sewer vent pipe stinking up backyard


  #1  
Old 07-20-11, 02:33 PM
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sewer vent pipe stinking up backyard

Hi guys!

is it possible that, when the full bathroom was added in our walkout basement, instead of running the vent pipe up through the roof or linking it to the existing vent pipe which i assume runs up thru the roof, they just ran it up the wall & out the side of the house? because there is a 4" pvc pipe coming out of the wall at what would be just above ceiling height (for the basement) and it's directly under our deck which comes off the upper floor & it stinks to high heaven in that area outside. what else would a 4" pvc pipe coming out of the house - horizontally - be for??? and this smell - reminiscent of the outhouse at Girl Scout Camp when i was a kid - wafts clear across our paved patio area & across the in-ground swimming pool, which is making for a very unpleasant (and embarrassing) summer of outdoor entertaining. i also think since this is all underneath an upper deck, the smell is being concentrated in the area. IF this is a sewer vent pipe, do we just need to add more elbows & lengths of pvc to get it redirected to the side yard & more upward? thanks for any advice!
 
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Old 07-20-11, 02:55 PM
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Hi.

It depends.

Could you see in the basement where this pipe goes?

Sometimes house traps have a vent similar to what you describe, but were cast iron material. But it could have been repiped during the remodle. But they could have tied the bath to that, and thats not to code.

If that is a vent for that bath its not to code.

No you cant add ells and divert it.

You should call the company that installed the bath and find out if they did it. They will be liable and should fix it. You can call the inspector. ( Did you get a permit and was the bath inspected?) The inspector would have caught that if it was done properly.

Also if it is for the house trap if you have one it may be removed with the trap if the town allows it. Some towns still require them.

Let us know.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 07-20-11, 03:07 PM
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thanks guys.

hi mitch, i'll try that. you mean plug it up so well that no air can escape from it? and then.....what? fill the sink up & see how it drains? if it's the vent pipe, should it not drain at all? or gurgle or something?

my husband got up on a latter & got his nose right up to the end of the pipe & he's 99% sure the smell is coming from that pipe. the ceiling in the basement isn't a suspended ceiling, so i'm not sure if i can see where that pipe is coming from or going to. maybe i can take the cover off the fluorescent light fixture in the adjacent room & see up into the ceiling space there?

we bought the house 5 years ago, and the basement was already finished. we had the house inspected, and this issue wasn't mentioned. so if it's not code, the inspector sure dropped the ball.

we didn't notice this horrid smell until this year though. why wouldn't it have smelled the last 4 years?? why now? the bathroom has always gotten infrequent use by guests, but recently my mom moved in & now it's getting daily use. would that matter?

i figured this wasn't up to code. why, exactly, couldn't we just add ells & curve it out to the side of the house, away from our entertaining area? i mean, i know it's not "right", but it would be "doable", wouldn't it?
 
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Old 07-20-11, 04:05 PM
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Do not plug anything please.

These could be flues pipes.

It could be a dryer vent.

It could be for the HWH/furnace.

A animal could have crawled in died.

Please trace the vent before you do "ANYTHING". You can be seriously injured or death can occur.

Take one step at a time.

Mike NJ
 
  #5  
Old 07-20-11, 05:34 PM
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I agree about not plugging anything until you know what you're dealing with. If I were in your position I would drain the vanity trap or the toilet bowl and use plumber's smoke to test the vent system. Just put the emitter in whatever fixture has the dry trap and see where the smoke leaves the house.

I'm not a plumber but I watched a plumber test a vent system that way on a multi family rental property.
 
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Old 08-04-11, 07:52 AM
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thanks for all the advice, guys. we ended up calling out a plumber & the offensive pvc pipe is, in fact, the sewer vent for this bathroom. they actually just ran the thing out the side of our house.

the plumber told us that our options are to either do major repair work & tie the vent pipe into the other vent pipes (which i'm assuming means tearing up ceilings & walls & floors), or add L's to the pvc and re-route it thru the deck above & up along side the house beside our downspout all the way up past the roof line.

you would NOT believe the stink this pipe is causing. granted, the pipe is only 8 feet off the ground right now, but i can't believe that just having the opening of the pipe up above our roof is going to make such a big difference. i'm surprised that the whole neighborhood doesn't stink because of everyone's vent pipes. :P

but anyway, thanks for the help. so much for inspections.....
 
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Old 08-06-11, 01:25 PM
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Vent pipes should be continued to a point above the highest opening window. (above the roof if at all possible)
If you have a vent pipe (and I think you do) that does not rise above the roof, then by all means extend it, they are not expensive, plastic is cheap and it is easy to do.
The heat from the system causes the gas to rise, keep in mind that at times of high pressure (those nice sunny days) the gas does fall back to earth and this is not nice.
Do check to see if the gas is falling back from another pipe.
If you can, move all vent pipes away from your patio.
 
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Old 08-07-11, 05:00 PM
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I'd ask him if you can downsize the vent. If it's only the vent from the bathroom, you should be able to get away with downsizing it to 2" PVC (which would look a lot nicer up the house than a huge 4" pipe). If it's the whole-house vent, then you may be stuck with the 4" pipe...
 
 

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