Sewer gas in bathroom


  #1  
Old 06-04-02, 12:50 PM
TessAngel
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Sewer gas in bathroom

We've been living in our home for 6 years and have been having trouble with sewer gas smell in the bathroom ever since we moved in. It comes up from the bathtub drain and the sink drain.
Our house is about 90 years old, with only one bath on the second floor. The bathtub drain backs up to the tub about 2 feet apart and the sink comes in from about 5 feet away. They then go about another foot or two to the outside wall of the house and then go straight down. The kitchen and sump pump drain comes into this stack and the whole thing goes about another 12 feet out to the front of the house, where we connect to a village sewer system.
We've had 3-4 plumbers come to try different things, but nothing seems to be working. We've tried replacing the toilet, we've checked the vent to make sure it wasn't plugged, the traps are pretty new (PVC)....we don't know what else to do.
Thank you for any help you can offer
 
  #2  
Old 06-08-02, 12:02 AM
D
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Are you 100% sure it's coming from the sink and/or the tub? Where is the vent located?
If your vents are close and clear and your traps are holding water, the smell may be coming from somewhere else. Are the drain lines tilted enough to drain your sewer to downstairs (especially solids from the toilet)? Is it possible that the floor or walls have been saturated in the past??
 
  #3  
Old 06-09-02, 11:56 AM
TessAngel
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I am very sure it's coming from the drains - if I smell it even a little bit in the room, all I have to do is bend over towards the tub drain or sink drain and it is very obviously the source.
You asked if the traps are holding the water - No they are not. That, in a nutshell, is the problem. But what is causing them not to hold water? We've had at least 3 plumbers in to look at it and no-one seems to know what to do.

The vent is right above the toilet. I hired a plumber to come in and he went into the attic and cut the vent pipe to check it for being clear. Unfortunately I wasn't home when he did it to see for myself, but he has a good reputation where I live so I assume he did a good job.

When we put in the new toilet last year we also put in a new vinyl floor. When we ripped up the old flooring, we found the sub floor is not in the best shape and does have a bit of a urine smell around the toilet, but it is not the same smell as the sewer gas - which as I said earlier is coming directly from the drains.

As far as the lines tilting enough to drain properly - the tub and toilet are about 2 feet apart and there is no sewage coming up into the tub - just the smell. To me that would indicate that it's draining OK. (please tell me if I'm wrong) But again, shouldn't one of those plumbers have looked at that?

Thanks for your help!
 
  #4  
Old 06-09-02, 12:08 PM
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Someone needs to go up onto the roof of your house, and clear the drain/waste/vent stack from the top.
There must be leaves, debris, a bird nest, etc. blocking the vent.
It may need to be snaked from top to bottom with a plumber's snake, and at a minimum, hand-cleared of what can be reached and flushed with a water hose sprayer.
When a vent is clogged, it will cause trap water to be siphoned out when water is running through the drains, allowing sewer gas into the home.
The d/w/v is an interconnected system.

Good Luck!
Mike
 
  #5  
Old 06-10-02, 12:42 PM
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Just like old guy said...

If your traps are not holding water, your vent pipe is clogged somewhere above the bathroom drains. Have someone snake it out. Because the vent is not allowing an air flow when you flush or drain the water flow, is in fact, siphoning the water out of the traps.
Remember if it's the nest of a Spotted Owl, Condor or Snail Darter you'll have to turn the house over to the feds!!!!LOL

Let us know what you find.
 
  #6  
Old 06-10-02, 01:23 PM
TessAngel
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OK - that's what I've been saying for at least 2 years - that the vent must be clogged. But I can't seem to get a plumber to go up on the roof. One guy went into the attic, cut the vent pipe there and inspected and supposedly cleaned it, but the smell is still there. Should that have been sufficient? The house is 90 years old and the roof is very high and steep, but it's still the plumber's job to go up there isn't it? Or is there another type of service person I should call? Someone mentioned that I should call the village because they take care of the sewers.
Thank you all for all your help.

Nancy
 
  #7  
Old 06-10-02, 01:53 PM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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The village, or any other government, takes care or ITS sewer lines only.
You have to take care of your own sewer and drain system from where it connects to their's at the street.
Yes, a plumber would normally be the one to go up onto the roof and clear the d/w/v stack, but if you can't get one to do it, you can hire anyone who WILL do it and rent a plumber's snake.
Clearing the vent from the attic may or may not get the job done. It obviously hasn't. Your vent must need to be snaked and flushed from the top down.
It may be less expensive to hire someone else, in any case. They will need a safety rope and a good ladder to get up on the steep roof and get the job done right.
Find someone with both. Do you have a chimney sweep company in your area, for instance? They should have all of the necessary safety equipment and ladders, and you just have to rent a plumber's snake long enough to reach from the top to the bottom of your stack. And enough water hose with a good spray nozzle to reach it, too.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
  #8  
Old 06-10-02, 02:41 PM
TessAngel
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Mike & Dan,
Thank you for your help - It may be a challenge to find someone to do it, but armed with what you've told me, I know what to do now. Thanks a million!

Nancy
 
 

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