I have a two story slab on grade house in Dallas Texas. The downstairs powder room has a single toilet and single pedestal sink. We live in an area with very active soils. This year we had an extreme drought and right after the first major rain I noticed a sewer gas smell in the downstairs‚Äô powder room. The timing with the rain might be coincidence. We first replaced the toilet and wax ring... the old wax ring had gone bad and the previous toilet was rocking. We replaced the toilet itself for aesthetic reasons. I thought this would eliminate the problem. The new toilet does not rock, has a new wax ring, but the smell persists.
The powder room toilet and sink each have an individual vent stack. There is a bathroom above the little first floor powder room on the second floor. It does not align directly on top of the lower bathroom and therefore has it's own vent stacks that penetrate the roof at a different location. The waste drain lines from the upstairs bathroom do share a common wall with the downstairs powder room sink.
I called in a plumber who tried to perform a smoke test. The whole house clean out is just outside the downstairs powder room on its outside wall. The problem we encountered was that the pressure the plumber put on the lines pulled the water from the toilets into the pipe. Therefore the smoke that did enter the lines just entered into the bathrooms through the toilet bowl. He tried the smoke test a number of times unsuccessfully. He then ran a camera through the lines. (Both upstairs' bathroom vents and downstairs vents & under the slab in the small bathroom). He didn't find any obvious flaws except for a nail in the downstairs‚Äô powder room vent stack. We opened the wall and repaired the vent, however the smell came back the next day.
The smell seems to be worst in the mornings and evenings... and I am beginning to suspect that the problem might have to do with the downstairs powder room sink or upstairs bathroom.
The plumber‚Äôs first visit cost me over $800... and we have not eliminated the problem.
What should my next step be?
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