Sewer gas smell on second floor for past week.

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  #1  
Old 03-11-14, 08:27 PM
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Sewer gas smell on second floor for past week.

The smell is not constant it comes intermittently almost hourly. Sometimes it is stronger then other times. It is almost certainly not a dead animal. The bathroom sink drain, the shower drain and toilet all have water as they should to keep sewer gases out. Also I smell no odor from those drains.

I just replaced the wax ring on the toilet tonight. The toilet was the culprit and I thought I had solved mystery. But the smell is back. It is coming from under the sink in the cabinet where the piping exits into the wall next to the toilet. The smell also comes up through the floor boards in my office closet which is next to the bathroom.

I have been on the roof and found an old wet wasps nest in the vent I cleared part of it the rest fell into the pipe but I am not sure if that was enough to prevent the sewer gases from passing. I am also hooked into the city sewer system not a septic tank.

Any suggestions? They are much appreciated.

Thanks
Oakey
 
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Old 03-12-14, 05:56 AM
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Is there any way you can get below or into the wall cavity to see the in-wall piping for the suspect sink? I wonder if you have a cracked or broken pipe. How old is your house? Is the drain line steel or PVC?
 
  #3  
Old 03-12-14, 10:19 AM
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The house was built in 1885

That was the original structure. Since then there have been several additions. The plumbing under the bathroom sink is PVC, The toilet drain PVC and the Shower pan is piped with PVC the vent looks like it is made of metal. If I tracked the correct vent into the attic and out onto the roof.
 
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Old 03-12-14, 04:12 PM
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In older homes I often see horizontal steel pipes rust out along the bottom. The leak is spotted in the pipe protruding from the wall so someone unscrews it and screws in a short PVC section which takes care of the visible part. The repair works OK if the pipes in the wall are vertical but if there's a horizontal run it's possibly leaking inside the wall. Your PVC toilet and shower drain lines hopefully indicated that the pipes in the wall were also upgraded at the same time. I've never run into a steel, vertical vent pipe that has rusted through so it's probably OK.
 
  #5  
Old 03-12-14, 07:47 PM
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I took the toilet off again.

removed a piece of paneling from the wall, cut a hole in the sheet rock and found all new PVC back there. There was no smell of sewage in this area which is under the stairs going to the third floor. There was still the smell of gas under the sink and in the floor boards in my office? When I removed the first floor access panel to the second floor shower I got a heavy smell. I am lost here. The raised toilet area seems to me enclosed on the bottom by the floor. I reached my hand through the wall to feel under the platform it's enclosed so I am wondering if there is a crack in that toilet drain pipe letting gases leak out? Where else would this be coming from? The first floor sinks, toilet and shower are gas free. The basement is gas free the attic is gas free.

Any thoughts?
 
  #6  
Old 03-13-14, 05:28 AM
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It sounds like your nose is leading you in the right direction. It could be a water leak from the shower causing mold & mustiness that smells like sewer gas. I also had one where the rubber boot sealing the vent pipe on the roof had cracked allowing water to sometimes run down the vent inside the wall. The water got to a floor and spread out between the sub and finished floors. For months there was a smell where I could not find the source. Basically, just go through checking everything even if it seems unlikely. Something is causing the smell and it probably is from a leak of some sort.
 
  #7  
Old 03-13-14, 07:07 AM
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I don't think this is mold.

Only because it comes and goes. I flushed the PVC vent over the new extension with a hose. I did it for a while no leaking anywhere. Since this is on the second floor I am finding no issues with leaks either. The shower pan is dry in the second floor no leaks. I will keep looking.

Thanks
 
  #8  
Old 03-13-14, 07:36 AM
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Intermittent... does it seem to coincide with periods of rain, snow or melting (I know, stupid to ask with this winter's weather)? Maybe it only smells when it's wet. An ice dam or snow melting may be letting water get in somewhere.

If you suspect that it might be the toilet wax ring, even though you've already replaced it, I have had good luck with Sani Seal rings. It's a big, green squishy foam rubber that I've had luck getting to seal when traditional wax rings wouldn't.

 
  #9  
Old 03-15-14, 01:00 PM
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No, intermittent meaning it happens at different times of the day over the past week. This has been the first time we have ever experienced sewer gas smells in this house. I will purchase that ring thanks.
 
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