Bad Odor in New Basement Bathroom

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  • This topic has 3 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 16 years ago by daddy11ac.
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    • #279494

      Hi. I have an odor in my new basement bathroom that I can’t quite trace. Let me give a quick summary.

      There was an existing bathroom with a raised concrete slab in it to have the drains above the sewer line. But we couldnt really stand in there. We jack-hammered out the concrete, jackhammered some more and installed a sewage pump. We ran all the drains for the toilet, sink, and shower to this pump. NONE OF THESE ARE INSTALLED YET THOUGH.

      While jackhammering up the concrete slab, we exposed the main sewage drain line. There was a small joint near the end of this line that the old toilet ran to. We cut the pipe and capped it. We also have tapped the drain from the sewage pump into the main sewage line, but have not completely connected it to the pump. It’s also capped.

      We also replaced the hot water heater in the nearby area.

      We get a faint smell…..not drop you to your knees, but something not right……only in the bathroom. The existing basement kitchen has a french drain. I also ahve two other sump pumps for water in a flood area. They work fine.

      So, I have exposed my main sewage line and added a new drain into it, and this is capped. I also cut an old jint from an old toilet and capped that. Can this smell be anything else but the two points where I interacted with the main line? I’m quite sure I didn’t hit the pipe when jack-hammering the concrete that covered it, but can the vibrations alone cause such a big pipe to crack? It’s 50 years old.

      OK, said enough, any help or tips on how to solve this would be great. I read something about smoke tests? Is there a meter or some other way to find a leak or source?


    • #301013
      Retired plbg1

      You installed a tank and pump for sewerage. The sump pit has to be vented to outside seperate, the Plumbing you put in has to be vented, you cannot connect vents together because the sewer gas will bypass into sump, there might be a vent open are the caps you used were not put on good, what kind of pipe you got, if you can rig it up you could put water test on pipe, let me know if you could send me a drawing I couls answer better. ( Subject Plumbing)

      Art retired plbg

    • #301014

      If your building drain is cast iron then yes, the vibrations of the jackhammer could have caused a crack (could also happen at a PVC joint but not likely) or your caps may not be gas tight. In order to do a smoke, peppermint, air or water test, you’re either going to have to isolate the underground from the rest of the house or cap/balloon off your existing drains and vent terminals. This could wind up being more than the average DIYer is up for.

    • #301015

      Thank you both for your replies. I had my plumber come back and unlike me, he’s not suffering from allergies, and was able to discover that the smell is coming from the cap he put on the toilet arm that we cut.

      Like I said, its there, but not overwhelming, and a stuffy nose misses it. So I think I know what the problem is.

      I also want to thank you both for your replies. It’s good to know that there really are people out there who take their own personal time to help others…….so thank you again.

      I think I learned more about sewers yesterday just reading the threads than I have in my lifetime.


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