Basement sewage smell

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  #1  
Old 06-14-20, 07:01 AM
Z
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Basement sewage smell

Not sure where to post this.

my family has complained a few times about a sewage like smell in our finished basement.
happened again today, which I have confirmed.

Wondering if anyone has any ideas of the source.


some details:
- bungalow with finished basement (also has a walkout)
- lakefront home
- municipal water and sewer
- heat pump and a/c - no gas
- active sump - although I havenít heard it much lately. It rained here on friday
- did a load of laundry today
- no basement floor drain
- ran the water in all basement sinks/shower after discovering the smell (maybe the traps were dry?)
- smell seems strongest at the west end of the basement (located below 2 main floor bathrooms)
 
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  #2  
Old 06-14-20, 07:24 AM
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How old is the house/plumbing system?
Unfortunately a sewer smell can be from a plumbing issue, or it could be from other things too. I had an issue where mildew/algae in the AC condenser drain would get sucked into the AC when it was running, and smelled like something had died. Some bleach down the condensate line would fix it for a while.
Similarly, mold or whatever growing in a sump that isn't used often can cause awful smells.
Plumbing vents can too be an issue, though unless the plumbing was installed completely incorrectly, or a pipe broke, it's less likely.
 
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Old 06-14-20, 07:29 AM
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House is 40 years old.

a/c currently not running.

should clarify...sump runs multiple times a day.....although not hourly like during the spring.

 
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Old 06-18-20, 08:31 AM
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Smell returned today when the washer/dryer was operating.

perhaps we should move this thread to large appliances.

Definitely seems related to the clothes washer.
 
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Old 06-18-20, 10:17 AM
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Hmm, not sure why the clothes washer/dryer would be making that smell though. Unless there is something inside causing it. I would look into it to see if maybe there is a dead mouse or other animal. Something similar happened to a friend of mine, he ended up finding a dead mouse inside his dryer. Another time we found a dead mouse on the engine of our RV. We didn't know for a while, so there was a really awful smell. I can see it being confused with sewage maybe.
 
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Old 06-18-20, 10:23 AM
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Iíll need to isolate washer and dryer usage next time to see which one is causing it,

I did run a ďsanitizingĒ cycle in the washer according to the manufacturers directions.

we donít use bleach every week so maybe some bacteria is building up in the washer, down pipe or trap?

if you google sewage and washer, there are quite a few hits.....most seem to say clean the washer and and trap with straight bleach.
 
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Old 06-22-20, 01:50 PM
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Smell was back today, and even though we did laundry, the smell was Definitely coming from the room located below the main floor bathroom. Now I donít think itís laundry related.

the ceiling is finished in drywall, but there is a hole cut in the ceiling (covered by a return air grate). Its covering the bathtub trap. I guess there was a leak or a new tub put in that required the ceiling to be cut open.

stuck my face in the hole, but I wouldnít say the smell was any worse.

Iím super perplexed. Whatís causing this and why does it only occur from time to time?
 
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Old 06-26-20, 09:53 AM
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Hi, can you see above the ceiling to where the toilets are located, could possibly be the wax ring has somehow deteriorated and leaking water through the floor, are the vent pipes on the roof clear, no nests etc.
Geo
 
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Old 06-26-20, 10:24 AM
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I canít see the area directly below the toilets...the floor joists are in the way. They only exposed area in the ceiling is where the tub drain is.

never thought about the toilet wax rings.....wouldnít the smell then be there 24/7?
 
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Old 06-28-20, 02:55 PM
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Dead Animal

Sorry about the smell in your basement. the only thing that I can add is that if the smell is being caused by a dead animal it should not last more than 2 or 3 weeks. After the process where the body of the dead animal is decomposed, the oder goes away after two to three weeks. I have lots of experience with this because I own three houses here in the Bronx and I have unfortunately dealt with lots of issues with rodents.
 
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Old 06-28-20, 04:28 PM
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The smell is intermittent. The only I think I know for certain is the last 2 times we smelled it, the laundry was being done. Have yet to isolate the washer or dryer operation to determine which one, if either is contributing to the odour.
 
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