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Hi there, thanks in advance for your help. I've read through a number of the other "my sump pump smells" posts; hopefully this one isn't too repetitive.

Here's what I know:
  • We have two bathrooms in the house; the upstairs drains to sewer and has nothing to do with the sump pump
  • The bathroom in our finished basement drains into the sump pump -- I believe the sump pump was installed for this purpose
  • We have off and on sewage smell emanating from the sump pump but it's very inconsistent. I've tried to narrow it down but haven't struck on anything specifically.
  • Some things I've ruled out: lack of moisture / sump pump is dried out. I've smelled it many a time after flushing / water
  • Cleaning it out by dumping a gallon of water + bleach seems to diminish the smell for a few days
  • I haven't tried scrubbing the basin out

A plumber who was working on another issue suggested that we try sealing it off -- maybe weather sealing material? Also insulation that could suck up some of the smell.

1. Would love help identifying the components of my sump pump...? I believe the pipe on the left is the intake, where all the water from my bathroom comes from. The one on the right that stretches up the wall is a vent that goes to the outside?

2. What ideas would people have for correcting the smell? Or mitigating?
 

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The problem is that you are draining human waste products into it.. that's bad for all kinds of reasons.

As for mitigating the smell, unplug the pump, fill the basin with fresh water, dump in some household bleach, let sit for an hour, then plug pump back in.

Not sure where the pump is draining to, but its possible the smell is backing up from the pump discharge point.. this is why toilets and other fixtures have traps installed.. the water left in the trap prevents sewer gasses from backing up into the house.
 

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What you're looking at is a grinder pump. It grinds up your human waste into a slurry, then pumps it into your sewage drain. 1 pipe out is your vent for the sump, it ties into your house vents not drains.
The other pipe ties into the house sewer. That pipe should also have a check valve, so the pump does not short cycle. The only way you might help your self is to silicon caulk the lid to the bucket. Be advised this would make it super difficult to service later.
 

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What you have is called a sewage ejector pump. Like Ghostmaker said, they are designed to handle waste in addition to water. The sump pit should have a seal along the top perimeter where the cover rests, basically sealing it so that gases (and odors) cannot escape. I also wouldn't recommend the bleach suggestion, as most submersible pumps have rubber seals that separate the motor from the mechanicals, and bleach could cause the seal to fail eventually which will allow water into the motor. I found this out, not technically with bleach, but with a bleach based toilet cleaner I used many years ago, the kind you drop in the tank and lasts for a few months. Probably took around 6 months before the pump failed, but when I replaced it I found that water had entered the motor from a failed seal. My latest pump is a Zoeller model, which many plumbers consider the best.
 

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A sewage ejector pit and pump must have a sealed lid. A rubber or similar gasket is superior to a caulked joint. (The ejector pit must also be a sealed chamber that will not let it contents seep into the ground.)

It is improper for the same pit and pump to collect and expel ground water from a weeping tile or perimeter drain system and to also grind and expel sewage.
 
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