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ksherbak 02-14-2008 10:00 AM

Sulphur odor in upstairs area
We moved into our house in October. The house is 8 years old. We have developed a sulphur like odor in an upstairs bedroom. The odor is also across the hall in a tiny linen closet and occasionally you can smell the odor in the closet in the bedroom also across the hall from the first bedroom. These areas are basically in a straight line and share common wall with bathroom and garage. The odor is not consistent and comes and goes. Our water does not smell and we rarely smell it anywhere else in the house unless it is directly below the bedroom which is our kitchen. Where is it coming from? We doubt it is a gas leak and it doesnt seem to be driven by the water source which is a well. Could it be a waste vent that is leaking somewhere in that area? This is driving me crazy!! Help!!!!!:(

Mike Swearingen 02-14-2008 03:14 PM

Does it actually smell more like sulphur or more like sewer gas?
If it is sulphur, I would say that it is most likely coming from the well water or the water heater.
If it is sewer gas, then it most likely is coming from an improper vent or an unglued connection in a vent line or seeping drain line inside a wall.
Is the well water in the immediate area known for a sulphur odor?
I'm afraid that you're going to have to open up that common wall to find it.
You can try popping a baseboard or removing a light switch or receptacle cover to try to sniff it out first before cutting into the wall.
Good luck!

ksherbak 02-14-2008 03:24 PM

Up until last night, I would have said it was more of a sulphur smell. Last night it was more of a waste smell. My husband is going to go up into the upstairs crawl space tonight and see what he can tell from there. Thanks so much for the tip on removing a receptacle cover to sniff it out.
The water heater is in the basement and it is directly (although two floors below) this area. No water in the area has a sulphur odor. We do have a water softener and an iron filter as the iron is VERY high in our water.
Your help is appreciated! Karen

Mike Swearingen 02-14-2008 03:39 PM

There should not be any plumbing vent, dryer vent, bathroom vent, etc. stopped inside your home, in the attic or otherwise. Everything should be vented outside, usually through the roof. Sometimes vents get stopped short or partially blocked and can cause this kind of problem.
If a vent pipe on the roof has a partial blockage (leaves, ice, sticks, birdnest, etc.) this can cause sewer gas inside the home. What happens with a partially blocked vent is that whenever water drains through the drain/waste/vent system, it will create another "vent" by siphoning the nearest trap water out. That allows sewer gas back into the home. (That's what traps prevent when functioning properly.)
Let us know what you find.
If you can't find a vent ending inside the attic, your hubby needs to go up on the roof (carefully) with a flashlight and check the vent pipes for obstructions. He can hand-clean out what he can reach, and then flush the vent stack down with a garden hose sprayer. If after hand-cleaning, there is still debris down the stack that a garden hose won't dislodge, then it has to be snaked down with a heavy-duty (rented) plumber's snake from top to bottom, and then flushed.
Good Luck!

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