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Old 02-01-2011, 10:16 PM   #1
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Really bad smell when it rains?


Hi,

Since I bought my home, I've noticed a really bad smell coming either from the sump pump room or the bathroom straight above it. I've tried cleaning the sump pit, took the pump out and everything. I've tried pouring clorox down it. I've tried everything I can think of and it still smells awful.

I've narrowed down the problem to when it's raining out or even wet, or when snow melts. I have no idea what the smell is since I've never smelled it before, but it's foul.

The bathroom above it drains well and does not seem to have a problem. Water does not go below the trap line or anything like that.

Also, this one time I went up into the attic I got a smell of the same type as the one I'm experiencing below (3 story house).

Can anyone help me diagnose? Maybe something I can do before I bring a plumber in and the bills start racking up?

I really appreciate the help.

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Old 02-02-2011, 01:51 AM   #2
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Really bad smell when it rains?


Start checking your vent lines. One might be clogged up top. Water will run down the vents from the roof. You might have a dead animal in the pipe.

Did it just start recently?

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Old 02-02-2011, 05:43 AM   #3
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Really bad smell when it rains?


Is it sewer smell? Sewer has a very distinct odor. For comparison, find the vent for your house trap (usually located in the front yard) and take a whiff. Optionally, if you are on the roof take a whiff off one of the DWV stacks (AKA the "Stink Pipe")
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:06 AM   #4
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Really bad smell when it rains?


Thanks for the replies.

How do I check to see if it's clogged up?

It has not recently started. I've been in this house for 2 years, and the first time I smelled it was after like 2 months of being there. How would the DWV pipe look like?

I'm sorry, while I'm handy, I've never done any work of this type. I used to live in Mexico and houses are built very differently. I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty though.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:33 PM   #5
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Really bad smell when it rains?


bump ttt
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:28 PM   #6
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Really bad smell when it rains?


Might be wise to call a liscenced plumber. Don't want to mess around with this. Could be come a health hazard.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:07 PM   #7
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Really bad smell when it rains?


thanks, but I'd like to do as much as possible by myself. How can I check if it's clogged?
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:12 PM   #8
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Really bad smell when it rains?


Omg, any suggestions? The smell came back last night with force! it's driving me insane.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:20 PM   #9
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Really bad smell when it rains?


your plumbing vent pipes will run up through your attic out your roof. look on your roof, you will see several pvc vent pipes sticking out. in order to check them, you need to get on your roof to do it. if you are comfortable with this, then the first thing to do would be get up there and look down them with a flashlight to see if something like a squirrel or other rodent got stuck and died. then, you have to figure out how to get it out. i have never personally removed a dead animal from any of my vent pipes, so i don't know the best route for doing this.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:48 PM   #10
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Really bad smell when it rains?


Well, lets start with the plumbing basics. Note to all...I am not a plumber. The traps on all sinks, toilets, drains is there to hold a little water which stops sewer gases from entering the house. Make sure all your visible sinks and drains have a proper trap. search your house for any old open plumbing lines that are not capped off. On a recent episode of Holmes on Homes the cause of a smell problems was old plumbing lines in a wall that were were plugged with a rag instead of a proper sealed cap. Maybe you have some lines that are cracked? Loose fittings? Maybe the smell is orginating outside and then being brought inside through the sump pump or a wall crack? If it only happens when it is wet outside maybe there is a mold/mildew problem where water is getting into the house through a leak at a window, roof, door, etc? Is the smeel orginting in the area where your sewer line exits the house? Where does you sump drain to?

Also, have your main sewer line rodded. I had mine rodded once and watched the guy do it. You would be suprised at how much ground water gets in the main line through the pipe joints. I could see down their through the clean out. If the main line is completly clogegd it will obviously back up into the house. If it is partially clogged it may only fillup when large volumes of ground water are prosent such as durring storms or snow melt time. this is unfrtunatly best lef to a professional. You can rent a machine but you don't save much after factoring the hassle of doing it. Plus, a good plumber willhave a better machine than and rental shop. Where is your Clean Out access point?

It might be worth while to get a book on residential plumbing from the library. It might help demistify how your plumbing is constructed.

We sympathise with you. A crappy smell int he house sucks.
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:21 PM   #11
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Really bad smell when it rains?


I've checked all of the tramps. All of them hold water. The strongest smelling part is without a doubt the sump pump room. Even when I take the lid off the sump it smells really bad.

I do not think it's the water, because I've cleaned it out several times, I've poured bleach, I've used baking soda, everything. Also, the smell can sometimes be smelled in the attic.

My sump drains onto the street. About 10 ft away from the house.

I'm coping with the idea of calling in a professional, but I just want to be completely well informed and do whatever I can do before he/she comes in.
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:24 PM   #12
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Really bad smell when it rains?


Seeif you village inspector has any suggestions
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:26 PM   #13
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Really bad smell when it rains?


my guess is smelly water is comming inot your sump pump. Maybe you need a new sump pit. maybe it is cracked. did you try searching google for smelly sump pit?
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:33 PM   #14
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Really bad smell when it rains?


IS your sump back flow valve working? Do you have one?

Last edited by beerdog; 02-14-2011 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:45 PM   #15
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Really bad smell when it rains?


Try these links for more info. Sounds like you could have sewer water contaminating your ground water. Does any waste water from int he house drain into the sump? Askif your neighbors have the same problem.

http://411plumb.com/why-does-my-sump-pump-smell
http://www.masterplumbers.com/forums/topic8445.html

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