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lkopp
Dec 12, 2004, 10:20 AM
:eek: Our main bathroom off the master bedroom has a sewage smell coming from the shower. The drain is not clogged, the toilet and sink are fine. No smell from the sink or toilet, seems to be from the shower only. Our house is on septic system and drainfield. No soggy grass around the drainfield or septic system. Our system was pumped about 2 years ago. We have 4 people in the house. The other bathroom is fine. The smell has gotten worse recently. At first a little musty but now is smells like raw sewage. Please offer any advise on this issue.

speedball1
Dec 12, 2004, 10:54 AM
What you are smelling is grease and rotting hair that has built up in the line.
To be absolutely sure the drain should be snaked and flushed, but try this. Tonight before you go to bed pour 1/2 gallon of bleach down the drain and let it set overnight. Next morning flush it down with a few large pans of boiling water. THIS IS IMPORTANT! The bleach will start to dissolve and soften the hair and make it slippery and the boiling water will melt the grease and flush the mess out into the main. Now see if that smelly drain doesn't smell sweeter? Cheers, Tom

lkopp
Dec 13, 2004, 07:23 PM
We were going to try the bleach, however, we had already snaked out the drain and nothing. Strange after a week of this horrible smell, we came home today and the smell was gone (makes absolutely no sense).After more searching on the computer, we decided to go up to the roof and check the "vent". The main vent over the main bathroom was real smelly. Of course it was clogged and we needed to force the clog out in order to let the "gas" escape into the air instead of backing up into our house. This seemed to do the trick and hopefully the smell is banished forever. Just need to remember to check the vent from time to time. Thanks for the advise.

kmhebert
Jun 14, 2005, 04:37 PM
So is it OK to use bleach even if you have a septic tank?

speedball1
Jun 14, 2005, 05:28 PM
So is it ok to use bleach even if you have a septic tank?

Im glad you asked. Let me give you a few pointers. Since the septic tank is such an essential part of a sewage system, here are some points to remember about the "care and feeding" of that part of the onsite sewage treatment system.
A "starter" is not needed for bacterial action to begin in a septic tank. Many bacteria are present in the materials deposited into the tank and will thrive under the growth conditions present.
If you feel that an additive is needed, be aware that some may do great harm. Additives that advertise to "eliminate" tank cleaning may cause the sludge layer to fluff up and be washed out into the drainfield, plugging soil pores. Some additives, particularly degreasers, may contain carcinogens (cancer-causing) or suspected carcinogens that will flow into the ground water along with the water from the soil treatment unit.
Send all sewage into the septic tank. Don't run laundry wastes directly into the drainfield, since soap or detergent scum will plug the soil pores, causing failure.
Normal amounts of household detergents, bleaches, drain cleaners, and other household chemicals can be used and won't stop the bacterial action in the septic tank. But don't use excessive amounts of any household chemicals. Do not dump cleaning water for latex paint brushes and cans into the house sewer.
Don't deposit coffee grounds, cooking fats, wet-strength towels, disposable diapers, facial tissues, cigarette butts, and other non-decomposable materials into the house sewer. These materials won't decompose and will fill the septic tank and plug the system. To use a 5-gallon toilet flush to get rid of a cigarette butt is also very wasteful of water. Keep an ash tray in the bathroom, if necessary.
Avoid dumping grease down the drain. It may plug sewer pipes or build up in the septic tank and plug the inlet. Keep a separate container for waste grease and throw it out with the garbage.
If you must use a garbage disposal, you will likely need to remove septic tank solids every year or more often. Ground garbage will likely find its way out of the septic tank and plug up the drainfield. It is better to compost, incinerate, or deposit the materials in the garbage that will be hauled away. As one ad says, "You can pay me now, or pay me later."
Clean your septic tank every 1 to 3 years. How often depends on the size of the tank and how many solids go into it. A rule of thumb is once every 3 years for a 1,000 gallon tank serving a 3-bedroom home with 4 occupants (and with no garbage disposal).
Using too much soap or detergent can cause problems with the septic system. It is difficult to estimate how dirty a load of laundry is, and most people use far more cleaning power than is needed. If there are lots of suds in your laundry tub when the washer discharges, cut back on the amount of detergent for the next similar load. It's generally best not to use inexpensive detergents which may contain excessive amounts of filler or carrier. Some of these fillers are montmorillonite clay, which- is used to seal soils! The best solution may be to use a liquid laundry detergent, since they are less likely to have carriers or fillers that may harm the septic system.
Each septic system has a certain capacity. When this capacity is reached or exceeded, there will likely be problems because the system won't take as much sewage as you want to discharge into it. When the onsite sewage treatment system reaches its daily capacity, be conservative with your use of water. Each gallon of water that flows into the drain must go through the septic tank and into the soil absorption unit. Following are some ways to conserve water that should cause little hardship in anyone's standard of living:
Be sure that there are no leaking faucets or other plumbing fixtures. Routinely check the float valve on all toilets to be sure it isn't sticking and the water isn't running continuously. It doesn't take long for the water from a leaking toilet or a faucet to add up. A cup of water leaking out of a toilet every minute doesn't seem like much but that's 90 gallons a day! So be sure that there is no water flowing into the sewer when all water-using appliances are supposed to be off.
The most effective way to reduce the sewage flow from a house is to reduce the toilet wastes, which usually account for about 40 percent of the sewage flow. Many toilets use 5 to 6 gallons per flush. Some of the so-called low water use toilets are advertised to use only 3.5 gallons per flush. Usually the design of the bowl hasn't been changed, however, and often two flushes are needed to remove all solids. That's 7 gallons! Toilets are available which have been redesigned and will do a good job with one gallon or less per flush. Using a 1-gallon toilet rather than a 5 gallon toilet will reduce sewage flows from a home by about a third. This reduction may be more than enough to make the sewage system function again. While prices may vary, 1.6 gallon toilets can usually be purchased in the $200 range, far less than the cost of a new sewer system. Baths and showers can use lots of water. "Setting up camp" in the shower with a shower head flow of 5 gallons per minute will require 100 gallons in 20 minutes. Shower heads that limit the flow to 1.5 or 2 gallons per minute are available and should be used. Filling the tub not quite so full and limiting the length of showers will result in appreciable water savings.
Is the water from the faucet cold enough to drink? How long do you let it run to cool down? Keep a container of drinking water in the refrigerator. Then it won't be necessary to run water from your faucets in order to get a cool drink.
There may be other ways to conserve water that you can think of in your home. The main idea is to consider water as a valuable resource and not to waste it.
Following a few simple rules like not using too much water and not depositing materials in the septic tank that bacteria can't decompose should help to make a septic system trouble-free for m, too! Any years. But don't forget the septic tank does need to be cleaned out when too many solids builtreatment system.
With a water meter you can determine how much water your automatic washer uses per cycle. Many washers now have settings to reduce the amount of water used for small loads. Front loading washers and suds savers use less water than top loading machines. If your sewage treatment system is reaching its maximum capacity, try to spread the washing out during the week to avoid overloading the sewage system on a single day. Septic tanks need tender, loving care too.
Hope this helps. Regards, Tom

kmhebert
Jun 15, 2005, 09:31 AM
Thanks for the information Speedball. I do have a sewage smell coming up from my shower drain, I was going to use the 1/2 gallon bleach followed up with the boiling water technique, I just wanted to make sure it was OK to do that with my septic tank and all.

niecey
Aug 21, 2005, 05:18 PM
I live in an apartment and I think I'm having some draining issues I've read all about cleaning with bleach and hot water and all but I don't know if I have a septic tank or what . But I wanted to know if I may need some professional help or can I clean my toilet myself with something please I'm dying of the smell its so unpleasant makes me not want to eat let alone have company. Please help! Thank you : :( :( : :(

speedball1
Aug 22, 2005, 06:24 AM
i live in an apartment and i think im having some draining issues ive read all about cleaning with bleach and hot water and all but i dont know if i have a septic tank or what . but i wanted to know if i may need some professional help or can i clean my toilet myself with something please i m dying of the smell its so unpleasant makes me not want to eat let alone have company. please help! thankyou : :( :( : :(

The smell's coming fron your potty and not any of the drains? You may have bacteria in your tank. Tonight before you go to bed shut the water off to your toilet and flush and drain it. Now pour a jug or two of bleach in the tank and scrub down the inside walls and fittings. Now flush the bleach out of the tank and into the bowl. The bleach will replace the water in the trap and bowl. Let it set overnight. Next morning turn the water back on and flush the bleach out. Smell better now? Cheers, Tom

josette
Apr 13, 2007, 08:09 AM
I am having the same problem as your example question regarding the sewage smell in the bathroom. It is coming out of the shower pipe in one bathroom, and there is a smell in our other bathroom that only has a toilet and a sink in it. This house is three years old and I know that it has a french drain in it.

speedball1
Apr 14, 2007, 06:02 AM
I am having the exact same problem as your example question regarding the sewage smell in the bathroom. It is coming out of the shower pipe in one bathroom, and there is a smell in our other bathroom that only has a toilet and a sink in it. This house is three years old and I know that it has a french drain in it.

I can only repeat my earlier post. "What you are smelling is grease and rotting hair that has built up in the line.
To be absolutely sure the drain should be snaked and flushed, but try this. Tonight before you go to bed pour 1/2 gallon of bleach down the drain and let it set overnight. Next morning flush it down with a few large pans of boiling water. THIS IS IMPORTANT! The bleach will start to dissolve and soften the hair and make it slippery and the boiling water will melt the grease and flush the mess out into the main. Now see if that smelly drain doesn't smell sweeter? Cheers, Tom