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  • Sewer smell in house

    First off this is really long, so long in fact that when I just tried to post it, I was typing so long it logged me out and I lost all I had typed up. Thanks for that...

    Alright so we get a call to this house earlier this week, complaints of a bad sewer smell. Soon as we walk in the door it hit us, it was bad. So we started going over stuff, first thing she mentioned is they had not used their dishwasher in months because when they used the disposal, it would feed back into the dishwasher. Alright, opened it up and BAM! Said, oh heres your problem, this water in here is stagnant and it reeks. While she agreed it stunk, she assured me they had the smell long before they stopped using the dishwasher, in fact it was new, installed in december. So we cleaned out the dishwasher with lemon dish soap. Asked my helper to run soap through it, apparently I didn't specify which soap. Regardless, it cleaned it up real nice. And the floor under the door from all the suds to.

    Okay moving on, she said this has been going on for a few years now.

    This is the layout of the house. Kitchen -group- is on the northisde of the house. By group I mean kitchen sink, washing machine, and utility closet floor drain, which server the ac, and water heater. On the south end of the house are the 2 bathrooms. One has a standing shower, one a tub. Both have lavs and toilets. No plumbing in between the bathroom and kitchen groups. Bathroom groups havea cleanout on the south west corner of the house, and the kitchen kicks out straght west, under the kitchen window. So 2 seperate kickouts, they tie together out in the yard. Now there is a man hole for the city sewer a few feet north, and about 50 feet west of the house. Sewer runs straight towards the manhole from the bathroom group cleanout, and the kitchen ties in about 30 feet before the manhole.

    Now in the cleanout there is standing water. Until today we did not know the extent of it, which is a shame cause we tried a smoke test yesterday. Allll of the sewerline is holding water, which after cabling we determined is due to a sewerline just holding water. Not stopped up, no roots, no clogs, just a huge belly. So our smoke test, which was through the kitchen vent, tested just that, and tested it well. It held like a champ. But the smell in the house is not the same smell in the manhole. The house smells like stagnant water, manhole, like dook.

    Oh what else. Ah, the sewer line runs from south to north. The house is located by one of the best windsurfing lakes in the nation, so it gets windy. When we left yesterday we told her to air the house out, and she did. Which helped tremendously. But she said when the toilet in the the south east bathroom group was flushed, it caused a burst of smell in the living room. They have floor vents for the heating and air, and when kicked on, don't really blow out all that bad of a smell, of course, being in the house the air coming out was probably just as bad. No filters on the return air or anywhere fro that matter.

    They have had a water line re ran overhead in the kitchen area a few years ago, it was a hot line. House has settled a bit in the past, they had some foundation jacking done.

    I seen a problem similar to this a few years ago at a Applebees. BAD BAD sewer gas smell in the womens restroom. Nowhere else. Did a smoke test, nothing showed up. But when I left the cleanout cap off, which was right outside the womens restroom, it moved the smell from inside to outside. So cleared that up.

    We are totally lost. All we know for sure is the kitchen vent is fine, and the sewer is holding water. Now, everything drains, washer not so well. Oh and the kitchen and bathrooms have vents, but the washer has a p trap underground but no vent. Best we can tell lines under the house are cast.

  • #2
    Re: Sewer smell in house

    Fix the sewer line in the yard.


    J.C.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sewer smell in house

      Do homes down there have house traps outside in the lawn somewhere?

      Either a line is broken somewhere, or I would say DEAD animal.

      You mentioned nothing about sewer fly's either.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Sewer smell in house

        Originally posted by Flux View Post
        Do homes down there have house traps outside in the lawn somewhere?

        Either a line is broken somewhere, or I would say DEAD animal.

        You mentioned nothing about sewer fly's either.
        Yeah, probably about a 20' one.


        J.C.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Sewer smell in house

          You need to get a camera into the cast....

          I would be willing to bet you have some damaged cast (cracked or rotted bottom ) that is gassing out through the concrete into the house.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Sewer smell in house

            Originally posted by OkieBill View Post
            You need to get a camera into the cast....

            I would be willing to bet you have some damaged cast (cracked or rotted bottom ) that is gassing out through the concrete into the house.
            Me too. And that the belly is causing a positive pressure situation & repair may alleviate some or all of it. Plus they know it's screwed up. So fix the line in the yard!


            J.C.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sewer smell in house

              J.C. thanks for the positive pressure idea. That would answer why when the toilet was flushed, they got a sewer smell in the house.

              Will go about re running the sewer this week and let you guys know what's going on, thanks!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Sewer smell in house

                Spoonleg. Should be done by now. Results?


                J.C.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Sewer smell in house

                  Originally posted by Flux View Post
                  Do homes down there have house traps outside in the lawn somewhere?

                  Either a line is broken somewhere, or I would say DEAD animal.

                  You mentioned nothing about sewer fly's either.
                  Too often, if the homeowner or adjacent owner (for condo's or apartments) has poison laid out, that's the problem.

                  I hate those calls, "This is the problem, you'll have to deal with the smell for a week or two, get rid of the poison and use traps instead...oh, and here's my bill"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Sewer smell in house

                    Good God.....

                    Duck vanishes for 10 months and then comes back with a vengeance....of sorts.
                    I'm on "The List" and I love it!!

                    Comment

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