Sewer gas smell from crawl space?
Posted by Holly on May 01, 2002 at 18:45:12:
There is a sewer gas smell in my house. It seems to come from the crawl space on the 3rd floor. It's worst when we open the door to the roof on the 4th floor; it seems like the pressure changes and causes the bad smell to come out of the plenum vents and the vents in the 3rd floor bathroom.

We cut a hole in the ceiling of the 3rd floor and had a look around. Sewer gas smell definitely comes out of this hole! Husband noticed that the sewer vent pipe ends in the attic, just stops, no cap, and it's not piped to the outside. There is a mushroom vent that goes to the roof, but the two are not connected.

I should mention that I'm in a condo, and there are three other units attached to ours-- you can see across them all from the crawl space and all of them have the same setup with the pvc pipe that leads to nowhere.

This alarmed us, so we had a plumber come take a look. He said the open pipe was legal and to code, and also that what we were smelling wasn't sewer gas.

I think he's nuts. Unless there is some other name for the gas that comes out of the hole in the floor before you put a toilet on it, or the gas that comes out of a sink drain hole before you put the sink's definitely the same smell.

The plumber told us we should call pest control. Again, I think he's nuts--the crawl space is right above our bedroom, we have cats and sharp hearing and I really think we would have noticed critters up there. Besides, the smell has been there for at least a year now. We just really started noticing it again when the weather got nice and we opened up that roof door. Wouldn't a dead animal of some kind stop smelling after a while? or smell worse?

Can anyone offer any advice as to what to do next? DH is patching up the hole in the bedroom ceiling but we can still get up there if we have to.

Thanks for any advice you can give.

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