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Old 03-02-2013, 03:07 PM   #1
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How much (if any) water should be visable in a roof vent stack


Afternoon.

I've had an intermittent sewer smell, as posted in here awhile back. I went up to take a look in one roof vent (will have to work on the others due to the steep roof).

Took a look and saw no observable blockages, though I did see some standing water ... I would assume there's maybe 1' or less of standing water. The smell coming from the stack is pretty horrible, so I would imagine it is doing the job.

The question - should I see any water in the bottom of the vent?

Thanks, realize this is probably an elementary question.

v/r,
Chris

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Old 03-02-2013, 03:48 PM   #2
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How much (if any) water should be visable in a roof vent stack


Unless there's a blockage some place you should not be able to see any water inside a waste stack.

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Old 03-02-2013, 03:57 PM   #3
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How much (if any) water should be visable in a roof vent stack


Thanks ... that's what I feared. I have no issue with drainage, etc, though there is the intermittent sewer smell (that comes from the basement). I have refrained from using the toilet/shower that is tied (I think) to that stack, and no smell.

Guess I'll work on the blockage. Though there was a day of rain the day before, I'm sure that would have no impact on seeing water in there ...

Thanks for the reply,
Chris
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:02 PM   #4
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How much (if any) water should be visable in a roof vent stack


No way is enough rain going to be able to fill that pipe up.
Is this a septic system or town sewer?
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:07 PM   #5
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How much (if any) water should be visable in a roof vent stack


Septic ...

The toilet that I believe is tied to that stack loses water, from what I can tell. I have not used it for over a week now as I am trying to identify why I get the intermittent smell (determine potential sources), and the water level in the bowl has dropped by about 1.5 / 2" in a week. Obviously the water isn't evaporating ...

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:21 PM   #6
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How much (if any) water should be visable in a roof vent stack


It's being sophoned out any time water is going down the dran from the plugged up waste vent.
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:30 PM   #7
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How much (if any) water should be visable in a roof vent stack


Quote:
Originally Posted by cne24 View Post
Septic ...

The toilet that I believe is tied to that stack loses water, from what I can tell. I have not used it for over a week now as I am trying to identify why I get the intermittent smell (determine potential sources), and the water level in the bowl has dropped by about 1.5 / 2" in a week. Obviously the water isn't evaporating ...

Thanks,
Chris
A few questions

What material was used for your plumbing ABS, PVC or Cast iron?

Is the area you get the sewer smell over a basement or crawl space our a concrete slab construction?

How long have you had a smell and what are you doing when the smell is the worse?
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:38 PM   #8
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How much (if any) water should be visable in a roof vent stack


It's looking to vent somewhere. So it will keep siphoning out your traps. You will probably continue to smell sewer gas until blockage is removed. Make sure there is water in all your traps before you go to bed at night.

Last edited by jmon; 03-02-2013 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:43 PM   #9
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How much (if any) water should be visable in a roof vent stack


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghostmaker View Post
A few questions

What material was used for your plumbing ABS, PVC or Cast iron?

Is the area you get the sewer smell over a basement or crawl space our a concrete slab construction?

How long have you had a smell and what are you doing when the smell is the worse?
* Best I can I tell is a mix of ABS and cast iron. The bathroom that I am referring to here ... the original owner had a washer/dryer set up in the adjacent 4th bedroom, and tied the washer drain into that line via PVC. The washer/dryer left with the original owner apparently, as the last owner did not have them in that location, and the washer drain was left open. I could smell a faint sewer smell in that line as well if I stuck my nose into the drain and inhaled deeply, and I capped that off.

* In a basement, at or near where the line exits the house toward the septic. It is a slab, no floor drains, a sump pump in the opposite end corner.

* I moved in to the house last summer. There was an exposed pipe in the basement that was tied to a sink that was moved during a kitchen remodel. That pipe let in sewer gas, according to the home inspector and septic inspector, it was capped, then smell went away. I still live in the house part time while I remedy cosmetic issues, so I am not fully "using" the house yet. I've tried to narrow down the causes, but where I'm at now ... it could be from using the hallway bathroom. Haven't used it in over a week, haven't smelled the smell ...

Last edited by cne24; 03-02-2013 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:44 PM   #10
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How much (if any) water should be visable in a roof vent stack


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Originally Posted by jmon View Post
It's looking to vent somewhere. So it will keep siphoning out your traps. You will probably continue to smell sewer gas until blockage is removed. Make sure there is water in all your traps before you go to bed at night.
Got it, thanks. Think I'll call the local plumber guys out next week to see what they can do. Seems like a snake from them would be the most logical way to start.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:59 PM   #11
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How much (if any) water should be visable in a roof vent stack


Quote:
Originally Posted by cne24 View Post
* Best I can I tell is a mix of ABS and cast iron. The bathroom that I am referring to here ... the original owner had a washer/dryer set up in the adjacent 4th bedroom, and tied the washer drain into that line via PVC. The washer/dryer left with the original owner apparently, as the last owner did not have them in that location, and the washer drain was left open. I could smell a faint sewer smell in that line as well if I stuck my nose into the drain and inhaled deeply, and I capped that off.

* In a basement, at or near where the line exits the house toward the septic. It is a slab, no floor drains, a sump pump in the opposite end corner.

* I moved in to the house last summer. There was an exposed pipe in the basement that was tied to a sink that was moved during a kitchen remodel. That pipe let in sewer gas, according to the home inspector and septic inspector, it was capped, then smell went away. I still live in the house part time while I remedy cosmetic issues, so I am not fully "using" the house yet. I've tried to narrow down the causes, but where I'm at now ... it could be from using the hallway bathroom. Haven't used it in over a week, haven't smelled the smell ...
My first guess is you have a leak under the slab. Sounds like handy andy may have decided he was a plumber.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:03 PM   #12
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How much (if any) water should be visable in a roof vent stack


You should never see standing water when you look down a vent stack. Yours is apparently not sloped back toward the stack. You need some pipe supports in the attic. You may have a dry trap if you are getting sewer gas in the house.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:28 AM   #13
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How much (if any) water should be visable in a roof vent stack


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You should never see standing water when you look down a vent stack. Yours is apparently not sloped back toward the stack. You need some pipe supports in the attic. You may have a dry trap if you are getting sewer gas in the house.
Thanks for the reply. I assume that a fix of this nature can be remedied by a good plumber, correct ... and not a specialist of some sort?
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:50 AM   #14
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How much (if any) water should be visable in a roof vent stack


Correct. A handyman, although less expensive, may or may not know all the theory and codes behind venting. If you don't already know of one, you can check angieslist.com or google master plumbers in your area. People in your area rate their service.


Last edited by jmon; 03-03-2013 at 05:26 PM.
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