Terrible smell in basement as water runs down from kitchen sink. Smell doesn't linger

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by mriceramblz, May 8, 2014.

  1. mriceramblz

    mriceramblz New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Colorado
    We have a smell problem in our basement ONLY when water from the above kitchen sink or dishwasher runs down the pipe. We have had smoke tests, pipes replaced, pipes snaked and snaked again, special plumber's potions used daily in the sink, bleach and other cleaning poured down the floor drain in the basement. Oh, and have I mentioned we have had the pipe snaked a bazillion times? After one snake the smell went away for a brief time, but then it returned. The smell is really sickening and unlike anything I have ever smelled (not like damp basements, empty P traps, etc). The smell only smells when kitchen water runs down the pipe, not when any other water in the house goes down drains. The smell does not linger at all. After the water stops running the smell is instantly gone.

    Numerous plumbers have come and gone without any idea on how to fix the problem. We've spent thousands of dollars on new pipes, tests and snakes, but nothing works.

    I am desperate to find a solution, as my indigent sister now lives with us and I planned to set her up an apartment in the basement. I can't do it until the smell problem is fixed. We live in a tri-level with a basement (four levels, 1970's model) and the basement is 1/4 of our living space that we can't use. This has been going on for years.

    Please help.
  2. edwardh1

    edwardh1 Member

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    South Carolina
    disconnected vent pipe hidden in a wall?
    are u on septic?
    when did it start?
    lots of remodelling over the years?
    well water?
    more info please
  3. mriceramblz

    mriceramblz New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Colorado
    We are on city water and sewers, no remodeling, problem started 5+ years ago. I don't know how to check vent pipes inside walls. We checked them from the roof and they didn't look clogged. But then again, we are inept at home improvements and we really don't know much about vent pipes (like where they would be located inside the walls, or how to check them)
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,811
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    With all you have had done, they should have found any obvious, or common, cause, which means it is almost impossible for us to diagnose it remotely.
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,386
    Location:
    IL
    Click Notifications up top.
  6. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,249
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    It might be necessary to open up the wall where the vent(s) are to find the source of the problem. The piping can be isolated and tested. Rodding a sewer line is not going to do anything to fix a leak, which is what you apparently have.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,811
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Smoke tests, which they say have been done, would detect a leak.
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