septic smells from 2 upstairs shower & washer?

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    • #279238

      Hi – we have a new 2 story home and after taking a shower in either bathroom we get a terrible septic smell coming from the drain area. Our plumber insists he put in vents and traps in both and said maybe it’s the bathroom fans pulling out the smell!! Doesn’t everyone have a fan in their bathroom? Also if I don’t use the washer for a
      day we seem to get the same smell coming from inside the machine- help?! No smells come from the kitchen or from downstairs half bath. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.



      Rich & Eileen

    • #300338

      I have heard about traps that are “siphoned out” by negative atmospheric pressure transmitted to the traps via the venting system. This is usually attributed to high winds over the vent stacks on the roof, but I suppose it could be produced by a sufficient pressure differential between the room where a fixture is located and the outside of the house.

      Despite this plausible theory (it seems to make sense), in my more than 20 years of plumbing I have never found a convincing case that I could attribute to this mechanism to explain the septic odors.

      In all cases that present with your symptoms I found either an improperly designed waste/vent system or an obstruction in an otherwise properly designed system.

      You need to get a second opinion from a competent plumber.

      NtP

      » This message has been edited by John Aldrich on 22 May 2003

    • #300339

      Thanks Nick,
      The plumber(s) came back today, cut a whole in the floor of my daughters closet and found the problem. They said the pipe for the overflow in the tubs was not properly vented at the factory (modular home) and that is why we are getting the smell. They have placed a very large
      u-shaped pipe right where the waste comes out of
      the basement and said this should stop all smells
      from entering at all as it will be filled with water? What do you think? We shall call factory
      rep to look at bathroom pipes and hope this other method works. Thanks and we’ll keep you posted



      Rich & Eileen

    • #300340


      In reply to message posted by reperron:
      … They have placed a very large u-shaped pipe right where the waste comes out of the basement and said this should stop all smells from entering at all as it will be filled with water? What do you think?


      It sounds as if they installed a “U-trap.” This is a U-shaped trap, usually made of 4″ cast iron pipe or ABS, and which has two clean-out plugs screwed into the upper ends of the “U.” It was a common installation at the end of the building drain just before this went through the perimeter foundation wall to join the building sewer line. These large U-traps are no longer used, though you find them in older houses. They serve as a “final” building trap to keep sewer gasses out of the house, and they MIGHT fix your problem. Their main problem with them is that they tend to get clogged and require cleaning (hence the two clean-out plugs on both limbs). To work properly, these traps should be directly vented with a large bore vent, and they seldom are. They are no substitute for properly vented fixtures in each room of the house.

      Since you have a new house, you should expect it to be properly plumbed according to modern codes (UPC or IRC), and you should demand that it be so.

      NtP

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