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keyaeger

05:58AM | 10/21/05
Member Since: 10/20/05
1 lifetime posts
Bvplumbing
In january we had our septic tank pumped out, and ever since then we have occasionally battled septic smell, but in only the master bathroom. It doesn't seem to eminate from the toilet or shower, but just seems to be there (perhaps from the venting?) When we first noriced it (right after pumping), the septic company suggested making sure there was always about 2 cups of water in the floor drain trap in the basement. Lately, I've had to pour much more water down it, and more often, to try and eliminate the smell, and it now comes back more frequently. Last recommendation from them was to replace the gasket(?) seal around the toilet... but I don't know if that makes sense. Any suggestions? It only happens in the one bathroom. Thanks.

SgtRock

07:44PM | 10/22/05
Member Since: 06/01/05
25 lifetime posts
warning: I'm no expert.

If the toilet isn't lose when you sit on it, check the floor bolts. If they're lose, that could be the problem. Could be red herring that you pumped the system recently.

Now, back to the experts .....

RayVinZant

11:34AM | 10/27/05
Member Since: 08/29/04
227 lifetime posts
When you have problems with sewer gas smells around a

fixture, there can be a number of causes.

1. Sewer gas coming back up into the home

a. Blocked vent.

b. No vent.

2. Leaking drains that cause rotting below the floor.

3. Moisture that causes mold buildup.

4. No trap on your sink.

5. One roof vent on septic system.

6. Toilet needs to be reset and calked.

Sewer gas can come back up into your home, when the

trap completely empties after a letting the water out

of a fixture, when the trap dries out, or when it is

sucked out by another fixture flushing. When water

goes into a pipe, it first has to push the air ahead

of it, if there is no place for it to go, it comes up

the trap. This causes a buildup of pressure if there

is no vent.

If there is a vent, the pressure is relieved up to the

roof, carrying with it all of the yucky smells. When

the water runs down the drain, the air behind it has

to be replaced, if its not, the pipes will try to suck

it from some drain...typically the shower drain, but

sometimes the floor drain when its close to a washer.

When vacuum draws air in through the trap on the

laundry tub it also takes the water out of the trap,

leaving an opening where the sewer gasses can come

back up from the septic system .

Think about your pipes as if they are a drinking

straw. When you put a straw into a glass of water,

the water fills the straw. But if you put your thumb

over the end of the straw and pull it out of the

water, the water (or liquid) stays in the straw. This

shows you, air has volume. When you remove your thumb

from the end of the straw, the water flows back into

the glass. This is the principal of a vent.

So if you only have the smell when a fixture is

running, the trap is refilling after the fixture and

blocking the sewer gasses from coming into the home,

but your vent is probably not functioning.

In addition, if you have only one vent up through the

roof on a septic system, you can get sewer gas smells

coming up through your home. As the wind blows

across the roof, it pressurizes the plumbing system.

Since the septic tank is full of water, the wind

cannot go into the septic tank. So it bubbles up through the

traps into the house. Installing a vent on an

opposing roof pitch, helps to relieve the pressure buildup,

since the wind then is only hitting one side of the

roof.

Floor drains are succeptable to this type of pressure.

If your drains are partially clogged it can work

similar to a clogged vent. Since there is no place

for the water to go, it forces the air, which is much

lighter up through traps, bringing sewer gas into the

home.

If your fixture is not set right or is wabbling, the

traps or wax ring that seals it underneith may not be tight.

When this happens, if you empty the fixture, sewer gas

will come under the sink into the room.

Each of these senarios will require a different

solution. The key to solving your problem, is having

the right questions to ask when the plumber comes out

to look at it. The previous information should

provide you with a basis for the questions you need.

Make sure before you call a plumber to check

cleanout covers and pipes to see if they have

openings to the sewer. If you have an opening

without a trap, you will get sewer gasses.

In conclusion, if you don't have a vent inside the

wall which equalizes the air pressure inside the

pipes, if you are on a septic system with only

one roof vent, if the vent is clogged off due to

sludge and soap scum, if you don't have a proper trap

on your sink, or if the drain is clogged, sewer gas can escape

into your home.

Good Luck

Raymond

Thanks for visiting our Web site! Hope this information helps.

The information we provide on-line is general in nature and not

specific

plumbing advice. Call our local office for a service call to diagnose

and

resolve your specific problem.

Raymond VinZant

To

Jennifer Canavan

10/05/2005 03:17

PM

cc

Subject

Sewer Smells fixture

Alex:

When you have problems with sewer gas smells around a fixture, there can be a number of causes.

1. Sewer gas coming back up into the home

a. Blocked vent.

b. No vent.

2. Leaking drains that cause rotting below the floor.

3. Moisture that causes mold buildup.

4. No trap on your sink.

5. One roof vent on septic system.

6. Toilet needs to be reset and calked.

Sewer gas can come back up into your home, when the trap completely empties after a letting the water out of a fixture, when the trap dries out, or when it is sucked out by another fixture flushing.

When water goes into a pipe, it first has to push the air ahead of it, if there is no place for it to go, it comes up the trap. This causes a buildup of pressure if there

is no vent.

If there is a vent, the pressure is rerouted up to the roof, carrying with it all of the yucky smells. When the water runs down the drain, the air behind it has

to be replaced, if its not, the pipes will try to suck it from some drain...typically the shower drain, but sometimes the floor drain when its close to a toilet. When vacuum draws air in through the trap on the toilet it also takes the water out of the trap, leaving an opening where the sewer gasses can come back up from the septic system .

Think about your pipes as if they are a drinking straw. When you put a straw into a glass of water, the water fills the straw. But if you put your thumb over the end of the straw and pull it out of the water, the water (or liquid) stays in the straw. This shows you, air has volume. When you remove your thumb from the end of the straw, the water flows back into the glass. This is the principal of a vent.

So if you only have the smell when a fixture is running, the trap is refilling after the fixture and blocking the sewer gasses from coming into the home, but your vent is probably not functioning.

In addition, if you have only one vent up through the roof on a septic system, you can get sewer gas smells coming up through your home. As the wind blows across the roof, it pressurizes the plumbing system. Since the septic tank is full of water, the wind cannot go into the septic tank. So it bubbles up through the traps into the house. Installing a vent on an opposing roof pitch, helps to relieve the pressure buildup, since the wind then is only hitting one side of the roof.

Floor drains are succeptable to this type of pressure.

If your drains are partially clogged it can work similar to a clogged vent. Since there is no place for the water to go, it forces the air, which is much lighter up through traps, bringing sewer gas into the

home.

If your fixture is not set right or is wabbling, the traps or wax ring that seals it underneith may not be tight. When this happens, if you empty the fixture, sewer gas will come under the sink into the room.

Each of these senarios will require a different solution. The key to solving your problem, is having the right questions to ask when the plumber comes out to look at it. The previous information should provide you with a basis for the questions you need.

Make sure before you call a plumber to check

cleanout covers and pipes to see if they have openings to the sewer. If you have an opening without a trap, you will get sewer gasses.

In conclusion, if you don't have a vent inside the wall which equalizes the air pressure inside the pipes, if you are on a septic system with only one roof vent, if the vent is clogged off due to sludge and soap scum, if you don't have a proper trap

on your sink, or if the drain is clogged, sewer gas can escape into your home.

If the septic pumper did not put the cover back on right to the septic tank, it could be leaking and the smell drifting up to the bathroom, through a window.

Good Luck

Raymond VinZant Plumbing Prof.
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