Latest Discussions : Plumbing


11:55AM | 01/06/05
Member Since: 01/05/05
1 lifetime posts
Help! We bought an old farmhouse with a 1970's septic system. We have a leach or drain field. Anyway, every time it rains we get a bad septic smell throughout the entire house. I don't think it is because the drain and toilet vents are not working because wouldn't we smell it all the time? It is only when it rains hard. We have poorly draining soil and our leach field gets kinda swampy when it rains. Anyone have any idea what is happening. I seem to be feeling sick after sleeping in the house when it has rained.



01:56PM | 01/06/05
Member Since: 09/06/04
5 lifetime posts
We had a similar problem and I found out theat there is a five foot long pipe coming out of my septic tank and it leads to the drain field. This was crushed by roots and was very easy to replace. This could be the reason you smell it only when it rains because the drain field cannot handle all of the water. You have to find your septic tank and at each end you will have a tube leading into it and a tube exiting out of it. Once you find the tube that connects the septic to the drain field you can remove this. Then put a hose and run water into your drain field opening, if the water backs up after a few minutes your drain field has collapsed. If you run water into the drain field for about ten minutes and nothig backs up your field is fine. All of this plumbing should only be about three or four feet under the ground surface. I would check there first before I do anthing that would be a great expense. It might be a good idea to have your tank cleaned while you have it exposed.


04:44PM | 01/06/05
Methane gas will make you sick and it is explosive. We had a house blow up in Wichita this summer from a mal functioning septic system. No common but it does happen. Open some windows so you get an exchange of air and keep the heat on.

Besides 125883's good advice the problem is often lack of venting and or S traps. The situation is aggravated by surface water that gets into the lines filling them and the tank up and not allowing the free movement of air.

S traps go into the floor instead of into the wall. Their problem is that they will suck all the water out of the trap sometimes which allows the sewer smell in.

For venting look to see what vents you have coming out of the roof and what size. Also try to determine what fixtures have vents and what ones are allowing smells to come out.

It can also be a broken pipe in your crawl space if you have one.


10:17AM | 07/31/13
I have two independent septic systems for my house. We have had heavy rain for over a month. I am getting heavy gas smell from each system from the toilets only. Are my tanks just full and will normalize when things dry out? Or do I need to have both tanks pumped out? The systems are 18 years old in South Carolina with moderate clay soil. Removing the outside cleanout caps seems to have helped.


10:10PM | 12/28/15
We are having a similar problem. When the toilet downstairs is flushed the sewer smell comes up through the upstairs kitchen sink. It does seem worse when it rains, and we have gotten a lot of rain lately! When the downstairs toilet is flushed we hear a gurgling in the upstairs sink, which tells us that the toilet isn't vented correctly, right? We did not notice it before because we rarely used this toilet. Now that my mom is living downstairs, we notice it quite often, and the smell worsens when it rains. We do live in a low area. We had the septic tank pumped and the septic tank guy told us that the tank appeared like it was doing its job well. Our house was built in 1954. We are in the middle of remodeling our kitchen and it really "stinks" that we have this smell while we are spending all this money on a remodel! We have spoken to the remodeling agency about venting the downstairs toilet but they wanted to make sure it wasn't the "p" trap or the toilet age downstairs. Venting the downstairs toilet will require going through the basement wall which is underground, so I assume it isn't an "easy" fix! What would you advise??


03:17PM | 06/02/16
pour water down the drain where the smell is coming from, and that should cause the float/ball to "drop" down and that will stop the sewer gas from coming into your home. When it evaporates (water in the cup of the float/ball) the float opens up the line and you smell sewer gas. Keep water in it, and the float/ball blocks the line from gas.
Happens a lot when it rains or when I have the AC running on high and evaporation takes over.

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