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crytal 11-30-2006 12:46 PM

Old House sewer smell. Need Help!
Glad I found this site! I have a problem and need some help. I just moved into a house thats about 40-60 years old. I have been noticing a bad sewar smell in the bathroom that stays most of the time and spreads to the whole house. I also noticed the basement underneath the bathroom has the same smell. The toilet over flows just about every time i use it. I dont know if it has anything to do with it or not? There is a big metal pipe about 5 inches in diameter that goes from the basement up through the bathroom floor and out the cieling thats all rusted out and has been duck taped in the basement. Once again i dont know anything about this sort of stuff? I have a feeling its all linked but i am not sure. I havent spoke to the landlord yet, because i want information to be sure. Any help would be very much appreciated. Thanks

majakdragon 11-30-2006 12:58 PM

Was the house empty for an extended period of time before you moved in? If so, there are probably floor drains in the basement that have dried out traps. This allows sewer gas to enter the home. If so, just pour a bucket of water into each floor drain. I am assuming that the pipe you referred to is cast iron. Can't imagine duct tape holding. If the toilet backs up when you use it, there is probably a clog in the toilet or the drainline it flows to.

crytal 11-30-2006 01:24 PM

Thanks so much for your helpful and quick reply. My basement is more of a cellar. It has no drains. With your help I discovered the pipe that is duck taped is the air flow that goes up through the house. This pipe goes up through my bathroom, and the ducktape part is right underneath the floor of the bathroom, just beside the toilet. Do you suppose that I have an air leak at the duck taped section? Im an amature at this, but thats what I now think. Thanks again so much. yuor very helpful.

majakdragon 11-30-2006 01:37 PM

If the pipe is ductwork, it should not have any effect as far as the smell. There may be odors in the flooring if the toilet has overflowed in the past (before you moved in) and it was not properly cleaned up. Can you see any moist spots around the toilet base looking from the cellar?

crytal 11-30-2006 03:09 PM

photos of the problem area
Here are 3 photos.

The pipe with the duck tape on it leads up and out of the roof. All pipes are newer plastic except the big one where they all meet, and the one going up and out of the roof. Once again a big thank you.

majakdragon 11-30-2006 04:17 PM

The pipe with the tape on the elbow, is galvanized steel pipe. I am assuming that this pipe is used for a vent (and possibly drainline) for the plumbing system. In the 3rd picture, does the pipe with the leaking elbow connect into the large black pipe next to the blue pipe? A vent line that has holes in it, can allow sewer gas to enter the house. Thats would be my best guess of what you have.

crytal 11-30-2006 04:26 PM

Yes thats where the pipe connects! Thanks so much. i know the problem now, and when I call a plumber it wont be so expensive because now I know the problem. Thanks again for all your help.

majakdragon 11-30-2006 04:30 PM

Hopefully, the landlord is paying to have this fixed. Sewer gas is dangerous because it contains Methane gas. The house should actually not have been rented out before this problem was cured. Good luck and please don't wait too long to get the needed repairs done.

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