evasive septic odor

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    • #278796
      Avatar photoMasterPlumbers

        I have a septic system. I get a septic odor that has been very difficult to find. Apparently the leak is small and just enough to keep me guessing. I sniffed around but it eludes me. Is there a sniffer made to detect this type of gas? I have to find this leak before it gets worse. Frank C.

      • #299317
        Avatar photoJohn Aldrich1

          Frank C, Contact a Licensed Master Plumber, and have him, or her perform a “Smoke Test” to determine where the sewer gas odor is entering your home. JWA

        • #299318
          Avatar photoRichard

            Do NOT use a smoke test. As Sylvan pointed out, methane is flammable and odorless, it can also explode if you throw a lighted smokebomb in the line.

            The problem is with anaerobic germs that produce mercaptans or hydrogen sulfide. Since you have a septic system, you cannot remedy this easily with bleach. Find out from a licensed plumber what you can use. Don’t listen to John, he just digs holes.

            The Friendly Chemist

            [Edited by Richard on 12 December 2000]

          • #299319
            Avatar photoJohn Aldrich1

              Frank C, read the response that I just posted in regard to Bcull’s “Methane Odor” inquiry. Both Sylvan and Richard are apparently unaware of the existence of cool smoke generators used in a proper smoke test procedure. Richard is still trying to kill the microbes that generate the odorous gasses with some sort of chemical solution. These beneficial, anaerobic microbes are responsible for the digestion of the organic matter in the sewage flowing into the septic tank, and odorous sewer gasses are a natural by-product of this digestion process. Do not kill the microbes in your system. Find and fix the leak in the vent system. JWA

            • #299320
              Avatar photoRichard

                If John “the grave digger” bothered to actually read my post, instead of attacking it, he would see I said you CANNOT use bleach on a septic line, since the anaerobic bacterium are necessary for the septic tank to work properly. Even if you use a smoke machine, you don’t want your house stinking of smoke. Peppermint oil is more pleasing to the nose. That will show where you have a leak (if you indeed have a leak). I would ask a licensed plumber, not some fly-by-night with a spade shovel.

                The Friendly chemist

              • #299321
                Avatar photoSylvanLMP

                  Rich john is NOT a professional so please forgive this wanna be of a ditch digging firm.

                  He ONLY talks about SEWAGE as nothing else can enter his PEA BRAIN mind so dont confuse his stumble bum mentality with facts
                  [Edited by SylvanLMP on 13 December 2000]

                • #299322
                  Avatar photoJohn Aldrich1

                    Frank C, it is obvious that “Tweedle DEE and Tweedle DUM” did not read, or did not understand your original inquiry. Even a “ditch digger”, or “grave digger”, as these two idiots insist on calling me, can understand that you cannot locate the leak in your vent system with your sense of smell. You will have the same problem in locating the leak by using the peppermint oil test.

                    Tweedle DEE is now questioning whether or not you even have a leak in your vent system. Perhaps you are just imagining the sewer gas odor in your home. I, in fact, did read his post, and interpreted it literally. He wrote,

                    “Since you have a septic system, you cannot remedy this EASILY with bleach. Find out from a licensed plumber what you can use.”

                    The smoke from a smoke generator is not pungent, the volume of smoke that actually emanates into your home is small, and most importantly, it is visible so you can see from whence the sewer gas is leaking into your home.

                    As for the comments from Tweedle DUM? It’s comments like those that have earned him his name. His response has done nothing toward solving your sewer gas odor problem.

                    If these two geniuses continue to pick on me, and insist on calling me names, they are going to make me cry. My self esteem has plummeted as a result of their attacks on my intelligence, and my expertise. NOT(:>o) JWA

                  • #299323
                    Avatar photoGuest

                      FOR Sylvan and Richard,

                      Please do all of us a favor and stop with the personal attacks. I know none of you personally, but I did have a post a few days ago with a problem with my drain field. I did get a reply from John which I confirmed with 2 other local Master Plumbers. His assessment of my problem was correct and it saved me money and time. We (the inexperienced) are looking for solid advise not insults and attacks on others that are just trying to help.
                      If you have nothing positive to say then just “say nothing”.
                      Thank You.

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