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Old 08-01-2006, 07:11 AM   #1
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sewer smell in the basement

Hi ! I hope someone can solve my problem.

I have a basement that is not finished but I have my washer and dryer down there. Next to it is the water heater. Six feet away from the heater I have a pump. Next to it the pump we will have a bathroom that we have the connections ready to use, shower, sink and comote, but right now are closed. Across from it, ten feet away is the furnace, air and heating, and 20' away, on another corner of the basement, I have a floor drain.

My problem is that when I do laundry the basement stinks horribly like sewer, sometimes when I do dishes upstairs the basement stinks, even when I do nothing, the basement stinks. Also, the smells is present outside my house. Not only that, on some ocations the smell comes up to the entire house. Sometimes the smell is so strong that makes me sick.

The smell in the basement comes from the pump and behind the washer and I have a septic tank outside, we are not connected to any city sewer system.

This is a 3 year old house and we bought it new. The plumbers that installed the sewer system had come to see the problem but had done nothing and cant find the problem. I cant beleive that there is no solution to this problem. That is why I am seeking other profesional's opinions.



Last edited by auroraj; 08-01-2006 at 07:14 AM.
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Old 08-01-2006, 07:46 AM   #2
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Check the flood drain, make sure there is water in it. No water in the trap will allow sewer gases to enter the house.


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Old 08-01-2006, 08:19 AM   #3
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Last time septic tank was pump out?
When water goes down the sink drain, does it gurgle?
If so, then you may have a plugged vent pipe.
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:49 PM   #4
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The smell can enter the living space anywhere that a trap has dried out - the floor drain, the rough-ins for the bathroom, an unused sink or utility basin, etc. Make sure all such fixtures have water drained into them every month.

Another possibility is that a pipe is broken under the slab and seweage is seeping into the ground beneath. If the smell isn't continuous that's not likely.
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Old 08-15-2006, 09:58 AM   #5
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Gotta love new houses these days. Mine's built in the 1940s and all plumbing is still in top shape...

How does washer discharge its waste? The proper way would be to discharge to a trapped and vented air gap above washer's flood rim. If not properly vented, water will get sucked out of that trap, and allow sewer gas to enter the house. Where is the main stack? Purpose of pump? Floor drain is likely a storm drain system, separate from sanitary - unless it also produces smell, it should be unrelated to all this.

A detailed description of actual basement piping could help.
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Old 12-22-2006, 01:38 PM   #6
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Im know Im a little late. Anyway I own a 100 year old house, it too is on a septic tank. I also had a terrible smell in the basement and after checking and emptying the septic tank my Plumber friend suggested I install a "backwater valve" in my basement. You can do it yourself for under 100 dollars. Seems the trap door on the valve stopped the smells from entering. I know, I know, a backwater valve is supposed to stop the flow of water coming into the house, but in this instance it worked for me.


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