Sewer gas mystery

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by lyn12, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. lyn12

    lyn12 Member

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    Location:
    Springfield, Illinois
    Help! Im sick from a year of breathing low level sewer gas in my house I purchased a year ago. Built 1965. Headaches, nausea, stomach ache and more. Google symptoms of sewer gas poisoning. I have it all. After Im away from the house after awhile Im ok. Ive had countless plumbers and sewer people out to find problem. No luck. Clean out put in outdoors. Sewer people cleaned from vent pipe from roof. I think they used a camera. Not sure. Plumbers smoked 3 times. Replaced wash machine trap under the concrete. Taped vents on roof as experiment. Smell got worse inside. Can smell outdoors also. My carpenter wont work anymore here. Bad sewer smell. Handyman quit. Bad smell. He feels sick here. One plumber smelled it when he got out of his truck from the street. Its outside too. Not many plumbers smell it as low level, so nothing is wrong...They put extensions on the vent pipe up to 3 feet tall for another experiment. No luck. The only time the fowl odor stopped was when the wash machine trap was being replaced. Once water run from machine to new pipes smell returned.
    Floor drain trap and pipes under concrete is all I can think of thats left? Im in process of moving out. I cant take it anymore and no way to stop it. I took down the duct work and removed furnace as I thought this was the source. I hired someone to install a furnace. Coil nasty. He put the furnace in the basement and worked awhile. The next day he said he was coming to back to pick up his furnace. And away he and the furnace went. Then I hired two other hvac companies to rehang my old clean duct work and they quit because they were overcome and couldnt concentrate in the basement. So I have no heat. I have a carbon monoxide detector and had the gas company out. Had my blood tested to be sure it wasnt CO.
    Do I need to jack hammer up the pipes and drain under the concrete and replace tap? Trap is not ever dry. I put water in it everyday. I measured water in basement trap before wash machine trap replaced and it was about 10" after about 6". Im moving next week because of the problem. I cant sell the house now.
    Thanks for any suggestions

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  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    If every trap is full of water, there has to be a leak in the piping. The plumbing system can be sealed and pressure tested, but finding a leak may involve opening up walls and/or floors.
     
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  4. Smooky

    Smooky In the Trades

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    The traps may stay full until you run the washing machine. If everything is not vented correctly and connected properly the traps can be siphoned. The washing machine drain may have been added some years after the house was built. Hopefully the repair that was done fixed any problem with the way the washer was trapped and vented. It is possible that the washer drain wet vents another fixture and could siphon the trap. Do you ever hear gurgling sounds at other drains when the washer is draining?
     
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  5. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

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    If you have a basement deep sewer, you can have a running trap installed in the concrete as the sewer leaves the building
    by the final clean out..... they are called running traps and basically keep any and all sewer gas from the main from
    even entering the home..... they used to be real popular back 75 years ago and in older parts of some eastern
    cities you can run into them once in a while....
     
  6. lyn12

    lyn12 Member

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    I never hear any gurgling.
     
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    I lived in a home that had a rusted through heat exchanger in the forced air furnace. I realized that our headaches were from the furnace.
    We replaced it and it was back to normal again.

    So you have pulled the furnace, and no relief. :(

    The homecenters sell gas testing devices that may help you track that down, the gas emmissions.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/General-Tools-Pen-Style-Natural-Gas-Detector-PNG2000A/100651812

    I have not tried this detector yet. Does anyone have a favorite that they like using?
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
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  8. lyn12

    lyn12 Member

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    I have a sewer gas leak, not a natural gas leak. That has been checked by the gas company. No problem
     
  9. lyn12

    lyn12 Member

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    What is a basement deep sewer? Sewer pipe deep under concrete? When clean out put in front yard it was deeper than usual and they had to hand dig after awhile. Running trap. What is involved in putting that in?
     
  10. lyn12

    lyn12 Member

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    I have no gas appliances left except for dryer and i turn gas line off when dryer off.
     
  11. lyn12

    lyn12 Member

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    Ill look into the running trap.
     
  12. Smooky

    Smooky In the Trades

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    A picture of the plumbing under your sinks might reveal some clues.
     
  13. lyn12

    lyn12 Member

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    It was not from the furnace. The coil was nasty. It took me tearing out 2 bathrooms, furnace and duct work, clean out installed, mold removal only to figure out it was sewer gas.
     
  14. lyn12

    lyn12 Member

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    It smells all the time. The was machine trap and pipes were original and looked good when taken out.
     
  15. lyn12

    lyn12 Member

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    The only sink is in the gutted bathroom and a licensed plumber did the work. Plus its been smoked. So I doubt that has anything to do with sewer gas. I have gutted most of the house including walls and everything is 100% exposed because of sewer gas.
     
  16. lyn12

    lyn12 Member

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    I checked into a sewer gas detector. They were $5,000
     
  17. Smooky

    Smooky In the Trades

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    OK great, that will make diagnosing the problem a lot easier if we can see everything.

    Only one sink? That seems odd.
     
  18. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

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    I am willing to bet one of two things ....... either the cast under the concrete floor is cracked
    and you need to just have a new sewer system installed from the street into the home
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2015
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  19. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

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    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
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    Well , I am sorry .....I just made an educated guess...

    I am willing to bet that all of the plumbers that have dealt with
    your problem have taken their money and ran.....fast.....

    maybe I am wrong and you need to just re-plumb the house from the
    street in with new PVC especially if you are really wanting to sell the house.....


    good luck.
     
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  20. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    Until you post some photos of the plumbing including the fixture traps and vents, we are just stabbing in the dark.
     
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  21. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

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    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
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    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    I am sorry folks but I think I chased her away.....
    she sort of lost it on me for saying it might be all in her head..

    sorry...
     
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