Posts Tagged ‘smell’

Why Is There an Occasional Septic Smell Coming from My Kitchen Sink?

Question Asked by Lynette: Why is there an occasional septic smell coming from my kitchen sink?
We do not live on a sewer system. I am hoping it is not septic tank failure.

Best answer:

Answer by justcurious
you should have your septic tank emptied EVERY year. Some people don’t realize this. Check it out.

Answer by kevin
p-traps prevent odor and vermin from coming out the fixture. perhaps the smell is around the sink not from the sink. from outside perhaps?

Answer by lewis n 5 years old I’m 75
If you have a garbage disposal, squeeze a lemon in there, and turn the disposal on including the rest of the lemon cut up. Vinagar down the sink may help or baking soda. Give it a try you have nothing to lose. Vinagar once a month helps all drains. Hoyakins

Answer by thewrangler_sw
The most overlooked cause in a smelly sink, is actually that ‘P’ trap, sometimes called a ‘J’ trap. The way that trap works, to prevent sewer gases from coming back up the drain, is that it uses water to form a block. If there is no water, or not enough water, in that trap to form a seal, then the gases can come up through the drain.

Some drain/waste/vent systems are not adequately vented, for one reason or another, and a sudden drain at another location in the home, for example the washing machine, or toilet, may have enough suction, to pull the water out of that trap, or at least enough of it to allow the gases to get up the drain.

I would recommend that you take some notes…. what was going on in the home before you noticed the smell? You can probably figure out which other drain, is causing the ‘vacuum’ on the sink drain.

Simplest fix, of course, is to simply shoot some more water into the drain from the faucet….this is a quick fix, and will help you determine if this is actually the problem, and by following up on your notes, you should be able to determine which drain in the house it is, that needs more ventilation. For example, if you notice the smell more often after doing a few loads of laundry, on a regular basis…then you may want to look at that portion of the drain/waste/vent system.

For that… you may want to call in a plumber, but, if you feel comfortable doing it yourself, you would simply need to cut into the drain system near the one causing the problem, and run a stack up through the roof. Or, you might even be able to cut into an existing stack in the attic, and join it with the new vent pipe.

Good Luck

Answer by cowboydoc
More than likely you have a plugged air line to the roof. If your agile enough run a garden hose down the line and have your wife turn it on for a minute, don’t fall. Watch for water backing up in the sink also. It’s probably a hornets nest in the line.
Your other option is to call a plumber and pay the price. He’ll do about the same with a snake. If you have or can borrow a snake, try it.

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I Smell an Awful Smell in My Basement Room, Could the Septic System Have a Leak in It?

Question Asked by chips2481: I smell an awful smell in my basement room, could the septic system have a leak in it?
Lately I smell an odor like ^&*% in my room in the basement. It has gotten worse and worse lately. Could this be a leak in the septic system? I have heard that it is dangerous to have a leak since it could start a fire like natural gas would.

Best answer:

Answer by orchard
Oh gross. Um, do you have a floor drain in your basement room????
If you do : and it doesn’t have a cover on it, it may be letting the smell of stinky old swampy ground water back in the house. Especially if its connected to a perimeter drain around your footings.
Or: if you don’t have a floor drain, and your septic systems leach field is plugged up and your house is on a slope, it might be draining under your house, under the slab, under the rocks under the slab and coming up through a small crack.
You have to find the source of the smell. I can’t do it from here.
When’s the last time you pumped out your septic tank?
It might be over due. OR hopefully not, your leach field is in total failure.
Lets not get too crazy here, just go down to the basement and check closely were the smell is coming from.
Then go outside and sniff around your leach field too.
If you have a “french” drain that daylights somewhere, go check that that is not plugged up.
Good luck.

Answer by Tedruski
Here is your answer.
Look for round floor drains in your floor slab. If you have carpet on the floor use a strong wand magnet to sweep over floor and find the floor drains.
When you find them pour 1 gallon of water in each one. It probably is that your floor drain traps have evaporated all the water in them that normally traps sewer gas with this water in the traps. When the water evaporates then the sewer gas is allowed to dissipate up and out into the air in the room. This is most likely the cause.
It should be a simple fix, but make sure you locate them all.
Wait to answer until you solve the problem, I’m sure this is it.
Go do it.

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Q&a: Why Does My New Septic System Smell?

Question Asked by jmchenard: Why does my new septic system smell?
We had a new septic system installed last August. During the fall the smell was awful so we figured out the pipe on the roof was clogged. We unclogged the pipe and the smell got worse outside. Winter came and the smell went away. Now with the warmer weather the smell is back. What can we do? We have and Enviro system and heard that you can block the vent pipe that is in the ground. Will that help?

Best answer:

Answer by Wall S
call your installer there is a problem

Answer by Dubidiocho
I don’t know what a Eniro system is but there have been a lot of systems invented. Someone didn’t do something right,between the Installer and the Inspector. You definitely need to make the Installer correct the problem or pay for the correction. You may want to complain to the Inspector and make him come out and smell the problem. I believe you only have one year to act and then the contractor is free of obligation and his Bond is no longer in the picture.

Answer by me and me
call the contractor you should not have any smell at all if he doesn’t fix it go to the inspector and keep going to get it fixed its not right and you paid for a septic that works!

Answer by yeimi_byers
I would assume that since you have a new system that the lids are above ground. If the lids and/or risers aren’t sealed, the smell can leak out; which would explain why it’s starting to smell again in the warmer weather. You should call a septic installer or a septic hauler to have them look at it and if this is the case they can seal them.

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How to Fix Septic Aerobic System Smell?

Question Asked by Alex: How to fix septic aerobic system smell?
Its about ten years old and the air gauge is good what can I do to help the aerobic system to smell better? Is there a cheap chemical I can flush to help it?

Best answer:

Answer by Joan H
If it is anything like a Jet Aeration system, the stem will get clogged and won’t allow air in. You have to take it out and clean it. Riddex in your toilet every month will help any system.

Answer by Tex
These systems HAVE TO BE CLEANED on a regular schedule, otherwise they will stink. Contact the manufacturer or the installer and they will tell you what to do.

Answer by johnny3h
Forgive me if this answer runs long, but it’s necessary that you understand how septic systems work in order to understand the solution to your odor problem

There are basically two types of septic tank systems. Both systems use BACTERIA to digest the organic solid waste materials.

The oldest and probably most common septic systems utilize ANAEROBIC [meaning without air] bacteria and does create very smelly gasses. These smelly gasses are caused by SULPHUR compounds like/including Hydrogen Sulphide.

The newer AEROBIC septic systems utilize a bacteria opposite to the old systems and these bacteria HAVE to have air to survive and work.

When one of the newer AEROBIC systems begins to produce noxious odors [usually like the smell of rotten eggs] is an indication that the air supply to to septic tank system is NOT WORKING.

The cause of the failure of the air supply system could include:

1. Burn-out or other failure of the air BLOWER MOTOR,
2. Clogging of the holes in the air distribution tubing at the bottom of the tank,
3. or any kind of blockage of the air system from the point of air intake to the air discharge holes in the distribution tubes.

In any case, as other answers have suggested, the cause is inadequate air being supplied into the tank which does require regular and PROPER maintence.

I strongly suggest you NOT add chemicals to an aerobic system BUT INSTEAD consult your local building inspection department for recommendations for your area, OR better yet, employ a local, LICENSED, Professional PLUMBER who is EXPERIENCED in the newer technology of AEROBIC septic systems. Good luck.

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Septic Tank Pumped, So Why Does My Basement Still Smell?

Question Asked by Buffalo Slobber: Septic tank pumped, so why does my basement still smell?
I had my septic tank pumped about a month ago and my basement still has a sewage smell. Does anyone have any ideas why my basement still smells like sewage? I know I don’t have any dry traps. Is there something I should be adding to my septic tank?

Best answer:

Answer by jiminpa2
is your tank in the basement? i don’t know of any other reason unless the traps are dry.mabe a plugged vent?

Answer by Gary M. Cornelisse Sr.
Not to your septic tank but think about washing down as much of your basement as you can with a scented bleach. You have a bacterial issue.

Answer by Edgar
Usually when you get the “smell” in a basement it is from an unused floor drain or a utility drain in that area. Drains have a water trap that prevents sewer gasses from entering the house. When not used often the water evaporates and the gasses creep in. A good way to prevent this is to pour water down the drain. This should work. To maintain the trap you can pour in a cup of vegetable oil to keep the water from evaporating. Won’t hurt the environment. Another method is to use evaporator cooler water conditioner (it wont evaporate and won’t hurt the environment either). You will have to tend the drain(s) about every 6 months. A more costly method is to have trap primers installed.

Hope this helps.

Answer by Carol
Check your sewage pipes including the vent pipes going through the house/basement. Septic pipes never fill up so a crack or break on the top won’t leak liquid but will leak gas that will stink. Also check the lid or cap on the septic tank. If it wasn’t put on correctly, it will also leak gas. Finally, check if anything’s changed the air movement around the septic vent in your roof. Anything that disturbs a clean flow of air past that pipe could cause the vented gasses to be circulated around the side of the house and in a basement window.

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How Can I Get My New Septic System Not to Smell Out Doors When We Use the Water in Doors?

Question Asked by Kelly R: How can I get my new septic system not to smell out doors when we use the water in doors?
We have a new home in the mountains and the septic has been in since this past April and every time we shower, do dishes, flush the toilet we get this awful smell out side. It is so embarrassing when people are visiting and we are bar-b-queing on the deck and someone uses the bathroom – we all smell it.
I was using bleach products and have stopped that. We have tries RidX and some other product to no avail.
Please, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Best answer:

Answer by Sage
Contact the company who installed the septic system and tell them to come back and fix it properly. A new system should not have a smell at all.
I hope they fix it. If they don’t then report them to the Better Business Bureau and sue them in small claims court so you can pay someone else to do the job perfectly.
Also, don’t use bleach in a septic system. Use Rid X or another product suitable for maintaining it. RidX contains enzymes that eat the waste matter, whereas bleach kills off the good enzymes.

Answer by Jamie T
There could be two areas where this smell is coming from. Its hard to explain but you could be pushing air out of you vent pipes that are located on your roof. And extension of the pipes my be an eyesore but might help. The smell could be coming from the tank not draining waist water properly into your drain-field. The only way i know to fix this is to call a licensed plumber and have them install what is called a “running trap” on you main line going to you tanks. This will trap water and prevent gases from back through the line.
Good luck!

Answer by wry humor
Both Jamie T and Sage have valid comments. You need to identify the source of the odor. Once you’ve identified the source then you can correct the problem. If the problem has persisted since installation there is likely a plumbing error somewhere.

This site gives you a brief overview of a septic system from toilet to drain field. There are other sites available – just Google it.

Answer by evilindependent
The smell is coming from the vent stacks on your house, there is no way to prevent this. Vents need to operate in order for your waste plumbing to flow.

Answer by Keebler
You may have a problem with the outlet from your septic tank. When you use water (shower, washer etc) it stirs up the sewer water in the tank and that also can cause oder.

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When I Do Laundry a Fowl Smell Is Coming from Bathroom ,how and What Can I Do?I Have Septic System?

Question Asked by Suzette: when I do laundry a fowl smell is coming from bathroom ,how and what can I do?I have septic system?
But the gases should be going up the stack, not forced into the house, right?

Best answer:

Answer by Biker
I would call a plumber on that one if you have had the septic tank cleaned out on a regular basis. something is blocking the venting of those gasses.

Answer by larryd-ok-usa
Yes most like’ly it is your vent.Use RID-X in it once in a while help’s some i hear.Get your tank pumped out every once in awhile.I have the same problem and can’t get rid of it and i’m on city sewer.

Answer by Bill P
1. make sure that your toilet has been flushed and that there is water in the trap.
2. Make sure that your bath has water in the trap as well as your sink. You might want to fill the bath and the sink and leave water in them.

I think, however, that your system is not venting out of a pipe on the roof and the best way to do that is to buy a “snake” and get on the roof with that and a water hose and run the snake down, making sure that it twists as it goes and once it hits bottom, put some water into it to carry what you have loosened up into the septic line or the sewer line.

If you have a lot of trees, especially those that drop nuts or sweet gum balls, you can but a little “hat” to go over the vent, elevated 6-8 inches or so but certainly not stopping the vent pipe up.

If that is not the case, you will have to open an inspection part of the main sewer line, going from just below the toilet in the area of the bathroom where it stinks, and run it all the way to the septic or sewer.

If this is too much, call a plumber.

Answer by susiefila
you may need your tank pumped… When it gets full gases tend to enter the house when the toilet if flushed or laundry is done… Find the cover open in it if see sludge close to the top have it pumped.. only about a $ 100. if you live in a fairly rural area I bet there is companies that specialize in septic care ( not a plumber)
Located under sewage or septic in the phone book. Tanks need pumped every so often depending on your faimly size and size of your tank… mine is old and has to pumped every year maybe 2…. Also you could try buying the septic treatment in the hardware department after you hav it pumped it helps with the whole thing keeping bacteria which are good at the right level in the tank to break down waste

Answer by Galileon
It does sound like you may have a blocked vent as Biker suggests, however before I called the plumber, I would get up on the roof and see if it isn’t something simple like a birds nest causing this blockage! Also be aware there are water traps in all your plumbing fixture drains to prevent sewer fumes from entering your house, perhaps the bathroom sink has a leak at the water trap and is allowing the water in the trap to drain out? I would do these checks first, because here in Miami, FL where I live it’ll cost $ 50 just to have a plumber come look, and that’s on a week day!

Answer by bowats
Also, if you have had high winds recently, they can force the water from a trap thus leaving it dry and let gasses into the living space. Run water down each sink, etc for 10 seconds to make sure all traps are wet.

Answer by john t

Answer by Building Inspector
This is most likely caused by improper venting of your drainage system. What happens is that your drainage system becomes depressurized when a fixture drains and can suck the water out of the p trap in your sink, shower or floor drain, (not your toilet though as someone mentioned).

Easiest fix for this problem is to install an air admittance valve, (or cheater vent as some plumbers call them), on your drain handling your washing machine.

You could buy one of these vents at your local plumbing supply store and they are failry simple to intall.

Good luck

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Septic System Problem with Sprinkler Not Working and a Bit of Smell?

Question Asked by msanchez1210: Septic system Problem with sprinkler not working and a bit of smell?
What size gravel is used for septic filtration system? also how much will cost to have my septic clean out? will it be cheaper if i fix the pump the was originally installed right now I’m using a sewer pump to get all the water out into a hole because the sprinkler is not working.

Thanks in advance..

Best answer:

Answer by acts2120
You may need to give more details as septic systems vary from one part of the country to another. Where I am there are no pumps but I am aware that some systems in Louisiana use an air pump to pump air into the septic tank. I don’t quiet get the sprinkler part and why you are having to pump the water.

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Why Does My Kitchen Smell Like a Septic Tank When I Run the Dishwasher?

Question Asked by dsjnix: Why does my kitchen smell like a septic tank when I run the dishwasher?
Have noticed just over the last two days that when I run the dishwasher there is a slight septic tank odor in my kitchen. Just had the septic pumped last summer. What should we check for?

Best answer:

Answer by
Check for septic leakage in your water line.. it is very possible considering dishwashers use hot, steamy water and any smell of feces or **** may be being “baked” into the air in your kitchen.

It’s pretty foul.. but I’d get it checked out.

Answer by jarrett n
Check your food trap. Bottom of the dishwasher under the jet arm. Should look like a little plastic screen with screws going through it. My guess is you have some icky decaying food in it. Gives off a God awful smell and the nice warm humid environment inside the washer just helps it right along. Open the food trap, put on your nicest rubber gloves and give that area a good cleaning. See if that helps the odoriferous funk that has become your kitchen.

Answer by mickeymouse
Every 3 months you need to run a dishwasher cleaner through your machine. There are several good ones on the market, this should cure the problem.

Answer by
Most dishwashers today are self cleaning. If you have on older one clean the food trap inside. you can find the manual for you model on line and it will tell you if you have a trap that needs to be periodically cleaned. I investigate septic systems and odors for a living. Over 90% of the time an odor is from a breach in the drain venting. An example: if the drain line the dishwasher empties into has a p-trap that is partially evaporated the gases can leak there. Too many other possibilities to list, but I always start with venting on any odor complaint. Good Luck.

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Our Newly Installed Sand Sand Filter Septic System Smells Terrible. What Can We Do to Stop the Smell.?

Question Asked by yorky: Our newly installed sand sand filter septic system smells terrible. What can we do to stop the smell.?
We installed this system to the T by the county dept requir 1 yr ago. We don’t have a pump system at the end of the septic tank as I have read that others have. Our pipe is 6 foot above our roof. Do we need more lenghth there? The ground isn’t saturated anywhere that I can tell. I put a bacteria disk down the toilet 1x a week to help with decomposition. Sometimes the smell is so bad it takes your head off. The smell comes from the pipe over the roof line and also from the vent pipe over the drainage fields. I keep chlorine tabs down the chlorine tank, (last tank) as we are supposed to before the water comes to surface. It doesn’t seem to stink at the water run out area. Just from the pipe over the roof and from the vent over the drainfields. It almost seems like we have alot of draft that runs through system from the vent pipe. I have even put plastic over this to stop the draft. Not sure if I am hurting anything by clogging off air flow, but just desperate to stop this smell

Best answer:

Answer by johnbntexas
obviously the system isn’t working and you need an expert ( where did the original plans come from ? )

if the design and installation is correct then you are exceeding the capacity of the system or your soil is not the proper type ( did you have a ‘perk test’ and why the sand system instead of a tank and leach field system ( clay soil ? )

the type of sand and distribution would seem to be critical ( you would have to have an even filtration and you would have to have an adequate colony of LIVE anabolic bacteria

Answer by Chuck M
The smell is more than likely coming from the roof vents. You might try extending the roof vents up about a foot or so. This is a common occurence. Pay attention to the weather conditions and wind direction to see if there is a common factor to when the odor is at it’s worst. Good luck.

Answer by froggy010101
You are killing one operation with another.
You are using decomposition chemicals but then you are using chlorine tablets which will react with the decomposition chemicals.
Have your septic system emptied and purchace the bulk starter systems, normally in the form of large bags which you put in the bottome of the system.
They are readilly available from B&Q and mosts Farmers stores in the Countryside.
You should empty your septic system every year anyway.
If you do not have a soak away pipe at the end of your septic system then crust will build up in the tank and should be removed by vaccuum tanker.

Answer by 11mz
change the whole thing or throw it away..

Answer by jgmafb
anytime you use sand for filtering you have problems!sand is the worse material for grabbing and not only holding onto but,creating new smells altogether.

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