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  1. #1

    Default sewage smell inside new home

    We completed a new home about a year ago. Sometimes when it rains, our client smells a sewage smell in the house. The smell has come from different bathrooms, even ones with a different vent. The smell can also, sometimes, be detected outside. The lot is fairly exposed to the elements.

    Does anyone know if there is a way to prevent this. (the clients have made shure that the p-traps are not dry.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Branford, CT 06405
    Posts
    3,673

    Default Re: sewage smell inside new home

    If you know the p-traps are not the problem there is only one thing I can think of. Raise the vent pipe at the roof. Sometimes when the breeze blows it can push the air above the house toward the ground. I had this a few times with my own house until I added a foot to the pipe. There was no particular pattern to this happening, but it seems to have something to do with barometric pressure and the temperature of the air layers above the house. You say it's only when it rains? Your issue could be different, but when it rains the air is usually heavier so vent odors may not be able to rise.

    A plumber friend provided this solution which was a cheap fix!
    Take Care

    Jim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    massachusetts
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: sewage smell inside new home

    most often when you have a sewer smell from your bathroom the cause is from your wax seal at your toilet.To check this the toilet should be removed.When the toilet is removed also check to see if the flange is mounted on top of the finnished floor,not the sub floor,Some installers will use double wax seals or spacer flanges caulked together to get the right hight.This way is just poor workmanship..
    Are you on septic or sewer?
    The vent going through the roof should be 3" or 4" depending on location, climate . There maybe also a 2" vent poping up through the roof,depending on the layout.These vents should be 18"to24"above the roof.The vent souldnt be under an overhang or to close to air intakes or windows.Check in the attic to see if maybe a plumbing vent has come disconected,cut,broken.Can you smell that smell in the attic?Please let us know what you find.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    N.CA
    Posts
    277

    Default Re: sewage smell inside new home

    I don't know if this would cause the smell, but have you checked to see if any of the roof vents are capped? The lower ones are capped at top out for the water test. Sometimes a cap is left on by accident.

    --Fred

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: sewage smell inside new home

    I know checking the vents on the roof has already been mentioned but I just wanted to tell about an experience I had with this. I remember visiting a friends "cabin" (one of those $600,000 cabins) in the mountains and the bathroom in the basement had a horrible sewage smell. My friend could never figure out the cause of the smell. I couldn't think of anything either. After coming back from snow mobiling, I noticed his roof was covered with snow. At that moment I realized that all the vents on the roof were covered with snow. I didn't know much about plumbing, but I thought that maybe that was causing suction and draining the traps. I mentioned this to my friend. He had the vents on the roof extended and he had no more problems. I realize that everyone here probably would have found the problem really quick, but at the time I felt pretty good that I figured it out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: sewage smell inside new home

    It only happens when it rains? Hmmm. Basement or crawl space? Is the smell definitely coming from the bathrooms or does it seem to permiate the wole structure? What type of soil is the house built on? I heard of a case once where the basement floor had to be vented. I don't remember the specifics. Have you tried running water down the vents? You should be able to run a hose wide open in a proper installation.
    Last edited by jrsavoie; 11-13-2005 at 10:41 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: sewage smell inside new home

    Is the cabin on a drain field or municiple sewer? If the drain field is too shallow, the rains may be causing the drain field to become saturated, thereby bringing sewage to the surface..........Joe

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Oakland California
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: sewage smell inside new home

    I have had this problem with a recent job we were working on. What we found out was there was an old septic tank that was not properly filled and taken off line. Every time it rained the water brought the smell up under the house. We found that there was not enough vents and we created a French Drain three feet deep around the house. That was enough to keep ground water from enter the area.

    I do not believe with the information I read that it has anything to do with the vents, since it only happens when it rains.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: sewage smell inside new home

    Hi,

    You didn't use straw to insulate the foundation and then leave the straw in place when you backfilled did you? If you did, you might have a bunch of rotting organic material around that foundation.

    Not sure why a rain would cause the smell to get into the house, but it's a longshot if none of the other suggestions reveal the cause.

    ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

    Mike

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