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Old 11-27-2016, 06:28 PM   #1
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Sewer smell in basement


Hi,

I occasionnaly have a sewer smell coming from my basement.

It occurs mainly when some or all of the following conditions are met:

- When weather outside is cloudy/stormy/rainy (atmospheric pressure variation ?)

- When the upstairs bathroom fans or my Jenn Air cooktop fan are running for a longtime.

- When the front loading washing machine is running (basement)

I suspect that, when some of these factors are put together, the "air demand" exceeds what the venting stack can supply and result in traps
getting drained from their water. I made sure that the stack wasnt clogged and I replaced the basement toilet seal.
When it happens, flushing the basement toilet, running the water in the basement sink and in the shower seems to solve the problem, so I don't think its a floor drain problem either.

- Is it possible that the change of pressure from the weather or from the fans or the draining of the washing machine could cause the basement traps to get drained and let the sewer gas passthrough ?

- Do you think that, supplying more air to the plumbing with the addition of 1 (or more) automatic air vent in the basement (at the sink and/or washing machine) could solve the problem ?

- Any downside to adding auto air vents ? Can plumbing be vented too much ?

Thanks


Simon
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Old 11-27-2016, 06:46 PM   #2
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Re: Sewer smell in basement


I agree with your theory, sounds like a venting or improperly plumbed piping issue. Traps are being sucked dry allowing the sewer gas to enter the house.

While aav's can be used to correct some venting issues, check with your local municipality about the use of aav's in your area.

Best to plumb it correctly if you can. Please post some pictures of your set-up so the plumbers can better assist you. Thank you.
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Old 11-27-2016, 06:57 PM   #3
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Re: Sewer smell in basement


Nothing about the fan running should overcome proper trap seal of sewer gases.

When we run larger blower door pressures, negative 50 pascals is only enough pressure to pull an inch of water up less than a 1/4".
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:03 PM   #4
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Re: Sewer smell in basement


High winds will cause it on a properly plumbed system. It occurs on my new house that sits up on a hill. When winds are very high you can see the water level in the toilet move, if it stays windy for long periods I will get a sewer smell in our little used bathroom and also in the basement. Water down drains to refill traps solves the issue
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Old 11-30-2016, 09:58 AM   #5
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Re: Sewer smell in basement


Thanks for your answers guys, really appreciated.

If I install an AAV somewhere in the basement (near sink or washing machine) ,do you guys think that it could provide more "venting" resulting in trap not getting drained ?
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Old 12-01-2016, 08:14 AM   #6
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Re: Sewer smell in basement


You can install a vent box like a Studor, if codes allow it, but you should find the actual problem first. Are you sure your plumbing hasn't been hacked up and something is not right or up to code? Have you checked that your traps are not leaking? Cast iron pipes/vents?
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