Sewer Gases in house

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    • #278665
      Avatar photoMasterPlumbers

        We have lived in this house for one year. Abour 4 weeks ago I began smelling ‘rotten eggs’. It was easy to trace the odor to a downstairs closet that houses the hot water tank. It is also the central area for all of the plumbing. It’s curious, but I only noticed the smell in the evenings.

        We had been having some problems with the hot water tank – in researching, I read that if the alnon? tube is going bad in a hot water tank, it will emit rotten egg smell. We bought a new tank and had a plumber install.

        That night, the smell was still there. Started looking around in the closet and found an open pipe -stuffed with paper. We removed the paper and that smell flowed out. Plumber came back and sealed the pipe. He said the previous owners had rerouted the to the septic and just left this one open.Problem solved? No. Still smelled.

        I had the septic cleaned and inspected. They said it was in excellent shape. No problems from the septic to the house.

        So the plumbers coming back….again. He’s admittedly stumped. I’ve been told if the vent was blocked we would notice our toilets gurgling or not flushing properly. They flush fine. The odor is ONLY in the closet where the pipes are. I ONLY smell it in the evening or early morning or sometimes when it rains.

        AND IT ONLY BEGAN A MONTH AGO. What changed? What happened?

        After reading all the messages on your bulletin board I’m afraid my house is going to blow up and I’m going to get cancer. Plus….it smells gross!

        Jan Mauldin

      • #298995
        Avatar photowpc

          Have your plumber test your plumbing possibly with a smoke bomb this could find a broken line.

        • #298996
          Avatar photoSylvanLMP

            OK lets take it from the top. The smell started recently.

            Process of elimination.

            1-Go to every fixture and check your floor drains and pour a few gallons of water to replenish the trap seals

            2- If you have central air condition check the condenstate drain and if you have a small condensate pump add bleach and put it through this drain pipe to kill off the bacteria that could grow there (legionnaire)

            3- Check the washing machine trap as if any string or any other absorbent material that goes down this drain could hang over the crown weir of the trap and by capillary attraction (action) could syphon the trap seal out.

            The venting doesn’t sound like the problem as your not hearing a gurgling sound.

            The sound your actually listening for is like the following.

            Take a 2 liter bottle fill it with water turn it upside down and hear plop plop plop Now put a hole on the opposite end of the spout and WHOOSH no oxygen depilation as atmospheric pressure becomes equal. Picture words help

          • #298997
            Avatar photobungie

              how did he seal the pipe. Did he cap it or just put a bit more paper down it and concrete over it.

              To seal a pipe like that you should really use the correct cap, back pressure can sometimes be enough to push some gas past the concrete. As for the reason you can smell it at night and early morning is that the air movement is minimal at that time of the day. No breeze

            • #298998
              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]

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