10:05PM | 06/16/07
Member Since: 06/16/07
2 lifetime posts
We have been in our home since the middle of March, 2007.Friday a.m. there was an extremely strong smell in the main part of the house and upstairs. We slept late and I woke up with a headache. Opened the bedroom door and, what a smell. Builder called plumber who said to run water in all baths etc. and to pour water and clorox in the washer drain.Washer and dryer not installed. Rest of family not moved in yet so upstairs not used. Saturday a.m. same thing. Opened bedroom door and even stronger. Builder says doesn't want plumber to start tearing out walls: sometimes smell lingers. We turned off a.c.'s opened windows ran water etc. today and left house. Turned 2 a.c's back on. Left others off trying to determine the source. Came home about 2 hours ago, faint smell again. My eyes are becoming irritated so I know it is something and that it is somehow coming through a.c. system. Read all the possible causes tonight and checked to the best of our ability. The plumber has not appeared. Also, the a.c company was here Tuesday attempting to fix their improper installation. Could the two be connected? What/where could be the source?


06:48AM | 06/17/07
Member Since: 01/24/06
1449 lifetime posts
Yes it could be connected as the AC brings in what is supposed to be fresh air BUT if the intake air is pulling near a vent (sewer) then this foul carcinogenic fumes can enter the structure.

Depending where the AC units are located roof / yard what type of drainage system you have public or private all has a cause and effect

Not being there I have no clue as to the type of venting the plumber went with as some codes are very lax and have the best plumbing officials / politicians that can be bought. (I am not saying this is the case)

There is a simple test procedure with out doing any destruction to walls an oil of peppermint test or a smoke test as neither of these require the removal or fixtures or traps.

This test will either confirm there is a "plumbing" problem or that the cause is coming from another area.

Either way there are some very real health issues involved here and this should be addressed ASAP

NOTE: See below (for information purposes only)

Sewer gas is a complex mixture of toxic and non-toxic gases that can be present at varying levels depending upon the source. It is formed during the decay of household and industrial waste. Highly toxic components of sewer gas include hydrogen sulfide and ammonia.

Sewer gas also contains methane, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrous oxides. In addition, chlorine bleaches, industrial solvents, and gasoline are frequently present in municipal and privately owned-sewage treatment systems.

The principal risks and effects associated with exposure are:

* Hydrogen sulfide poisoning. Exposure to low levels of hydrogen sulfide causes irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract. Other symptoms include nervousness, dizziness, nausea, headache, and drowsiness.

This gas smells like rotten eggs, even at extremely low concentrations. Exposure to high concentrations can interfere with the sense of smell, making this warning signal unreliable. At extremely high levels, hydrogen sulfide can cause immediate loss of consciousness and death.

Asphyxiation. High concentrations of methane in enclosed areas can lead to suffocation as large amounts of methane will decrease the amount of oxygen in the air. The effects of oxygen deficiency include headache, nausea, dizziness and unconsciousness.

At very low oxygen concentrations (


10:50PM | 06/17/07
Member Since: 06/16/07
2 lifetime posts
Thanks for the response. By the way, the strong odor only seems to happen during the night. As, in all instances,I get up and open the bedroom door the smell is overwhelming. We kept the a.c.'off, turning each one on after a few hours. Now all four are on and all seems o.k. However, how does one conduct the smoke and oil of peppermint tests? I do think the air quality in the house is compromised.
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