Latest Discussions : Plumbing


05:17AM | 02/28/04
Member Since: 02/27/04
3 lifetime posts
We have a 20 year old home and a full family- 3 kids; 2 adults. We are on a septic system. I have noticed since we bought the house (3+ years ago) that after we use a generous amount of water - shower, laundry etc- we get a septic smell strongly from the kitchen sink area. We get some smell in the basement directly under the sink but it is most prevelant in the kitchen. The drain vent is over the bathroom and there is none above the kitchen sink. We re- plumbed the kitchen sink but still the smell. Septic system has been pumped and is working ok- no drain field water. The smell is really fowl and I worry that we have a bigger problem or have a back up- any ideas? The kitchen is not the most pleasent place to have the smell.


06:58AM | 02/28/04
Member Since: 10/11/02
8 lifetime posts
How long has it been since the septic tank was pumped out? It may be full, this will cause sewage to back up septic lineand cause an smell. You might want to consider having tank pumped. You can also try septic treatment. You can get it at grocery stores, home improvemnt store, etc. One brand that I use every two months is called RID-X.


07:42AM | 02/28/04
Member Since: 02/27/04
3 lifetime posts
Thank you for the reply- our tank was pumped in late fall before freeze up. I thought it would eliminate the smell but it really did not make any difference. I'll try RID-X. Any other ideas?


09:45AM | 05/29/04
Member Since: 05/28/04
1 lifetime posts
I was just wondering if personius found the odor problem. I've got a similar problem in that I can't pin down the exact location of the odor, but I smell it stronger when I walk through the doorway into my laundry room. It's like it's in the walls.

I'm getting ready to use my last resort which is VERY expensive and have a company that does odor detection come find the source of the smell. They charge $250 for the test and $125/hr travel & on-site time. I'll be paying $375 in travel time alone.

I've tried all the obvious solutions: Putting water in traps, floor drains, vent stack, ring around toilet.

When I walk into my main level bathroom, the smell hits me full force. But my nose can't find the odor coming from the drain, toilet or floor vent. It's as if it's coming right out of the walls.

And what's really odd is if I'm away for a few days, there is no noticeable odor when I walk in. So it has something to do with day-to-day living.



plumber Tom

05:49PM | 05/29/04
Member Since: 05/10/03
801 lifetime posts
I will consult with a fellow poster here. I have seen him give many good posts regarding septic systems. Unfortunately I'm in the city on a public sewer and have little experience with septic systems.


06:07AM | 05/30/04
Member Since: 02/27/04
3 lifetime posts
We have done no formal investigation, however, the smell does appear to be related to usage. When I posted, we were in the heart of winter and at 20 and 30 below, I think things were frozen. In addition, we purchased a more efficient clothes washer which has cut down on usage. We have not noticed as much smell. It does appear, however to also come from within the walls just to the left of our sink. I will post after we do some work in that area to let everyone know what we find.

Again, I am guessing that water usage had a lot to do with the problem.

Thanks for all your help!


08:49AM | 05/30/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
549 lifetime posts
I am stumped on this one, but had a thought from your post. You say: **The drain vent is over the bathroom and there is none above the kitchen sink**. You also indicate that the smell is strongest after periods of high water use. This suggests to me you are using an AAV vent.

An air admittance valve vent is an alternative that is often installed where no vent access is available. These cheater vents are gravity-operated valves that open when water flow creates negative pressure, allowing air to enter to equalize pressure. Another possiblity is the dry loop method, also known as an island vent. The island vent loops as high as it can go inside the cabinet before heading under the floor and over to the main vent in the wall. A malfunction in either of these types of vents will cause odors to enter the kitchen. The AAV is particulary prone to fail during periods of high water use.

If you have a vertical Tee fitting on your drain waste pipe before it enters the wall, its a sure bet one of these vents is attached. In rare cases it may be hidden behind the wall instead of a stack to the roof. I think you have a rare case of a non-code installation of an AAV.

Plumber Tom, what do you think.

plumber Tom

02:06PM | 05/30/04
Member Since: 05/10/03
801 lifetime posts
If a cheater vent was installed it would have been added during a home remodeling job. You should be able to see a 2" vent termination going thru the roof. I was kind of stumped myself tomh.


04:26PM | 06/05/13



09:15AM | 08/25/19
I am smelling septic smell in my kitchen sink what can I do or what would cause it

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