Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Plumbing

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-24-2009, 11:11 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 11
Share |
Default

Buying a home---seller disclosed gas smell! help!


Hi,
I am currently in the process of buying an 83 yr old home. We decided to not have a home inspection b/c we were in a bidding war. The owner disclosed that she has to pour water down her basement drains once a week and then she has no smaells in her home. She had all the pluming done in 2002. She said it's never beena problem, just a nuisance. She is a really old lady moving to a small apartment. Should this be something to be concerned with? I know nothing about houses really. Also, we are goig back through the home this wknd. Are there things i particular that I could look for? The home is conditional upon financing and I really am nervous and could use an answer asap? Could you please help me? Thanks so much!
Nervous home buyer!

gassmellhelp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 11:15 AM   #2
DIYer
 
jpsmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 102
Default

Buying a home---seller disclosed gas smell! help!


I'm sure others will chime in, but this is quite common for basement floor drains. When the P-Trap dries up, sewer gas will find its way into your basement. If the trap is shallow and the air is dry, it will dry up as quickly as every week. I pour a bucket of water with 1/4 cup of bleach into my floor drains every time I start to smell it - about every two weeks.

jpsmith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 11:26 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,518
Default

Buying a home---seller disclosed gas smell! help!


If you don't need the drains you could seal them up. Make sure you really don't need them before you seal them.
jogr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 11:35 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 95
Default

Buying a home---seller disclosed gas smell! help!


a trick I heard once, was to pour a little bit of vegetable oil on top of the water in the trap. that's supposed to prolong the time before the water dries out...
red86yota is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 11:35 AM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 11
Default

Buying a home---seller disclosed gas smell! help!


Okay. Thank you both! That makes me feel better. So the sewer gas isn't dangerous as long as I pour water or bleach down and it doesn't mean that the sewer will back up?
gassmellhelp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 11:52 AM   #6
DIYer
 
jpsmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 102
Default

Buying a home---seller disclosed gas smell! help!


The sewer gas isn't dangerous - at least not short term - it's mostly just a stinky annoyance. You don't want to be exposed to it for any length of time, though. Keeping the traps full of water will keep the gas out. Don't fill the traps with bleach - it's caustic and will smell worse than the sewer gas. I use a diluted bleach solution to kill bacteria that are living in the trap; what I pour in is mostly water.

Take a minute to look over this image:

http://img2.timeinc.net/toh/images/a...itech05_lg.jpg

It gives a good overview of how all the drains in the house work, pay particular attention to all the P-Traps and the vent stack.
jpsmith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 12:07 PM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 11
Default

Buying a home---seller disclosed gas smell! help!


Okay, thank you. I will get my husband to check that out when I go back into the house. I appreciate that. Do you think its good to get a plumber to look at it or is it something that is okay to maintain with water & a little bleach? Do you have to pour water down a lot (every week or 2?). We are hoping to live in the house for a long time.
gassmellhelp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 12:11 PM   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 11
Default

Buying a home---seller disclosed gas smell! help!


oh, sorry...I just realized it was you that said that you pour water down every 2 weeks.
gassmellhelp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 12:12 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,802
Default

Buying a home---seller disclosed gas smell! help!


Are you sure this is such a good deal where you don't want a home inspection?
jerryh3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 12:13 PM   #10
DIYer
 
jpsmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 102
Default

Buying a home---seller disclosed gas smell! help!


I pour water (with a little bleach in it) down my drains every two, maybe three weeks. I don't see it to be too big a nuisance, especially compared to all the other work & maintenance owning a house entails. I usually do it when I'm done mopping the hardwood for that week; I pour the dirty floor water down the washtub in the basement, rinse out the bucket, pour in a dab of bleach, then fill the bucket with water and pour it down the floor drain. Repeat for the other drain. Takes 3 minutes.
jpsmith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 12:17 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,670
Default

Buying a home---seller disclosed gas smell! help!


I agree that the floor drains trap is drying out. Traps, for all fixtures, are made to provide a water seal to prevent sewer gas from entering the house. If you will not be using this drain, you could purchase a "test plug" to install in the drain to alleviate needing to pour the water in. Test plugs are removable whenever you wish to use the drain.
__________________
If you have never made a mistake, you haven't done much.
majakdragon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 01:03 PM   #12
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 11
Default

Buying a home---seller disclosed gas smell! help!


Thank you...I agree that it isn't smart with not getting a home inspection in general...but the lady did provide us with repairs that she did to the home and it looked legitimate and it seemed like she did the most important repairs and they amounted to a lot and she even paid $2000 for blinds--something that isn't important. It seems as though she put a lot of work into the home.

As for the drain, I like the idea of the test plug. Thank you to everyone.
gassmellhelp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 01:52 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,862
Default

Buying a home---seller disclosed gas smell! help!


Are you sure it is not natural gas that is seeping in perhaps along a water pipe or the gas pipe and entering the basement through the opening in the wall the pipe enters through?

You might want the gas company to come out and do some tests.
__________________
Stop wasting time re-adjusting the pattern. Have several lawn sprinklers, one for each pattern.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 01:55 PM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South of Boston, MA
Posts: 17,248
Default

Buying a home---seller disclosed gas smell! help!


We have a 2nd floor shower we very rarely use
I've had the same issue with the water evaporating
I may buy a rubber temporary plug to install
Scuba_Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2009, 02:10 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 144
Default

Buying a home---seller disclosed gas smell! help!


here's the best plumbing advice you'll ever get: You can still submit a bid on the house and have it contingent on a home inspection to close, that's how everybody does it!

its like $350 for pete's sake.. .please.

windowguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Drywall problems in new house BettyCv Building & Construction 39 05-28-2010 01:51 PM
sick house smell?? 4just1don General DIY Discussions 12 02-25-2009 05:22 AM
buying home, have Home Depot gift cards, which projects stretch HD$ jmuamy General DIY Discussions 12 02-22-2009 09:57 AM
An idea on repairs? (Buying a Fixer Upper Home) kelly001 Building & Construction 15 10-03-2006 04:38 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.