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  • Sewer smell

    Small business with a slab on grade with a sewer smell that has apparently been coming and going at different times throughout the year

    The smell only comes from one side of the building where the plumbing fixtures are.
    I poured water in the 2 drains in the 2 washrooms and also poured water in the trap in the janitor room not far from the toilets.I also went on the roof to check that the vent stack wasn't obstructed.

    Any idea what else to check for?

    P.s Building is pretty old.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Sewer smell

    Smoke test
    Rod
    MT. Washington Sewer & Drain Cleaning
    Serving Berlin, NH and North Conway, NH areas
    http://unclognh.com
    http://mtwashingtonseweranddrainclea...m/default.aspx

    Charging less does not mean more call volume it just means you have to work harder to reach your goals.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sewer smell

      Check for any lose commodes in the building, could be a bad wax ring. If you cant find anything time for a smoke test.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Sewer smell

        Dry p-traps for any fixture or receptor. Dry traps can be from evaporation caused by a malfunctioning trap primer or a trap that has deteriorated to the point it will not hold water or simply lack of use without a means for priming the trap.

        Toilets with a faulty seal between the toilet bowl and the flange.
        Urinals with a faulty seal
        Open cleanouts or pipe in the attic,floor or walls
        Any negative air pressure that could suck sewer gas back into the building from outside.
        leaking drains under the buildings foundation

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Sewer smell

          What type of business?
          I once spent several hrs searching for the source of "sewer" smell at a restaurant. Smell was strong at the counter and lobby.

          Smell was very strong at times then kind of went away.

          I happened to be on my hands and knees looking under equipment for any floor drains when the soda machine fan kicked on and blew a god awful stench right in my face.

          Turned out to be some rotting food wedged behind/under the soda machine. No stink at all by the machine until the fan would kick on and it would quickly engulf the entire area so I couldn't hone in on it, at least not until I had my face right in it
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          • #6
            Re: Sewer smell

            Look for AAV on the vents.
            Will Rogers Plumbing
            Moore, Oklahoma
            (
            405) 323-2852

            "Your Solution for Any Sewer and Drain Cleaning Needs"

            "We Unclog Drains That Others Can't"



            www.willrogersplumbing.com
            http://willrogersplumbing.com/?page_id=8

            "Oklahoma's Favorite Plumbers!"

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            • #7
              Re: Sewer smell

              Originally posted by Gene Bickford View Post
              What type of business?
              I once spent several hrs searching for the source of "sewer" smell at a restaurant. Smell was strong at the counter and lobby.

              Smell was very strong at times then kind of went away.

              I happened to be on my hands and knees looking under equipment for any floor drains when the soda machine fan kicked on and blew a god awful stench right in my face.

              Turned out to be some rotting food wedged behind/under the soda machine. No stink at all by the machine until the fan would kick on and it would quickly engulf the entire area so I couldn't hone in on it, at least not until I had my face right in it
              Your right Gene. Found that same thing at a Subway a few years ago.
              Fast food places are smelly too because the kids mop and push all the food and grease under tables and equipment and it just builds up and smells
              Rod
              MT. Washington Sewer & Drain Cleaning
              Serving Berlin, NH and North Conway, NH areas
              http://unclognh.com
              http://mtwashingtonseweranddrainclea...m/default.aspx

              Charging less does not mean more call volume it just means you have to work harder to reach your goals.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Sewer smell

                Originally posted by UnClogNH View Post
                Your right Gene. Found that same thing at a Subway a few years ago.
                Fast food places are smelly too because the kids mop and push all the food and grease under tables and equipment and it just builds up and smells
                Smell in a kitchen increased when the refrigerator fan turned on. I discovered a dead mouse apparently killed by the fan.

                Detected a similar smell in a room with no plumbing - just a grand piano.
                As I played the piano, noticed that some keys had a slightly heavier touch.
                Pulled the action (the keyboard and action slides out much like a drawer) and found a large dead white rat in the action.
                Later learned thathe daughter had shown her pet rat to guests at a party there and lost her rat.
                I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

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                • #9
                  Re: Sewer smell

                  Well I checked the Commodes,and traps all good going there this week to check for the possibility of aav.

                  This use to be an older building converted into many offices.

                  When they renovated it and if the carpet guys carpeted over a floor drain could this possibly cause this smell? and if so any way of locating the floor drain with carpet over top without ripping the carpet up?

                  Thx again fellas.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Sewer smell

                    Originally posted by gobby View Post
                    ... if the carpet guys carpeted over a floor drain could this possibly cause this smell? and if so any way of locating the floor drain with carpet over top without ripping the carpet up?...
                    I'd look for the lowest point where a drain would be expected. Then tap on the carpet to see if you can feel it and hear it.

                    Or use a stud finder to detecthe metal floor drain.
                    Or just a good magnet on a string and notice if it is influenced by anything.
                    I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                    It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                    "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Sewer smell

                      I had a floor drain covered up with carpet in a rental that would smell, especially when the temperature was higher. I used vegetable to fill the trap so it wouldn't evaporate. If it ever floods, it will still drain properly.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Sewer smell

                        if the carpet tiles are over the drain do you think you would get that much odor?
                        The carpet tiles do have a film on the back of them that would seal it you would think?

                        After some poking around today I noticed that someone had installed a trap primer to fix the problem which there was water in.I also noticed that there was a uncovered pipe which the water supply is coming in but didn't notice any odor?

                        Last edited by gobby; 01-31-2011, 12:51 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Sewer smell

                          Originally posted by Gene Bickford View Post
                          What type of business?
                          I once spent several hrs searching for the source of "sewer" smell at a restaurant. Smell was strong at the counter and lobby.

                          Smell was very strong at times then kind of went away.

                          I happened to be on my hands and knees looking under equipment for any floor drains when the soda machine fan kicked on and blew a god awful stench right in my face.

                          Turned out to be some rotting food wedged behind/under the soda machine. No stink at all by the machine until the fan would kick on and it would quickly engulf the entire area so I couldn't hone in on it, at least not until I had my face right in it

                          Thank God ! What I though was coming next was the bartender ripped one right there..Thus explaining the mysterious stench..
                          Last edited by OLD1; 01-12-2011, 06:07 PM.
                          ''Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy" Benjamin Franklin

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Sewer smell

                            Originally posted by gobby View Post
                            if the carpet tiles are over the drain do you think you would get that much odor?
                            The carpet tiles do have a film on the back of them that would seal it you would think?

                            After some poking around today I noticed that someone had installed a trap primer to fix the problem which there was water in.I also noticed that there was a uncovered pipe which the water supply is coming in but didn't notice any odor?

                            Its hard to stop gas ..I think it would slow it down , but blow right through

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Sewer smell

                              Originally posted by Robert Gift View Post
                              I'd look for the lowest point where a drain would be expected. Then tap on the carpet to see if you can feel it and hear it.

                              Or use a stud finder to detecthe metal floor drain.
                              Or just a good magnet on a string and notice if it is influenced by anything.
                              If you do go that route with a magnet, just be careful about getting it too close to computers or other electronics!
                              Ideal Plumbing

                              Comment

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