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Old 01-10-2018, 04:49 PM   #1
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Sewer gas in basement - broken vent?


We moved into our house in NH back in July. Things were fine for a while, but now the basement has a strong sewer gas smell.

No floor drains. There is a basement 3/4 bath that has a pump. I've made sure there is water in the shower & sink traps. Toilet flushes fine. The ejector pump works fine.

I can't seem to locate the origin of the smell. I have access to the plumbing and pump behind the basement 3/4 bath. It doesn't smell at all there. No apparently break in the vent pipes or stack I can see. I've sniffed at just about everything I can see.

The basement bath, the first floor bath, and the two 2nd floor baths (master and common area) share a single vertical stack and vent. Just the smell in the basement.

The only other sink in the house is the kitchen sink but I can't see the vent for that in the finished walls & ceiling. I hope there isn't a break in that vent.

Anybody know any tricks to track it down?

At first, we thought it might be rodent urine, etc. and did catch one mouse with a trap. No additional signs of rodents (no droppings, nothing is eating food in the pantry, etc.)
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Old 01-10-2018, 04:54 PM   #2
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Re: Sewer gas in basement - broken vent?


Not a natural gas leak???
Check around the hot water tank for unseen floor drain the pressure release valve is plumbed to?
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:19 PM   #3
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Re: Sewer gas in basement - broken vent?


It's been a snowy winter. Check you roof plumbing vent. If it's plugged, a trap somewhere could have been sucked dry.
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:21 AM   #4
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Re: Sewer gas in basement - broken vent?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
Not a natural gas leak???
Check around the hot water tank for unseen floor drain the pressure release valve is plumbed to?
No nat gas. Fuel oil tank in workshop (but no smell there and I know what fuel oil smells like).
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:23 AM   #5
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Re: Sewer gas in basement - broken vent?


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Originally Posted by lenaitch View Post
It's been a snowy winter. Check you roof plumbing vent. If it's plugged, a trap somewhere could have been sucked dry.
I think the smells started long before we had snow on the ground, but I'll ask my wife. However, if the main vent stack was plugged, wouldn't I notice that with sinks not draining well, toilets not flushing well, ?

It's an idea I haven't chased yet, so I'll double check just to be sure.
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:43 PM   #6
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Re: Sewer gas in basement - broken vent?


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Originally Posted by jreagan View Post
I think the smells started long before we had snow on the ground, but I'll ask my wife. However, if the main vent stack was plugged, wouldn't I notice that with sinks not draining well, toilets not flushing well, ?

It's an idea I haven't chased yet, so I'll double check just to be sure.
Possibly, but they might be venting adequately via the dry trap(s). The vent stack could also have been plugged with critters or debris. It might not be your problem but it's a pretty easy thing to check off. Also, there may be more than one vent circuit, especially if you've had an addition.
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