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Old 03-14-2010, 05:27 PM   #1
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Sewer smell

Hello- We have a sewer smell in our house. I went on the roof and checked the vents they both are clear. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 03-14-2010, 06:08 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome.

I would start by ensuring all traps in the house have water in them. If a drain has not been utilized in some time the water in the trap could have evaporated to the point that gas is escaping into the home.


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Old 03-14-2010, 06:30 PM   #3
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Is it a new home or an older home? Have you just moved in or has this smell been getting worse over a period of time? Just going on the assumption that this an exsisting home I would suggest going outside for a few minutes to clear your head, then go to the lowest floor quickly and walk that floor to see if you can smell a strong sewer smell in a particular room or closet. Also look for all floor drains, shower drains, sink drains, washer standpipes, even a sump crock or sewer ejector pit and pour a quart of water in all the drains and enough water in the pits and crocks to put the lower two inches of the pumps under water, but not enough to start them up. Then pour about a quarter of a cup of vegetable oil down all the drains on that floor and open the windows and doors to the outside to air out that floor. If there was a smell on that floor it should be gone for good. Next do this all over again for the next floor up and so on until all drains have been filled and "capped" with
vegetable oil. Since oil is lighter than water any unused drain will stay full and not evaporate because the oil won't evaporate for yeeeaaars. If you still have the smell after all this you should get a local plumber that knows how to 'bomb' your sewer. It is basicly setting off smoke bombs, like fourth of July novelties, and pumping the smoke through a special hose into a 4" cleanout prefferably outside your home, but at the lowest point in the sewer line anyway inside your home. The whole process takes about an hour and a good sealed system will cause your vent stack to smoke like an old coal fired locomotive. A bad system will smoke also, but whereever the leak or break is smoke will pour out there as well. I have identified broken tiles out in yards, uncapped vent lines in walls, broken pipes in ceilings, even illegal "Redneck plumbing" in attics all without destroying any rooms in the house before they had to be.
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