sewer gas

Home Forums Public Forums Drainage & Sewerage sewer gas

Viewing 16 reply threads
  • Author
    • #278435
      Avatar photoMasterPlumbers

        We moved into a six year old house six months ago. About a month ago we noticed a putrid odor that has gotten worse-definitely sewer gas. We’ve found no dry traps and replaced a wax ring on a toilet we thought was the culprit. The smell persists. It is exclusive to the second floor and distributed by the heat pump. The first floor is on a separate heating system and has no odor. The smell is by far the worst right after someone showers on the second floor. Does the steam make it worse? Where is this coming from? help help help

      • #298503
        Avatar photoSylvanLMP

          Check your fiters and the condensate drains


        • #298504
          Avatar photoGuest

            I am having the exact same problem, and am just as frustrated!!! We had our septic tank pumped, the seal on the toilet replaced, the vent stack checked for blockages (none!) and are at the end of our rope! We get the smell when we run a lot of water (shower, washing machine). My email address is [email protected] please let me know if you hear of any other options. Good luck!!

          • #298505
            Avatar photoGuest

              I am also having this problem. The odor is emitted after the shower on the first floor is used. I have had the shower drain cleaned and it didn’t help. Pouring bleach into the drain helps somewhat. HELP!

            • #298506
              Avatar photoGuest

                The odors may be a backup of gases from your septic tank, if you have one. If this is the case, this problem can be easily and cost effectively solved by the use of Bacteria Concepts’ SEPTI-MATE and SEPTI-SHOCK.

                When used on a regular basis, these products help to greatly reduce or
                eliminate bad odors from the septic tank, slows down the sludge build-up
                process, maintains proper biological activity of the septic tank and where
                applicable, keeps leach fields free-flowing. Thus, the source of the problem
                is targeted.

                If the odors are caused by organic waste build-ups in the drain pipes, you
                can use Bacteria Concepts’ DB-X100 on a regular basis to keep drain
                free-flowing and choke free. Since the live bacteria in DB-X100 degrade the
                organics in the pipes, the source of bad odors is also removed. For regular
                maintenance, a dosage of about 2 – 4oz. (60 – 120ml) needs to be applied
                into affected drain pipes, two to three times a week.

                We encourage you to contact us to order some product as a cost effective
                means to solve the problem.

                You will also receive detailed instructions on how to use the product to
                solve any problems you may be facing.

                Bacteria Concepts manufactures the highest quality bacterial products on the
                market. Each contains a scientific blend of multiple strains of naturally
                occurring active bacteria, which function precisely to solve a specific
                problem. The blend is synergistic, which means that all strains are
                compatible with each other and compliment each others activity. The strains
                are chosen to be highly resistant to disinfectants, sanitizers, and to hot
                water. This feature permits their use in any normal home, commercial or
                industrial environment without imposing undo restrictions on accepted
                methods or on personnel. All bacteria strains used are non-pathogenic (i.e.
                they do not cause disease) and thus, will not harm humans and pets.

                Bacteria Concepts products are non-toxic, biodegradable and hence,
                environmentally friendly.

                Best regards,

                Customer Service

                Bacteria Concepts, Inc.
                1400 Brook Drive
                Downers Grove, IL 60515-1025
                Toll free in U.S.A.: 1-877-BCI-DRBUG (1-877-224-3728)
                Tel: (630) 261-0061
                Fax: (630) 261-0064
                Corporate e-mail: [email protected]
                Web site:

              • #298507
                Avatar photobungie

                  Look in the trap of either the shower, basin, or floor waste. Regularly I come across this problem to find its just a build up of hair and soap in the traps, quite often because the tiler pushed his grout into the trap, given the bactiria a place to hid and grow. Clean this out and use chlorine to kill the bugs.


                  All advice is given with-out seeing the job, and hence all advice MUST be taken as advice with limited knowledge on the exact situation. NO responsibility can or
                  will be taken. And yes, I am a licensed plumber with my own business in Brisbane Australia

                • #298508
                  Avatar photoTerry

                    We have the exact same problem. We know its not a septic tank, because we are running into the city sewer. We ran an inline camera thinking maybe something was dead in the line or a broken line, but came up empty handed there… We want to know if there is anyway we can cap off the lines and put some type of colored smoke to determine if the odor is seeping through the walls, or floors. Also if there is any type of odor/gas detector we can use. Some one please help us with our dilemma… Thank you..

                  • #298509
                    Avatar photoGuest

                      It seems that you all might have the same problem of having a sanitary vent system that is not up to code. This is how a vent works. When your shower or toilet dumps water into your drain line, it must be vented to allow this water to continue moving through the piping. If you plugged up the vent that goes through your roof. the water would only trickle out of your sewer line; like putting your finger over the end of a straw, and lifting water out of a glass. If you take your finger off, the water flows fine. That water also has momentum, and can suck the water out of any traps that are upstream of it as it flows down your drain pipe. Especially if your drain pipes are all undesized, or you have a “wet vent” that is undersized. Any water that flows down the undersized wet vent will create a vacuum at any upstream drain lines, sucking the traps dry (after you shower or use the washing machine) I don’t know if your local plumber will be able to tell you what size pipes you have without teariing up your floors or walls, but if your house isn’t that old, the builder may have blueprints of what size the pipes should be.

                    • #298510
                      Avatar photoGuest

                        I have recently built a new house. From day one there has been an odor (definitely sewage)in the guest bathroom. It usually occurs directly after or during a shower. We have had the plumber that plummed the house come out numerous times to look and everything has supposedly checked out. They made sure there was water in the traps and that the vents were clear. The shower water is draining fine also. Need help drastically.

                      • #298511
                        Avatar photoSylvanLMP

                          Try a “smoke test” to find out if indeed the vents are connected and working. You can also have your drains water jetted to scrub the pipes to a like new condition.
                          If your hell bent on using chemicals try either Clorox or Pine oil and Arm and Hammer baking soda does work wonders also.
                          Most drain smells are due to a build up of soap/grease build up and CHEMICALS takes a very long time to work (if they work at all)
                          water jetting is fast SAFE, and clean and most importantly it Works. The mark up on chemicals is unbelievable so a lot of folks try to sell these products as I fondly call it “SNAKE OILS” why add a “chemical SMELL” to cover up some other smell? For heat pumps the coils should be cleaned as to remove any type of build up of dust (pollen) that maybe decaying and thus causing a sewer gas smell.
                          Good Luck


                        • #298512
                          Avatar photokirkcules

                            JGreskoff, is this vent thing a major ticket item? What’s involved with getting it up to code? We just moved into a new house (34 years old, new to us) and I pretty confident we are on a public sewer. We too have experienced a sulphur smell coming from the toilets, sinks, etc when we run a lot of water.

                          • #298513
                            Avatar photoGuest

                              You mentioned the odor being transferred by the heat pump. Two thoughts, check to see where the heat pump’s condensate drain goes – it might be directly connected to the sewer vent. If it is, check to see if it has its own trap which can dry out and allow sewer gasses to be drawn into the air stream. If there is no trap on the condensate, you’ll need to add one.
                              We’ve seen, more than once, vents that terminated in walls or the attic and they simply needed to be run to the exterior for venting the odors to the atmosphere. Had one once where the drapery folks had drilled holes through the vent stack while adding supports for large horizontal drapes!
                              Dave Yates

                            • #298514
                              Avatar photoGuest

                                We have a similar problem in our upstairs bath. Whenever it rains or snows, we smell sewer gas in that one bathroom, it doesn’t matter whether we use the bath or not. We have our own septic system. Our house is about 28 years old. Please let me know if you find out anything.

                              • #298515
                                Avatar photoGuest

                                  We have had a similar problem and we think (hope) we now have it solved. We only get
                                  the smell when the leaves have fallen. We think the wind currents are pushing the gases
                                  from our vents up the roof and into the ridge vent into the attic. Once there, they work
                                  their way down a plumbing chase to our foyer. Our house is in a heavily wooded area on
                                  a north-south slope. If this helps please let us know.

                                  [email protected]

                                • #298516
                                  Avatar photoGuest

                                    We have had the same problem lately but our smell seems to be coming from the drainage hole in the basement. It seems to only occur when I do a couple or more loads of laundry. Someone told me that the water level maybe low in the drainage hole and that I should pour water into it. I did this and at first I thought it was working but now that doesn’t even seem to work. We are on a septic tank system that we also thought maybe getting it cleaned out would help but that didn’t work. Any suggestions for a over the counter product that we can flush down the drain, I am starting to think it might be some sort of back gas from the septic tank, any other ideas?????

                                  • #298517
                                    Avatar photoGuest

                                      We are having this problem as well, and we are just about to start investigating in earnest. Our problem is on the first floor, not in the basement or on the second floor. Could someone please provide us with a step by step diagnostic check list for eliminating each of the possibilities listed in this post? What should we do first, second, etc., to isolate the problem?

                                      Also, are there health concerns associated with this problem? It sure doesn’t smell too healthy!

                                    • #298518
                                      Avatar photoTheLocalPlumber

                                        In all these cases, Sylvan has the best approach, a smoke test of the vents should be step # 1.
                                        When sewer gases escape from a wall vent or attic vent, they do not escape into the atmosphere above the house they escape into the house, closest to the broken vent. It would be more noticable right after drains are used.
                                        A licensed plumbing contractor should be able to properly diagnose after doing a smoke test of the venting system.
                                        Good Luck,
                                        The Local Plumber
                                        Tustin, California

                                    Viewing 16 reply threads
                                    • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

                                    Pin It on Pinterest

                                    Share This