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Old 12-27-2011, 10:43 PM   #1
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Sewage odor on 100+ year old house


Gents, I recently visited my moms house this last week and she had a strong sewage odor throughout the whole house, especially in the master bathroom where all of the drains vent into the old system in the cellar. There has since been an addition on the house, which all of the drainage runs into the sewer system as well, except through a separate cleanout. The long and short of it is that I am looking in the cellar and have noticed that there is an open drain in the cellar that ties into the sewer system that is there for when water gets into the cellar (it happens quite often with this old house). I also noticed that there is no trap for the washing machine drain that is in the master bathroom running into the old system. The odors indicate that these may be the culprits. Should I add a trap to the drain on the washing machine? Also, is there anything that I can do in order to cover up the exposed drain in the cellar without closing it off totally?

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Old 12-27-2011, 10:46 PM   #2
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Sewage odor on 100+ year old house


the washing machine definitely needs a trap in the line. the drain in the cellar should have a trap also. when i lived in the buffalo area the cellar drains there tied into the storm drains and not the sanitary sewer but still had a trap.

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Old 12-27-2011, 10:54 PM   #3
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Sewage odor on 100+ year old house


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the washing machine definitely needs a trap in the line. the drain in the cellar should have a trap also. when i lived in the buffalo area the cellar drains there tied into the storm drains and not the sanitary sewer but still had a trap.
Thought so, that being said........there is no way for me to bust up the concrete and add a trap due to the location of the storm drain being located next to a 100+ year old old world stone load bearing exterior wall.

I can add the trap in the washing machine line no problem, but do you think this will help with the problem?

Also, any thoughts on what to do about the storm drain?
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:01 PM   #4
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Sewage odor on 100+ year old house


You can get a test plug. This will seal the drain, but is removable if it's ever necessary.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:58 AM   #5
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Sewage odor on 100+ year old house


After its said and done if you still have the smell have a smoke test performed on the system. that will let you know if you have any type of open/cracked vents,seals etc. in the system.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:04 AM   #6
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Sewage odor on 100+ year old house


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After its said and done if you still have the smell have a smoke test performed on the system. that will let you know if you have any type of open/cracked vents,seals etc. in the system.
Will do. I am going to put the trap in today as well, and we will see what happens.

Also, my mom told me that the drain in the garage, which is there for a hot water heater also smells. I checked it out and it sure does. She said that some plumbers told her that the trap was drying up and causing it to smell.

Any thoughts on that?
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:37 AM   #7
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Sewage odor on 100+ year old house


If there is a trap there, then yes...it has to have water in it to do it's job.

They occasionally dry out, yes sir.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:08 PM   #8
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Sewage odor on 100+ year old house


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If there is a trap there, then yes...it has to have water in it to do it's job.

They occasionally dry out, yes sir.
Anything I can do to keep it from drying out? As no water really goes in there unless you put it there.........or if the hot water heater breaks, which shouldn't happen.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:39 PM   #9
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Sewage odor on 100+ year old house


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Anything I can do to keep it from drying out? As no water really goes in there unless you put it there.........or if the hot water heater breaks, which shouldn't happen.
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unless you put it there


There ya go...just gotta pour a little water down it once in a while....it don't take much.

If the W/H is close enough...or if you don't care if the floor gets wet....pull pop-off valve on the W/H for a few seconds and let it fill the trap back up.

EDIT: If you don't want to do that, you would have to plug it with a test plug....then if the W/H leaked or blew off, it would be in the floor until you took the plug out to let it down.....depends on your situation.

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