02:38PM | 06/28/06
Member Since: 06/27/06
2 lifetime posts
My daughter and husband purchased house new app. 3 years ago. Have had this sewer odor since purchased. The odor is worse when it is hot in/outside. We have cleaned the drain very often with bleach and other cleaners and we constantly check for hair and remove it but the smell keeps up. The developer has ran a snake down the drain, checked it with a camera, and today performed a ballon test. The test was ran for 1 1/2 hours. The water dropped 5" overall with him adding water 2 times. The plumbers have smelled the odor but can't find the problem. The vents have been inspected except this one as they can't see it due to the design of the roof. What is your thoughts on the ballon test results? Can you help us with any other ways to inspect the system to identify the problem so it can be fixed? The drain is plastic. Should we request the developer replace everything in this bathroom? We can't stand the smell at times. Please help!


01:29PM | 06/29/06
Member Since: 01/24/06
1506 lifetime posts

Shalom Katz,

One of the easiest tests is an oil of peppermint test or possibly a smoke test to find the piping (venting ) failure.

If this doesn't work then possibly the entire system may need to be hydrostatically tested.

The balloon test just means something is leaking (bad sign)


detest plastic piping on waste or vent lines because I have seen way to many failures including "state of the art" under slab heating systems.

Sewer gas fumes are no joking matter and should be taken care of ASAP

Whatever it takes have this condition fixed as there are major health issues now involved.


One of the reasons it is worse in the summer is heat goes to the absence of heat I was told when I was a stationary engineer.

With the house being cooler then outdoors the heat is pulled in along with the fumes, under good plumbing conditions this would never happen if the venting had proper integrity.

The reason it is more prone in the summer then the winter is when the vent air hotter then the ambient temperature and hot air rises and draws the sewer fumes out of the drainage system, up ,up and away in this case the hot air is drawn into the venting


02:00PM | 06/29/06
Member Since: 06/27/06
2 lifetime posts
Thank you for your quick reply. We will discuss this with our developer. Hope we found out what causing it. I take it that you feel loosing five inches in the ballon test is a sign of a leak? I haven't seen any evidence on water spots on the ceiling. Maybe it is to small of a leak to show up through the installation. Right?

Thanks again!


11:17AM | 06/30/06
Member Since: 01/24/06
1506 lifetime posts
Any loss even if you cant see a leak should be addressed especially if you are smelling sewer fumes.

Plumbing should be water and "air " tight


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