gas odor under house

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  #1  
Old 03-26-04, 02:23 AM
jafor
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Question Help! gas coming from under house

A couple of months ago I notice some kind of odorless gas inside of my house. This gas is similar to a very faint smoke or fog that is seen best when the lights are out with the TV or computer on at night. The gas looks like it is coming up from under the house, from the soil, and the sewer pipe. In addition, the gas increases considerably late night early morning. Could it be some type of mold, or radon, or a sewage leak?

The property is located just outside downtown los angeles in echo park. The house was built in 36. Lastly, the neighbor mentioned that previous tenants have complained about the fumes for years.

Any idea who I can call for help?
 
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  #2  
Old 03-26-04, 04:42 AM
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I would go to your local fire station and one of them will be glad to look at it for you. They also have plenty of meters for readings.
It is probably sewer gas, but who knows. Good Luck
 
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Old 03-26-04, 01:07 PM
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Like Jack said get some one to look at it right away.

Could be Nat gas and just up and blow Or just methane sewer gas that can just up and kill you also.

Ed
 
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Old 03-26-04, 09:32 PM
jafor
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Thanks for the advice.

?... If it was methane from the sewer do you think the leak could be deep enough for the soil to filter out the sewer smell? Natíl gas and hydrocarbon are both odorless and colorless but arenít they both flammable. I took a torch to it and I haven't made the news yet.

Any idea about the hazy/ smoky appearance it has coming out from under the house. There is also a slight musty odor. Could the gas be transporting some other element causing the foggy appearance and the slight musty odor?

I think I found somebody with a sniffer that can run a test. My concern about going to the fire dept or the city is that they may condemn the house. Is this a valid concern?
 

Last edited by jafor; 03-27-04 at 12:19 AM.
  #5  
Old 03-27-04, 07:10 AM
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At this point in time, condemnation of the house should be the least of your concerns. You need to identify this 'gas' ASAP.

Only when you know WHAT you're dealing with, can you decide HOW to deal with it.
 
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Old 03-27-04, 07:16 AM
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Hello: jafor

Gas company service personal in Echo Park are is available to help determine if the gas is natural field gas, methane sewer gas, radon or any such gas.

Call the number on the gas bill and request a service call to have it checked. Doubt it is natural gas used as a fuel or it would have the odorant added. Which remains dispite rising up throught the ground.

May be field gas which is not the refined natural gas produced for fuel usage in the homes. Field gas not likely either. Field gas usually has a strong odor of sulphur.

May be methane and or sewage gas. Could not know without testing, which is done on location at the site. Calling is the best method to finding out and safest means of doing so.

Gas company does not file reports on home conditions, etc to other agencies. Neither does fire department. Calling fire department likely to notify gas company.

Both work together when area odors are present. Neither file home inspection reports. Not within eithers service policies. Getting help is the number one priority at hand. Call them.
 
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Old 04-03-04, 02:15 AM
jafor
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Red face Help! Still getting gassed

The gas co came out with their tested for fuel and field gas. The guy said the tester probably not pick up sewer gas. They don;t test for radon or other gases. He only only seemed to know about natl gas. So, not much help with new ideas.

Anybody have a clue what my next step should be?
 
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Old 04-03-04, 08:56 AM
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They don;t test for radon or other gases.
You can buy a test kit for the radon gas Id try this for sure.

One other thing on sewer

Lastly, the neighbor mentioned that previous tenants have complained about the fumes for years.
Does anyone just comeing in smell it?????? After you have been around the sewer gas METHANE for a time you will get so you dont smell it at all but it can still be there .

What does the city hall say about it??????? call them .

ED
 
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Old 04-03-04, 10:26 AM
jafor
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just another question...

Is it possible for sewer gas not to have an odor? There is some gas coming out of the sewer pipe that is colorless and odorless. Seen when light is refracted through it.
 
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Old 04-03-04, 10:41 AM
jafor
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The gas is very subtle. It usually goes unnoticed until theyíre shown how to see it. I have become more sensitive to the gas, it irritates my nose I get close to it.

What department do you think would be willing to help with the problem? Sometimes problems can more easily be resolved with out the intervention of big brother (city hall).

Thank you for the ongoing support.
 
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Old 04-03-04, 11:15 AM
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Sometimes problems can more easily be resolved with out the intervention of big brother (city hall).
Still think I would call them and see???? Ask for sewer and water .

ED
 
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Old 04-03-04, 12:02 PM
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I've been following this thread with amazement. Jafor seems to be more interested in sneaking this problem past "big brother" than finding a resolution. Lucky for him that it probably isn't a flammable or expolsive gas - at least not at serious levels.

There are several agencies who could help here - either by identifying the gas or giving a reference to someone who can. You really need to quit trying to be sneaky and face up the the situation.
 
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Old 04-03-04, 01:23 PM
jafor
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Sneaky or cautious?

Dave, itís not about being sneaky, Iím just cautious when dealing with the city.
 

Last edited by jafor; 04-04-04 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 04-03-04, 04:54 PM
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Jafor:
I am going to repeat myself one more time, and that is all I am going to say about this matter. Go to your local Fire Department and have them come out with their testing equipment. You pay their wages with your taxes. They are professionals in this area. They are not big brother. if you do not do something about this gas, I think we will be seeing you on the CBS evening news.
The End.
 
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Old 04-03-04, 07:06 PM
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As a practicing engineer and building contractor, I suppose I should applaud jafor for his opinions. Folks who can't see when they're in over their head have made nice contributions to my bottom line over the years.

Tell me, jafor, do your family and neighbors appreciate your stubborness or would they prefer that you just get it fixed.

I'm going to unsubscribe from this thread now. My dear, late, daddy always told me it was useless to argue with fools.
 
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Old 04-04-04, 01:27 AM
jafor
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Well, I have gone to the fire dept, they do not have any testing equip. They told me to lie to the gas co and tell them I smell nat'l gas. Gas co. came out but they only test for natíl gas. This test came up negative. Neither the gas co nor the FD had any referral ideas. I'm waiting for the radon test to come back from the lab. The city water and sewer people are not open on the week end so I guess it's Monday for them.

In addition, Dave with all your experience and credentials you have yet to come up with any ideas or solutions. Except of course your compulsion to flame me with names, and boast about the profits you made from others that were/are probably looking to you for help because they were over their heads, just as I am now.

As far as my family or friends, nobody is living in the house, I just want to make sure there is no problems before somebody moves in.

I came to this site looking for help from professionals. So far most of the advice has been good, I just keep running into dead ends.
 
  #17  
Old 04-04-04, 06:24 AM
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Hello: jafor

Gas company nor Fire Department had no follow through. Gas company can find no natural gas or field gas and the service person had no followup.

Granted, gas company does not check for sewage gas or radon. But to simply say it isn't our gas, meaning field or natural gas and leave when the odor is present, if it is when odor is present while on the site, is amazing. Not the way it should be done.

Question now is, who is testing for radon? Private company? Who contacted a radon testing lab? Gas company or fire department? if the city and water department have yet to arrive on seen?

Neither gas company or F/D do that sort of testing, granted, but how a lab result can be pending if neither contacted a private testing lab? A piece of this puzzle is missing.

If you can see, visually as mentioned, the odor or gas is not likely to be gas. Never seen any gas which is visable at any time and or under any conditions of light emitting from any source.

If the interior of the house was recently painted, stained, vanished or finished on any surfaces using any oil or petrolum based products, a smell like diesel fumes can be present until surfaces dry and cure. May be that odor noticed.

Since there was no gas of any type found to be present by either gas company nor fire department, I am confidence all is well, no danger exists and confident in boths findings thus far. Rest easy.
 
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