I might have sewer gas in my home

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  #1  
Old 01-01-14, 09:23 PM
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I might have sewer gas in my home

The smell is like...rotten eggs. Changes in intensity. Smells the worst in basement area but I couldn't see a single leak down there.

What is puzzling me is that it gets to the furnace and gets shipped via heating (even air return) ducts to the whole house. I couldn't notice and smell at any sink, bath etc. Its basement. How does it get up through duct work? I have no A/C and natural gas and CO has been ruled out.

Also are there any hydrogen sulfide/methane detectors to buy at local stores? The smell sometimes can be heard outside but I doubt it can get so severly inside the house through return air duct. Right now there is no much smell upstairs but it changes during the night.

The vent on the house looks covered with snow but so does almost every townhouse in the complex.

Any ideas what it is or what to do?
 
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Old 01-01-14, 09:32 PM
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If there is a floor drain in the basement, pour a bucket of water down the drain and see if that helps. Maybe the trap has gone dry. HVAC can suck return air from the basement and circulate it.
 
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Old 01-02-14, 01:03 AM
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I did that on day 1 when I moved in here, the drain wasnt used and was even covered with a carpet and with a spider web that looked like a lid. So I poured 3 big pails of water but no use. Unless there is another drain hole there as the place is all covered with pieces of carpets but I doubt there is as the townhouse is newer.

People occasionally smell sewer gas outside like 10-20 feet away from the door but it would have to be right next to air duct to enter my home.

And since the originates (or is worst) in the basement, it has to be down there. All sinks/bath tubs seem good. I took a flashlight and inspected all the visible basement vents and smelled every inch and-nothing. And the basement doesn't have the worst part where it smells, its same all over.

When I made my thread 4-5 hours ago the smell was OK. Now it is burning my eyes.
 
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Old 01-02-14, 05:27 AM
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All we can suggest is the least obvious, and you are covering the bases pretty well. Is there a laundry in the basement? If it isn't being used, put some RV antifreeze in the stand pipe. It won't evaporate like water will. Are there any Studor vents under the sinks? Is the basement finished or can you see the vent piping going up?
 
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Old 01-02-14, 05:49 AM
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If your furnace has a PVC intake and exhaust pipe, I suppose it's "possible" that something crawled into the intake vent and died. But not likely.
 
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Old 01-02-14, 05:49 AM
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I have to say...are you sure it's sewer gas? Rotten egg smell says natural gas to me. I know you said it was ruled out.

I'm wondering if a break in a sewer line could cause that?
 
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Old 01-02-14, 06:55 AM
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I'm with Vic on this one. Rotten egg or sulfur sounds like natural gas to me as well.

Just my Canadian 2 cents (but we got rid of the penny, so round down to 0).
 
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Old 01-02-14, 07:24 AM
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Call your gas co from a neighbor's phone....now. You do not want to mess with a gas leak. If it proves negative we can continue.
 
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Old 01-03-14, 07:14 PM
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I was following this thread, but the OP hasn't been back since yesterday. I am wondering if the OP maybe could have had a plumbing vent freeze over causing water to be sucked from the traps in the house and allowing sewer gas to enter the home. I saw this happen once on a house that had only a single 1 1/4" plumbing vent.
 
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