Plumbing in the Home/sewage odor??


We have had a puzzling odor in our house for about a month.  It is concentrated in a basement family room which was an add-on to the house over 30 years ago.  There is no plumbing in this room, but the sewage pipe goes under it.  There is also a well under the room which is unused, but upon drilling concrete 5 years ago, we discovered it contains clear and odor free water (then).  The sanitation department checked the main sewersand found nothing.  A plumber ran a camera down into our sewer pipe and found a partial clog (under this room) which he broke up and thought this would solve the problem, but 3 days later it's as bad as ever.  We have checked thoroughly for dead animals too.  Help!!!

Dear Diane,

   I'm sorry about the problem that you're having and for the delay in replying.  Odor problems are among the most difficult plumbing problems to solve.  Since it is in the one room beneath which the sewer line is located, I would suggest that there is probably an openning in the pipe somewhere which is allowing gas to escape into the room.

   There are not too many options to fix this short of digging up the pipe to locate the problem and repair it.  There are companies around which specialize in re-lining pipes from within the pipe, and that would seal any problems like this.  You may want to research that on the internet.

   I'm sorry I couldn't be more helpful than that.

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Thomas Ambler


I am experienced at troubleshooting and solving all types of plumbing problems. Issues related to specific manufacturers fixtures and specifications though are beyond my field of expertise. I have dealt with problems in both rural and urban areas, and with water supply and drainage systems. Plumbing issues can be very obscure... such as odors, stains or occasional seepage. I have even had to chase rats from a customer's sewer line.


I have 25 years experience dealing with plumbing systems (which also includes hot water and steam heating systems). My main expertise is in diagnosing and solving problems. I have worked in construction and installation of new systems but do not regard myself as an expert in that area.

Asbury Park Press, Seattle Times, Denver Post.

I completed high school and one year of college. I served 4 years in the Marine Corps and have education in electronic and electrical troubleshooting and repair. I have attended classes on installing and repair of oil burners, and I have EPA universal certification for air conditioning and refrigeration. I am now enrolled as a full-time student at Everest college to re-train for a new career. Any donations of financial support would be greatly appreciated.

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All of Denny's Restaurants in NJ, Several Burger King stores, I have done work at two different homes for Bruce Springsteen. I have also worked for Jim Johnson (of J&J) and his family, Whitney Houston, Steve Forbes and many others.

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