itself is bad enough but worse off the flange that secures the toilet to the floor is rotting as well.
            Once that all goes you'll be in the big leagues as far as repare work goes.
            ADAM

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Hot water and sewer gas

              And make sure the wax ring used, doesn't have a black plastic horn attached!!

              If it does a, big guy named Dunbar, will knock on Your door at 2 AM !!
              I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Hot water and sewer gas

                And I charge, Charge aplenty!



                No language barrier here!
                Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Hot water and sewer gas

                  Thanks a ton guys. I've called them, but they're all out for the day. I thought it was supposed to be my profession that got the long weekends (as I type this at work).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Hot water and sewer gas

                    "all out for the day" means they are out making money, not playing golf.
                    Tuesday is historically the plumbers golf day around here, that way they
                    get the greens before the lawyers beat them up on Wednesday.
                    It's all about planning.
                    ---------------
                    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                    ---------------
                    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                    ---------
                    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                    ---------
                    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Hot water and sewer gas

                      doc. you might want to have you lawyer send them a friendly letter. i did that with my last new truck. the dealer looked at it 4 time couldn't find the problem. lawyer sent the letter. the next day dealer calls lawyer, tells me to take elsewhere get it fixed send them the bill. who cares why they wont repair it. you need it repaired now. breid

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Hot water and sewer gas

                        Originally posted by mandmj View Post
                        Hello all, I've got 2 problems that I need some help w/.

                        My wife and I moved into a new home (finished build 2007, we moved in 5/09).

                        First problem: noticed water in the floor pan under the 50g hw heater. plumber has been out 6+ times to fix, 2 or 3 new t/p valves, pressure regulator on tank (said pressure from street was too high) and today told me I had the temp set too high (120). None of this has made any difference. still leaking 2-3 gal/day thru the t/p (I put a bucket under the t/p, and there is no leak except that one). Any ideas?

                        Second: sewer gas smell in guest bathroom. Started about 3 months after move in (aerobic sewer system). tried refilling p trap in tub (not really used much) and made no difference. Plumber ran a bead of caulk around the base of the toilet, which reduced the smell at least 80%, but I don't really consider that a fix. What do you do next to diagnose this problem? He really didn't want to change the wax ring, which I thought would be the first thing to do (no leak from the toilet is visible, though).

                        Thanks for the help.
                        Water heater: is there an expansion tank? Or maybe the unit's gas valve is bad. What is the pressure reading at the street and at the water heater?

                        Smell: do all the fixtures have p-traps? Does the shower and tub have p-traps? Are all the waste pipes connected down below?

                        I fired my clinic doctor because he was fat, lazy, and smelled bad. I hired an old Russian m.d. in the same clinic and he is shaping up nicely. In other words, call another plumber.
                        (The Low Spark of Steel-Toed Boys)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Hot water and sewer gas

                          Originally posted by mandmj View Post
                          told me I had the temp set too high (120). Thanks for the help.

                          Hot topic here. 120º is marginally too LOW. Legionaires bacteria will survive 120. I would not set my WH below 125, and actually I keep it around 130.
                          BUT....the flip side is scald danger. Eventually, the natianal codes may address this. Some areas require 140 on the WH and mandatory tempering valve to deliver safe temp to the users.

                          It is true that if the installation would indicate an expansion tank, then the higher you set the WH temp, the more that expansion problem will exhibit itself.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Hot water and sewer gas

                            No expansion tank present, so I think that is the issue, as when the temp is turned down, the leak is minimal. I can't fire the guy myself (repairs under the contractor's "home warranty") so at least it only cost me time and frustration so far. I'm just somewhat amazed they haven't figured it out on their own, and it took me a couple of minutes to post a question and we have a logical explanation. Sometimes, stupid is as stupid does (F. Gump).

                            Thanks again.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Hot water and sewer gas

                              doc. they don't want to figure it out. they are stalling and it's working. you might want to ask to see "the plumbers" license. in indiana we have to carry it on our person. also produce it on demand. you maybe treating them as professionals, which they obviously are not. a little assertiveness maybe in order. you need this repaired now. breid

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