Latest Discussions : Plumbing


02:39AM | 12/03/03
Member Since: 12/01/03
8 lifetime posts

I am not sure if any one has ever come across this problem, I'm not sure what I need to do and thought maybe someone would be able to help me.

I had a modular home built last April with a basement the land I own is in the part of the town where some have regular sewers and some have septic, I happen to be in the area where it's septic. We had a real old house on the property with a newer septic system, but because we had a bigger home built we weren't able to use the 5 year old system and had to buy a new one. When we bought the home we opted to do all the finish work which included the septic. Every thing on the outside of the home with the septic was done right and approved. Now on to the problem, when the manufacture of this home put the home on our property he did not inform us about the vents that needed to be put in the roof. I have a real good nose for smells, I guess it's because I have a lot of sinus & allergy problems and had to have 3 sinus surgeries which open them up but maybe not for the better. I noticed this funny smell right away which caused us to look into where it was coming. That was when we realized the house was never vented. Next step, we vented every place in the attic we could locate and cap them off outside, hoping that would solve the problem. The bad smell coming from the bathrooms did go away in two of the bathrooms, the third when you turn the water on it still has a bad smell. Next problem, in one of the bedrooms where the attic is there is still a smell, I try to describe it and say it smells like a dusty room, or the smell you get when you go into the attic from the insolation. Some days it's really bad and sets my allergies off, I now have a sinus infection for almost 2 weeks, not even the medicine I was to take will clear it up. I am also on prescription allergy pills. As you might be able to tell I am at a loss and need to find out how to stop this smell from coming into the house. It is mostly up stairs in the room where the attic is and the adjoining bedrooms also have a slight smell.
Someone told us that it could be the gases coming into the house from the septic tank but I am not sure if that can happen or how else to correct it. I'm hoping that maybe someone could help answer my question; it would be greatly appreciated. THANKS~ Kat

plumber Tom

06:08PM | 12/03/03
Member Since: 05/10/03
801 lifetime posts
How did you get this approved by a plumbing inspector? When you say you "capped" off vents, You didn't actually install a cap over any pipes? All plumbing systems produce noxious gasses, methane being the main one. For a vent to work properly, atmospheric pressure(outside air) must be introduced into the plumbing for the drains to run. When you flush the toilet the water runs down a stack, that is connected to a tee fitting. One end of the tee allows for drainage, the other end allows air in and gas to escape. The stack must terminate thru the roof, not in the attic. Gas may be collecting and permeating through the walls into the bedroom. Each plumbing fixture is assigned a value called a fixture unit. The units are then totaled up and this determines the size of the vent stack. In your case a 3" or 4" stack for the bathrooms and a 2" stack for the kitchen. Every fixture needs to have a trap. This prevents gas from entering the house and stops odors.


01:04AM | 12/04/03
Member Since: 12/01/03
8 lifetime posts
Hi Plumber Tom

We did get an approval for the plumbing but not a final one, we're still working on the house to get it ready for a CO. I might have said it wrong I don't know too much about this stuff but we did put the pipes threw the attic out the roof with these things that went over them I called them caps but I am not sure if that's what they are. They look like stacks from the outside. This smell that I smell seems to only be in the upstairs of the house in the bedroom where the attic opening is. It also is in the closets and some days the smell is worse then others. Someone told us to try a smoke bomb throw the vents to check for leaks have you ever heard of this? Also, do you think we might have missed a vent and how would we know? Thanks a lot for taking your time to reply.

Glenn Good

02:49AM | 12/04/03
Member Since: 09/10/03
314 lifetime posts
Just a thought, many newer homes use particleboard and OSB board in the construction. These are made using urea-formaldehyde based glue that will give off an odor for quite some time. Could this be part of your problem?



02:56AM | 12/04/03
Member Since: 12/01/03
8 lifetime posts
Hi Glenn

I also thought that could be the problem but then I wondered why it would have this funny smell only upstairs. But it is worth looking into because this is a modular home and was brought in, in 6 pieces. Do you have any idea if there might be a way to test that? Thank you for your reply it was kind of you to take the time to answer. Kat

plumber Tom

07:39AM | 12/04/03
Member Since: 05/10/03
801 lifetime posts
I think you are referring to a flashing collar that goes around the base of the stack as it comes out of the roof. I have never used a smoke bomb. I use inflatable test plugs. You insert the plug into the base of the cleanout fitting, pump it up with air to make a seal, then fill the stack from the roof with water. If you think you have a fixture that's not vented, check for any drains that run slow.


06:15PM | 12/10/03
Member Since: 11/13/03
8 lifetime posts
Hi Kat-

Thank you for replying to my problem with the new bacement I did figure out the smell it is from my floor tile, the installer snagged the tile line when he was putting in the leach field.
whenever a bunch of water comes through from our laundry or Big bath tub the smell comes up.
I know this won't help with your situation but though you might want to know and possibly help somone else that is having this type of thing happening.
just a quick thought on your bedroom smell how is your roof venting situation there. could it be that the manufacturer did not get enough ventilation through your attic in that part of the house?
or possibly insulation blocking up the soffit venting to much.
I could see this causing and trapping moisture in the attic and causing this type of smell in the right conditions.
just a thought.
Thanks again.
Mike<>< (mdk84)

[This message has been edited by MK84 (edited December 10, 2003).]

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