Shared Vent For Ejector Pump - Sewage Smell

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Old 10-03-15, 12:45 PM
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Shared Vent For Ejector Pump - Sewage Smell

Hi all and thank you in advance for your help. I bought a house about 1.5 years ago - basement with full bathroom, 1st floor with kitchen, and second floor with full bathroom. The main sewer line is above the drain lines for the bathroom fixtures, so we have an ejector pit/pump (see diagram below). There is a pipe that runs up to the roof. At the roof level, it is a 1.5" ID vent. The kitchen sink (and I'm guessing the dishwasher) drain into the pipe. The ejector pump drain line also connects to the same pipe at a lower level. The vent line for the ejector pump connects in between the kitchen and ejector pump drain lines to the same line.

We mainly use the 2nd floor bathroom on a daily basis, and use the basement bathroom every few days/weeks. Just now there was a period of about 2 weeks where we did not use the basement bathroom. In addition, since we're on the east coast, the past 3 days we've had constant heavy rain due to the hurricane passing off the coast. I don't show it in the diagram, but we have a backyard drain that connects to the main sewer line too.

During the past 1.5 years, we never had any major smell issues from the basement, only minor smells here and there. I used the basement bathroom yesterday, first time using in about 2 weeks, and a rotten egg/sewer smell came from the ejector pump area. After airing out the house, the smell went away. But if I use the basement bathroom, I get hints of the smell from the ejector pump area.

When the ejector pump shuts down, I can hear a small amount of liquid pour or trickle back into the ejector pit. Does that mean the check valve is broken and needs to be replaced?

When flushing the basement toilet, the kitchen sink on the 1st floor makes a gurgling sound. During the heavy rain the last couple of days, the kitchen sink made the gurgling sound twice during the day without anyone even flushing the toilet. After the gurgling, the sewer smell came from the kitchen sink. Never had the smell come from the kitchen sink.

I had a plumber come out to look at the system. He checked the cleanout in front of the house and said there was no clog in the main sewer line. One of his suggestions was to try using the basement bathroom more often to prevent stagnant air in the ejector pit. His other suggestions was to cut the vent pipe for the ejector pump and create a dedicated vent line on the outside of the house to the roof specifically for the ejector pump. His thought was that the existing vent line isn't large enough to accommodate both the kitchen fixtures and the ejector pump. And that the ejector pump should have its own vent line so sewage air doesn't come back up and collect in the ejector pit.

I plan on trying to use the basement bathroom more often. And will use silicone caulk to seal any potential openings in the ejector pit and related piping. One note - when the ejector pump turns on/off, the pipes leading up from the ejector pit shake. Is it possible that this shaking loosened up some of the pipes and those need to be sealed as well? With the extra rain and wind we've had the last few days, could that affect the sewage lines and efficiency of venting due to the pressure changes outside? Thanks again!

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Last edited by panewhomeowner; 10-03-15 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 10-04-15, 01:20 PM
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Update: I used silicone to seal the lid of the ejector pit. Flushed the toiled in the basement today and the sewer smell came out of the kitchen sink on the first floor. Is it possible that the vent pipe is clogged and any air from downstairs can't escape? I plan on getting an auger today and will get up on the roof sometime this week to check. Maybe put a cap on the vent pipe to prevent future clogs if that's what it is. Any ideas?
 
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Old 10-05-15, 07:24 AM
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Update: Flushing the toilet in basement bathroom caused the water from the trap in the bathtub to be sucked out and created a gurgling sound in the bathtub. I feel like all signs point to a clogged vent stack, no? I read online that one way to clean out the vent stack is getting a hose up to the roof and pouring water down the vent with the hope that the pressure will push down whatever is causing the clog. If the water builds up, I can use an auger. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
 
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