- This topic has 4 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 21 years, 1 month ago by hj.
10 Apr 2000 at 7:28 pm #278509Anonymous
My wife and I just purchased a 34 year old house that has a sewer smell problem that is either a vent problem or roots going through the pipe in the yard problem. Since we are new home owners and since taxes are due at the end of the week, we really don’t have a dime to our name. I was just wondering if one of you master plumbers could give me just a ballpark idea of how much a new vent would be or clearing out the piping. Hundreds? Thousands? That way we can start saving, with clothespins firmly afixed to our noses.
Also, what’s a good thing to look for or ask for when hiring a plumber? And where’s the best place to find a plumber that’s decent in our area, Crofton, MD?
10 Apr 2000 at 8:29 pm #298656SylvanLMP
How do you know for sure it is a vent or root problem? It could be as simply replenishing the trap seal (fill with water) a floor drain or other seldom used fixture.
You could try pouring bleach down the main sewer line to see if that helps as a stop gap in the mean time.
When you get some money set a side call a Licensed Master Plumber to snake out your main sewer BOTH directions and watch him/her and see if anything is retrieved.
If nothing (roots) then forget about any routine cleaning BUT if roots are found have your drains cleared once a year. DO NOT waste your money on chemicals.
Make sure your plumber is licensed and not some “tech” dabbling in plumbing/drain cleaning ASK for a Masters license number. You should also ask for an approximate price over the phone for a main sewer snaking. ( I charge a minimum of $125)
If you do have a major problem a video inspection (normally $500) can tell you exactly what your trouble is.
Dont panic as your only guess what could be wrong. Good luck.
11 Apr 2000 at 5:37 am #298657Lane
Sylvan’s from NY where prices are generally higher A more typical charge for sewer line cleaning might be less than $100. Camera inspection about $150. The rest of his advice is very good, you’re assuming a certain problem without experience or basis to make that assumption. Call a local drain cleaner and get a professional opinion.
13 Apr 2000 at 1:09 pm #298658hj
You have picked the two problems that should not have any bearing on the symptoms. Roots in the yard will cause a sewer backup, but not sewer gas odors. And the number of plugged vents I have come across in the past 50 years is just one and that was because the plumber did not remove his test plug. Vent odors are more likely to be caused by the vent not going through the roof, a cracked vent pipe or fitting, or a dead animal somewhere (not sewer gas but smells like it).
14 Apr 2000 at 3:35 am #298659hj
And just to get you thinking about other possible options, I had a customer who insisted that he had abroken vent pipe. After checking every option, including checking the tub drain under the floor, I had to go get some addition equipment to make a rather esoteric test. I had been working with the bathroom light off, but had turned it on and forgot to turn it off before I left. When I returned he told me that the odor had started to appear a few minutes previously. When I smelled the odor, I told him it was burnt plastic from his light fixture. He had used an oversized bulb at one time and scorched the plastic socket. Everytime the light was left on for more than 10 minutes the odor would be reactivated. I replaced the fixture and the odor was gone. So do not assume the odor you have is necessarily coming from a broken pipe. Check all options first, even if you have to pay a professional to check it.
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