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Old 04-29-2010, 01:22 PM   #1
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sewer gas smell when using washer


We have an old house with two septic tanks. One of the septic tanks handles the washer, dishwasher and a toilet and sink. Every once in a while we would get the sewer gas smell in the bathroom when I washed clothes. I would aggressively use RID-X or something similar for a few days and the smell would go away. We attempted to get this septic tank pumped but could not find it. So after 15 years we finally found it and just got it pumped. It turns out this tank is under the laundry room in a crawl space. Well now the sewer gas smell is back and worse then ever. The RID-X is not working. I can't really tell where it is coming from. It happens when I wash and now when I wash dishes (we also just installed a new dishwasher). It kind of smells like it is coming from under the laundry room where the septic tank is but when I stick my head in the crawl space I can't smell it. We starated to think maybe it was a venting issue. So my husband put a hose down the roof vents to see if they were clogged. Now the sewer gas smell is even worse. It has been 3 days and we still have a lingering smell. At least before it cleared up in a few hours. Not sure what to do next or if it is a septic issue or a venting issue or what type of person to call.

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Old 01-26-2014, 10:37 PM   #2
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sewer gas smell when using washer


My husband and I just bought a new home as we'll and we are having the same issue. We can smell it outside the house as well. The people before us did foundation work (we are in Dallas) and now we are having flushing issues with the front toilet as well. Am regretting buying a house. The smell isn't just in the laundry room though. It is throughout the house. My poor kids are sick of it. We have also noticed some cracks appearing in the walls. Should I be concerned? Not sure what I should do. We have a warranty on the foundation work and we bought the century 21 home warranty. But we literally just moved in a month ago.

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Old 01-26-2014, 10:57 PM   #3
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sewer gas smell when using washer


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Originally Posted by cgratsch View Post
We have an old house with two septic tanks. One of the septic tanks handles the washer, dishwasher and a toilet and sink. Every once in a while we would get the sewer gas smell in the bathroom when I washed clothes. I would aggressively use RID-X or something similar for a few days and the smell would go away. We attempted to get this septic tank pumped but could not find it. So after 15 years we finally found it and just got it pumped. It turns out this tank is under the laundry room in a crawl space. Well now the sewer gas smell is back and worse then ever. The RID-X is not working. I can't really tell where it is coming from. It happens when I wash and now when I wash dishes (we also just installed a new dishwasher). It kind of smells like it is coming from under the laundry room where the septic tank is but when I stick my head in the crawl space I can't smell it. We starated to think maybe it was a venting issue. So my husband put a hose down the roof vents to see if they were clogged. Now the sewer gas smell is even worse. It has been 3 days and we still have a lingering smell. At least before it cleared up in a few hours. Not sure what to do next or if it is a septic issue or a venting issue or what type of person to call.
Sounds like a pretty major problem. Probably wouldn't be quite as major if it weren't under the house. Unfortunately it sounds as though someone built an addition right over the top of it. Chemicals and septic additives aren't going to solve your problem. Most of them are garbage anyway.

I think you need to get a knowledgeable expert in there to better determine an appropriate solution. From the sounds of it, you'll need to re-route plumbing and tie into a new septic system. The old tank will need to be abandoned (typically crushed or filled with gravel). This could be an additional problem considering its location.

The tank is likely leaking. A temporary solution may be to seal the tank from the inside out. Which will require a specialized company to pump the tank, enter with hazmat suits, and seal with a tar mastic type sealer. It could also be that just the lid isn't sealing properly, in which case it would be an easier fix with a poly riser and lid.

How long ago was it pumped? Did the pumping company do any sort of inspection of the tank when they pumped? Is the tank made of concrete? How large is it? Where is the drainfield located?

Also when a tank is pumped, the smell can linger a while. Because it's inside (underneath) the house it would take substantially longer I'm guessing.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:59 PM   #4
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sewer gas smell when using washer


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My husband and I just bought a new home as we'll and we are having the same issue. We can smell it outside the house as well. The people before us did foundation work (we are in Dallas) and now we are having flushing issues with the front toilet as well. Am regretting buying a house. The smell isn't just in the laundry room though. It is throughout the house. My poor kids are sick of it. We have also noticed some cracks appearing in the walls. Should I be concerned? Not sure what I should do. We have a warranty on the foundation work and we bought the century 21 home warranty. But we literally just moved in a month ago.
All great questions. I'm sure myself or someone else on this forum can help you out. It would be best however, to start a new thread so the original poster can focus on their question(s).
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:01 PM   #5
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sewer gas smell when using washer


We aren't on septic we are on sewer, but there is an old septic tank buried on that side of the house. It hasn't been active in 15 years though. Could it still have waste in it?
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Old 01-26-2014, 11:02 PM   #6
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sewer gas smell when using washer


I'm sorry I thought I did start a new one. I am extremely new to this. Sorry!
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:09 AM   #7
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sewer gas smell when using washer


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I'm sorry I thought I did start a new one. I am extremely new to this. Sorry!
You did. Post your questions to this thread > Help please!

I did reply to your other post as well.

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