Help, I think vapor is returning into my house from the septic.


Old 08-25-06, 06:28 PM
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Help, I think vapor is returning into my house from the septic.

Hello, I am getting a faint to occasionally noticeable odor in the bathroom area coming out of jacuzzi tub overflow and main drain.

So heres what I did, I used a removeable caulking on the overflow and keep the plugger closed even when not in use. I still noticed the odor so caulked the area of pipe at the washer outflow and the slight smell in the left sink of bathroom. Thought I had the temporary solution until later in fall when I could get it fixed.

Suprize was that the slight smell started to come from the right sink. There appears to be a very slight positive pressure from this odor.

Watching a episode of 'holmes on homes' on jacuzzi I went downstair and removed some floating ceiling tiles. Sure enough there is no trap under the jacuzzi, straight to main pipe connected to toilet etc. That being said, there is a shared trap under the bathroom sinks so if thats the case then there must be enough pressure to push the water backand allow vapors in.

What am I to do? New owner with a fixerupper but no real plumbing skills.

I will mention that the septic system was inspected and as they walked me through it, it was stated to be in the last 3rd of its lifespan but servicable. Tanks had been pumped out 9 months earlier and the house was not lived in during that time.

Does a septic normally have a vent pipe or something somewhere or should it? I can and will install a trap under the jacuzzi and possible the main pipe but will that solve the issue?

What I am uncertain of is if the smell is from the actually septic or just from the length of pipe prior to septic. I cannot tell if there is a final trap prior to septic tanks.

And of course the local bottled water guy that I got my cooler from that also sells softener systems etc said that odor is a serious issue.

Any ideas?
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Old 08-25-06, 07:28 PM
Vey is offline
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Try pouring some water down the Jac drain and sink drains and see if things don't improve in a day or two. Usually drains begin getting gas in them because they are too dry and aren't used enough. When was the last time you used the Jac?
Old 08-25-06, 07:53 PM
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Traps make a water seal to keep sewer gas from entering the room. Without a trap, you supply a straight line into your house. Sewer gas is dangerous. Usually contains Methane. This is formed by a mixture of chemicals that are poured down the drain. You also need a vent. The drain should go to the main drainline and before it reaches there, another pipe going upwards and then tying into the main line should be installed. This allows air to go into the system and also prevents a vacuum from being pulled on the drainline when other fixtures drain. The vacuum sucks the water out of the trap. Good luck.
Old 08-25-06, 08:28 PM
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Actually all lines are used all the time. My fixerupper is a jacuzzie tub with no shower, so i have a rubber shower hose attached. I improvised one handed shower.

Excluding the lack of a trap on the jacuzzi, I do see a pipe heading up but I cant see anyway obvious to see if its blocked etc. Though Ill take my small step ladder and at least look into the attic.

At this point in my new home experience I do not even own a full sized ladder.

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