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Old 08-09-2010, 01:17 PM
 
11 posts, read 51,284 times
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Hi All,
A few months ago we moved into a house. The previous owners put in a bathroom in the basement which is below the sewer line, so they put in a sewer pump in the boiler room. The boiler room smells of sewer gas, and when the sewer pump activates, the smell gets even more intense. I put zep enzyme drain cleaner down the toilet, but it hasn't helped. I also put a silicone sealant around the lip on top of the pump, but is hasn't helped. The bathroom is frequently used, so it's not that the well has dried up. I'd like to solve this without a professional, so if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. If that doesn't work, I will call somebody, so if you know any reliable professionals around Long Island, NY with this kind of expertise, I'd appreciate the referrals. Thanks!
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
15,819 posts, read 31,771,034 times
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THe sewage pit should be completely sealed such that no odor can escape. Unless it was improperly installed or it is defective, then you probably have a leak somewhere in the sewer pipe. If the smell gets worse when the pump runs, then the leak is probably in the pipe that comes after the pump. Find the leak, replace that section of pipe and your boiler room will smell like lavender.

Is your washing machine in the same room? If so, check that as well. Sometimes when your lint screen gets backed up, you get a sewerlike stink from your washing machine. This woudl be consisten with the sewer pump running since the sewer pump will run to pump out the water immediately after the washingmachine empties out. It is worth looking into.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
6,772 posts, read 21,441,188 times
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Unless it's vented to it's own stack (to the exterior), or combined with a wet stack- you'll never fully get rid of the odor. The top pan can leak gas- not necessary at the perimeter but where the vent stack, pressure line, or power cord go through. The rubber grommets shrink, dry, and crack.
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Central Fl
2,901 posts, read 6,610,401 times
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You may also want to check to see if you have any other drains, etc, down there and make sure the traps are still full.

Sometimes S-traps will siphon dry, allowing gases to escape. (That's why S traps are no longer code). Floor drains can also dry up.

I agree with the others...they probably pegged it, but just wanted to add that it may also be other drains / traps.

Frank
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Old 08-09-2010, 04:29 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
733 posts, read 2,818,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K'ledgeBldr View Post
Unless it's vented to it's own stack (to the exterior), or combined with a wet stack- you'll never fully get rid of the odor. The top pan can leak gas- not necessary at the perimeter but where the vent stack, pressure line, or power cord go through. The rubber grommets shrink, dry, and crack.
BINGO. I've seen a number of sumps which were installed after the house was completed [usually basement remodeling] which were not vented. That guarantees a problem. Make sure it's properly vented to the outside - and make sure the vent, if there is one, is not obstructed - and you'll go a long way to eliminating the odor.
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:46 PM
 
11 posts, read 51,284 times
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Thanks for all of the replies. I've only been in the house a short while so you'll have to excuse my ignorance regarding all of the terminology. How do I make sure it's properly vented to the outside? There are two pipes that come up from the pump.
Also, the smell only comes from the area where the pump is. There is no odor in the bathroom even though it's separated from the pump by only a wall - so I don't think the odor is coming from the s-trap...
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:18 PM
 
4,806 posts, read 11,876,219 times
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I was going to suggest what faithfulfrank said--look to see if there is another trap that has gone dry (and then pour some water in it to prevent the gas from coming back up).
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
6,772 posts, read 21,441,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark813 View Post
How do I make sure it's properly vented to the outside? There are two pipes that come up from the pump.

One pipe is the discharge line- it should have a ball-type c*ck valve and a backflow preventer on it. The other is the vent. So, depending on when the pump was installed (at time of original construction or when b'ment was finished) the vent could be (actually should be) vented all the way to the roof through the walls and floors of the house. Or, it was connected to an existing DWV (drain/waste/vent line), or "wet stack"- and depending on where exactly the connection was made could be okay. Or if it was in the general proximity of an exterior wall- it could have been run there. But, to be correct it would have to be run up the outside of the house and above any operable windows.

There is one other scenario that I have seen (it may or may not be code compliant in your neck-of-the-woods); they run the vent pipe to highest point of the ceiling and install a Studor vent. A Studor vent is an air admittance valve; it allows air in to balance pressure- but doesn't allow air (sewer gas) out. They can fail.
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
5,454 posts, read 6,269,154 times
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Any suggestions for troubleshooting sewer smell from drain tile main sump pit-no basement toilet or bathroom involved? I cleaned out pit, discharge pipes, pumps and flushed the 3 drain intakes by the 3 basement windows. Used bleach and pine sol and odor has returned. I'm thinking of adding a vent in the form of a pipe since the check valves prevent the current 2 discharge pipes from venting (one main pump, one battery back-up) Smell is recent last 2 years have lived here 13 years.
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:52 PM
 
27,215 posts, read 20,644,600 times
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Is there a air handler in this space? Return grille?
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