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  • Feb 16, 2010, 10:22 AM
    Strong sewege smell in house
    We recently had a large amount of rainfall in Souther California, and ever since that one day of heavy rain, we have been experiencing a very strong sewer smell in our home. At first, we pinpointed it to an upstairs bathroom. When the heater came on, it would pull air from the toilett. So I put a new wax seal on it, and resett the toilett. Smell went away in the bathroom, but now has moved to the kitchen. I have checked the water traps, and all are filled, as we use the sink daily. I had a company come out, and he said that its possibly a broken/cracked vent pipe from that kitchen sink.

    The odd thing that we can't understand is if it was a crack or broken vent pipe, wouldn't it have the same potency no matter the time of the day. Heat is usually off throughout the night, and first thing in the morning, around 8-9 am, the heater kicks on to warm the house up some. Smell is very strong during this time. And it seems that later in the day the smell is almost non existent. So we are wondering if it is even a vent pipe at all, or just a different issue we are overlooking.
  • Feb 16, 2010, 06:25 PM

    What is the construction of your house is it pier and beam or is it a slab floor. If it is pier and beam you can crawl under and see if there is waterr standing anywhere under the house, if so you will just have to find where it is getting under the house.
  • Feb 16, 2010, 10:47 PM
    No, it is a new construction, 2006, cement slab, two story house. I am 90% sure it's a leaking vent pipe, somewhere in the vent for the kitchen sink. I turned the air on and went sniffing to find the smell, and could smell it coming from a light fixture in the ceiling right above the sink.

    So now my question is, what's the best way to find where the actual leak in the vent pipe is? Is the only option to tear apart the wall and search?
  • Feb 17, 2010, 11:13 AM

    You still don't know for sure that it is a vent leaking? If not I would spend some time looking for another cause before I tore up walls. Things like a dead mouse, or sqirrell. And there are other thing it could be, something having to do with the construction materials.

    But if you really think it is the vent pipe, I have this suggestion if it is posible to do it.
    First take apart the connections under the sink. Then usew something to stop up the pipe going upward from the sink connection. (be sure that you use somethiing that will not go down the pipe, and leave a strong cord on it so that you can pull it out). Now use some kind of pump or pressureized air to put in the pipe after you have sealed the top of the pipe, this should tell you whether you can pressurize the pipe, if you can that means the leak is not in that part.
  • Feb 17, 2010, 11:33 AM
    I am sure its not something dead, as it's the same smell that was coming out of the upstairs bathroom drainage pipe. So its def. sewege smell.

    Not quite understandingt he pressurizing part though. Cause even if I cap off under the sink, won't the air I'm putting in just go out the top vent, or down into the sewege drain pipe?
  • Feb 17, 2010, 06:04 PM

    Hmmm. You have given two clues here: Heavy Rain & you say the problem is worse when your heater comes on. If you have a sewer vent problem, the smell would be constant and not affected by your furnace running. It sounds to me that you have a furnace problem... not a sewer problem. I'll bet your furnace is not venting properly and you are smelling exhaust. If this is the case, you have potential for carbon monoxide. Perhaps the heavy rain has affected your furnace vent in some way or a bird has flown down the furnace vent and is stuck in your power vent. That happened to me once!
  • Feb 17, 2010, 06:42 PM

    Originally Posted by jefferyd2009 View Post
    I am sure its not something dead, as its the same smell that was coming out of the upstairs bathroom drainage pipe. So its def. sewege smell.

    Not quite understandingt he pressurizing part though. Cause even if i cap off under the sink, wont the air im putting in just go out the top vent, or down into the sewege drain pipe?

    I meant to seal up the pipe at the top and at the opening where you took the sink drains loose. In other words isolate the vent pipe in that wall. If it would build up pressure that would mean that it was not that pipe that is leaking.

    Also you say this is the same smell that is coming out of the upstairs drainage pipe, where is this pipe, and how is it that you smell it.
  • Feb 17, 2010, 08:25 PM
    truck 41

    It is possible that there may be a break in the venting system, what is above your kit. Sink area on the second floor? A bathroom? If you can not pinpoint the where the sewer odor is coming from you can have a smoke test done to your home by a plumbing co.

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