Someone please help (sewage gas)?

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Old 10-31-13, 09:59 PM
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Someone please help (sewage gas)?

Hi everyone.

Tomorrow I am officially moving to a new (old) house. It in a city not farm. I had to move here because where I currently live we got black mold and other stuff that landlord will not fix (yes I called health environment guys but it takes ages to get him fix it) and the house is also on sale so we had to move. (no heat either) So I had to take the "new" place. I have a kid with cancer so I had to run out and will deal legally with the now former landlord.

This is where I need advice. The new place is real nice except there is some smell like rotten eggs and it smells up half the house. So strong. It comes from the washroom downstairs. (Bungalow with basement and upper floor). I went in to do a good sniff but couldn't pinpoint if it is the shower, sink (old type) toilet or that hole in the middle where water drains into, not sure what it is called.

Perhaps the smell is too strong to pinpoint the cause but my wild guess would be the sink. Toilet doesn't move, it is firm. But I cannot say for sure. There were tenants before us there for like 5 mounts but they were young people and the place is too big for them. We are a family of 5. When I went to see the place I noticed the smell back then but I had to take it because comparing to where I live now, I had to.

I will call new landlord, I will call env. health and hopefully will pinpoint and eliminate the cause, but it will take some time and during that time i will have to keep my kid upstairs where it doesn't smell.

My question is, is there anything that I can try to do to eliminate or lesson the smell on my own? I do plan to pour some hot water in that hole and have the system run the water but is there anything else I can try?

Also, is there a hydrogen sulfide and methane detectors anywhere to buy? Im in Canada but we got some stores like Home Depot.

Thanks
 
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Old 10-31-13, 11:17 PM
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...or that hole in the middle where water drains into...
Do you mean a floor drain? If this IS a floor drain AND no one has bothered to pour any water down it in ages it could very well be the source of the smell.

Pour a couple of cups of water down this drain and see if it lessens the smell. Post back because we want to help.
 
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Old 11-01-13, 12:00 AM
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Thank you Furd. Yes it is the floor drain. Furnace is a few feet away perhaps makes it easier to dry. .When I was in there tonight, I let the sink run. It first got clogged. I thought that's it. Im calling the landlord first thing tomorrow morning but then a minute later the water started going through like totally. Just like if you are pouring it into bottomless pipe. If pouring water into drain and shower don't help, I will open the window, shut and tape the door until it is resolved. I will do the water tomorrow and will be back on the forum though, Im very worried.

Thanks again
 
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Old 11-01-13, 04:45 AM
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Just a guess.
When a sink runs like that it be it was improperly vented or the vent is plugged up.
Once that water starts running it sucks the water right out of the trap so sewer gasses can come out.
There should always be water in the trap to act as a check valve.
 
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Old 11-01-13, 05:27 AM
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how long was the place vacant?

If it was a while then any of the traps could have evaporated causing a smell. Once you pour water down the floor drain and start using the plumbing the smells might just clear up.

Also be sure its the plumbing that smells. If you say you went to all the drains and couldnt pin point it then maybe its not the drains.

Is there a baserment, crawlspace, attic, etc where anything could have possibly died?

What I would do is go out and buy some deodorant foggers, they sell them as bug foggers as well. Light them off before you put your things in (but if thats too late thats fine).

See if the smell returns.

On a side note, did you ask the landlord what the smell was? what did they say?

Make sure its not another mold problem your smelling.
 
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Old 11-01-13, 08:56 AM
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Hi everyone.

I just went there and the smell hit me as soon as I oppened the door. It is type of the house that when you enter, a few stairs lead to basement and a few up to main floor. It is quite possible that a dead animal might be stuck somewhere but the type of smell leads to towards washroom.

The sink is old type, it is ceramic from top to bottom so i cant see if the is U or P pipe below it. I let the sink run for 10 minutes hot water. (Again water disappears too fast)

The showet (standing type) has dirty floor and landlord said it is hard to wash she gave me some stupid excuse but I thought I can clean it. I poured water into shower floor and it won't go, then it slowly goes down. It is stuck with something.

The floor drain. I dont know if you are supposed to see any water in there? Last night I saw some dirty water like 4 inches deep. Today I poured a couple of pails of hot water and it went down (not really fast but much faster than shower) and I think the level of water returns to its 4" mark. I had no screwdriver on me to take a better look inside.

This place hasnt been vacant but I dont know which shower the previous tenant used as they are both dirty.

I will be there again in 4 hours from now and will see hows the smell but clogged shower warrant a plumber call I believe (landlords responsibility).

The worst part is that washroom is literraly connected to furnace/laundry room and there is only a few broken closet doirs in between lol.

I will post again today but am looking forward for any other DIY suggestions. I have crazy sence of smell, I have TMJD and any bad smell such as gas, mold causes my jaws to hurt.

Thanks everybody

PS, the previous tenants ( 3 or 4 very young people) lived in there WITH the smell. I know that because on Oct 14 when I looked the house I noticed the smell, asked landlords daughter what could it be, she didnt know. The tenant got used to the smell I believe.
 
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Old 11-01-13, 09:41 AM
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Do you have a forced-air heating system? Air conditioner? I had a mold issue in the condensate line from the AC. It only seemed to smell though when the heat kicked on after being off for a while. A bit of bleach down the condensate line helped. Also, if you have forced air heating, check the filters. I doubt they would cause such a smell, but worth a shot.
 
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Old 11-01-13, 02:19 PM
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Hi

It has no a/c. I don't know what is forced air heat system. It doesnt look any different than regular ones. It has humidifier set up.

So I went to see if the hot water helped. I think it smells worse now. Despite window open. The landlord was there so I told her this must be fixed. She said tenants (people before these young guys who left) always complained about drain and shower.

That bathroom had not been used for the last 6 months.

So the landlord said she has some insurance that covers electrical, plumbing and something else, and said they will call them to come on Monday.

(The sink has a U shaped pipe below)

Now I need your help to minimize the odour. Can I shut drain, shower and sink holes, like to literally to put something in it and if yes, is it safe?

Can we wash our clothes there I mean if it is sewer gas is it gonna effect the clothes like I have fear of toxic things because my kid is sick
 
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Old 11-01-13, 07:49 PM
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So I plugged the shower and floor drain. The smell disappeared. However, the smell is coming through heating ducts and more or less noticable in the whole house. I think the smell through the ductwork had been there all along but less noticable because the washroom was stinking horrobly. Now that I found the source of smell (hopefully) I am puzzled how does it come into heating ducts????

I haven't had the heat on sicne I closed the holes in the washroom. Could it be smell leftover thats built up or is it something else.

Furnace and duct cleaning will be done in 1 week
 
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