Re: Septic smell in house only when fire in fireplace
Posted by More on October 14, 2001 at 23:53:10:
In response to Re: Septic smell in house only when fire in fireplace

Hot air rises. Septic tanks breed bacteria and the waste breakdown causes hydrogen sulfide gas. The fireplace draws the cooler air in, and around the house, downward toward the fireplace opening. The newer "tightly built" homes utilize a vapor barrier that should prevent and septic gasses from entering, and also often utilize a supplemental combustion air intake to supply the air to the firebox. That fireplace roaring fire causes the supplemental air intake to try to suck the hydrogen sulfide gas into the living space. This is not good. Check with the builder to see if the sewer vent can be extended or re-located, or the firebox combustion air intake relocated, before trying to disconnect the vent and pressure test it.

: Hi,

: We have a septic smell problem in our house, only when we have a fire in the fire place and a still day outside. I understand that our house is a tightly built one. We guess that the fireplace draws the smell from our vent pipes as they vent above the roof top. We don't seem to have a smell in the attic, so it seems as though the smell may be coming down (or out) a cracked vent pipe somewhere. It there a test that plumbers can perform to check the integrity of the vent system? If it is fine, what other steps to you recommend? Thanks.

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