We're renting a small house on a Maine island. It had been a summer rental for years, only occupied a few weeks a year. Recently, the landlords made the house tennable year-round, and we're their first year-round renters. But it is still more or less a summer cabin. We have an arrangement where we're making small repairs & renovations as we go, in return for rent reduction. The house is still in pretty rough shape, and set up pretty funkily in places - codes are enforced selectively out here at best.
So, that said, we have a plumbing vent pipe which comes up in the kitchen behind the fridge and ends - it actually vents into the kitchen. Its not the main plumbing vent, but appears to come off the drain line for the kitchen sink and washing machine. It wasn't too much of a problem in the summer when had good ventilation via open windows, but once things were sealed up for the winter, the odor became pretty nasty.
Figuring the vent was secondary, I made a temporary fix by covering the open end of the pipe with some duct tape with holes punched in it. I figured this would still let air out, particularly when pressure built up, but would be better than an open, stinky pipe sticking up into the middle of our house. After that fix, the odor is gone.
Recently, the area outside around our septic field has developed an odor. The field has no vent of its own, but might vent back through the basement and out the house's main plumbing vent - I'm really not sure. So I'm wondering if that vent in the kitchen has a more essential purpose, and I'm concerned that I've somehow tampered with the proper venting of the septic field. But at the same time, I can't imagine it was the intent to vent sewer gas into the house.
Does anyone have any idea what to do about this 'indoor vent' and if my tampering with it might have caused the septic system to vent improperly? Any information / similar experience would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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