05:32PM | 06/23/04
Member Since: 06/22/04
2 lifetime posts
I've seen similar problems where the vents appear to be alright but if there is a break or split of some kind in the sewer gas vent pipes (the ones that allow the gases to go to the roof instead of entering the house) then you will get sewer gasses leaking into the walls. If the walls are fairly well sealed then this gas can ventin places like the door jams or electrical outlets. Unfortunately the only way to find these types of breaks, since they are above the water flow line and will usually not leak fluids, is by direct sight examination.

To narrow down the source you could actually try draining/removing the p-trap under the sink and see if the smell seems to originate from the sewer or not.

doug seibert

12:42PM | 06/30/04
Member Since: 08/10/02
843 lifetime posts
City utilities use a smoke test to check for breaks in the drain/vent systems.......


04:10PM | 07/15/04
Member Since: 12/26/01
10 lifetime posts
I was doing some reading about plumbing and vent stacks and they were actually talking about the location of the stack to the plumbing fixture and it's function. If the stack is placed too far away, the drainage of the water can actually cause a vacuum and remove all the water from the P-trap - hence the sewer gases. I don't know if this applies..... just a thought.


06:01AM | 07/22/04
Member Since: 07/21/04
1 lifetime posts
I have this terrible solvent/lacquer smell coming from inside the wall separating my bedroom & bathroom. It gets worse at night, when it rains and after I take a shower (so I'm thinking dead animal) but multiple people have said the smell seems like solvent/paint thinner/kerosine (which makes me question the dead animal theory).

I know there are mice in the house (I could hear them, another tennant has caught a couple). So, this would lead us back to the dead animal theory.

Being a 1 bedroom apartment, ripping the wall up would be a nightmare. Plus, there are 2 sliding doors in the wall (the wall is 7 feet wide) that close off my bedroom from the bathroom (door 1) and from the kitchen/dining/tv room (door 2).

So, aside from my rambling, my question is this:

Can a petroleum product smell actually be a dead animal? What can I do to get rid of the smell?


09:13AM | 07/22/04
Member Since: 06/01/03
8 lifetime posts
Our smell has turned out to be mold that was in the walls above our bedroom downstairs. drywall had to be cut out in order to get to it. One neat thing, a water restoration/fire damage company came in and removed the trim, drilled small holes and sent a camera up to see what was there. They couldn't see much b/c of the insulation but they could tell everything was wet.

Im not sure if a dead animal can smell like fuel but I didn't know mold could smell so horrible (and unlike mold).


07:24PM | 01/31/07
Member Since: 01/30/07
1 lifetime posts
Lift drain cover and look down, if you see a dark gum like substance on the in side of the drain it could be the cause of the smell.

You need to scub the dark gum out and use drain cleaner, you need to also do this with the sink drain. Also check the celling fan vent has one way valve. Good luck


08:53PM | 02/26/13
Same problem going on at my place, i have no carpet in the house, the smell comes from inside the walls and under neath the house. I think it is some kind of gas seeping up from the ground possibly some sewage from a leaky pipe or something. I had the pipes looked at by a plumber who used a video camera and found nothing, I had a mold guy come look at it and do an indoor air quality test and found nothing, I checked in the attic for leaks and mouse droppings but found none.
When doing some work in the kitchen replacing some cabinets there was a hole in the corner of the house on the block layer beneath the dry wall. I could feel cool air coming in from the hole and it smelled bad I sealed up the hole but the smell is between the walls and just seeps in elsewhere.

there was a small hole in the floor in the basement where the concrete was poured properly--I could see the stone and feel the cool air rising up and it smelled bad. I sealed the hole with hydraulic cement but the stink rises up between the walls of the house and seeps in throughout. It is disgusting. I need to move because it makes me sick, causes me headaches, depression, inability to concentrate, nausea.

I had the carbon monoxide tested as well. The smell comes every 5 days or so and lasts about 3-4 days. It grows in intensity over a day or two then gradually fades before reappearing after about a 3-4 day reprieve.

Someone mentioned it could be a leaky pipe in the wall but that doesnt explain why it would be coming up from under the house. Is there a way i can vent the area under the house or get it testted for sewage or some kind of gas? There are no signs of entry of rodents or moisture. It happens when it is completely dry outside.

I thought maybe it was something from the neighbors house seeping into mine because it is attached on both sides.

I have a radon pump installed.


08:55PM | 02/26/13
Member Since: 02/26/13
1 lifetime posts
IS it possible the smell could be coming from the ground beneath the house? maybe swamp gass or sewage leak? How would you get that tested?


09:44AM | 09/23/13
Check your electrical outlets! Melting electrical causes a fishy odor. I am going through the same issues. I read on another blog that this is the culprit. It makes complete sense because we had the same smell last summer/ early fall. In November, we lost power to half of our house (luckily no fire) and the electrician who came to repair said it was melting wires, replaced. I never mentioned the fishy smell to him, didn't think it mattered. But now that I'm having the smell again, I'm reading multiple websites that say to check the wiring. So this must be the issue. Let me know if you all find the same culprit as I hope to find.
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