Is this even to code? Homeowner with no previous plumbing experience needs help!

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by KieranT, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. KieranT

    KieranT New Member

    Jul 2, 2013

    We've had this problem since purchasing the home from the original owners (they lived in it from 1947-2009). There is roots in the sewage line going out to the municipal line so we've had that treated twice in the past four years. The bigger issue is the smell. It permeates the whole house and makes the basement almost unbearable. Something is very very wrong here. I would really appreciate it if some of the experts could take a look at the pictures and offer their opinion. Also, what should I do to remedy the situation? If it's beyond a 'never done plumbing before' person like myself, can you please provide me with the correct wording for a local plumber to resolve the issue.

    Question - Should the water heater be draining into a place where it clearly looks like there should be a cap?
    Question - Should it be capped?
    Question - Where the actual waste pipe is... should it be open like that? If not, what's the fix?

    I appreciate your help.



    IMG_1333.jpg IMG_1332.jpg IMG_1331.jpg IMG_1334.jpg
  2. Hairyhosebib

    Hairyhosebib New Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    I am hoping that the pipe in the floor is a trap. If it is dry pour some water in it and then pour a small amount of vegetable oil on top of the water. The oil will keep the water from drying out. If you are having problems with roots you might want to pour some root destroyer that you can get from the hardware store in every couple of months.
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; pour a small amount of vegetable oil on top of the water. The oil will keep the water from drying out.

    Not really. Evaporation will still occur on the outlet side of the trap where there is no vegetable oil.
  5. KieranT

    KieranT New Member

    Jul 2, 2013
    It is a trap but it does not have a cap on the clean out. The water heater is draining to the open clean out. The waste line to the main trap opening. None of it is sealed in any way. Its all open.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    A floor drain in many places requires a trap primer to be installed. I couldn't tell for sure, but the pipe from the WH appears to be from the T&P safety should never leak anything unless there's something wrong. As a result, water in the trap eventually evaporates, and you have a direct opening to the sewer. Pour some water down that open drain and see if the smell goes away. If it does, unless you have someone install a trap primer, you'll need to periodically, say every few weeks, pour some water down it. It is that water sitting in the trap that blocks the sewer gasses from getting into the house. This all assumes that that drain actually has a trap. Pour some water down there, then look in to see if you can see any standing water. If you can, it has a trap, and it needs to be kept full. If you're not familiar with a trap, just look underneath say your kitchen sink - that p-shaped plumbing device is the trap, and because of its shape, it holds some water in there, sealing the sink off from the sewer while allowing the waste to flow down the drain - there should be one in the floor drain, too. If there isn't, you need to have a trap (and probably a trap primer) installed.
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