Plumbing in the Home/septic tank sewage

Advertisement


Question
We had our 4 bedroom home built 9 years ago, we have a septic system that is located within a few feet from the outside kitchen and bedroom walls. Lately, we have been plagued with a strong "potty" smell in our bedroom and closet. We use Rid-X monthly but we have not had our system plumped out since we built the house. There are only 2 adults living here. The foundation of our home is cement- I don't know if that's important or not. The smell usually lasts for about one week. I try to spray the area with odor eliminating sprays- that helps a little.
My husband noticed that there are numerous cracks in our cement floor( we had to remove some floor covering); I was wondering if maybe some drainage from the sewer was infiltrating our cement foundation under the carpet and causing the stench. What do you advise?

Answer
Mystery! you will just have to nose around until you locate the source. Start outside and see if there is a odor lingering about as it very likely could be a malfunctioning septic system or leech lines.
If the ONLY place your ever get the odor is inside the house then the cause would certainly indicate a problem in your drain waste and vent piping none of which are good news. Sometimes there may be a trap in the home that is for a seldom used fixture and after a period of time the water evaporates (this would be good news because all you need do is add water frequently) and allows the sewer gases to enter the living space. Is there any fixture that you do not use often....for instance if you had a shower that was seldom or never used the water would eventually evaporate out of that shower trap and allow the odorous gases to enter the living space. Sometimes there is a floor drain installed (like for instance in a laundry room) that does not have a trap primer (trap primer is a device that assures a trap gets water periodically) attached to it even though code requires it. You simply have to investigate and find the source.

Plumbing in the Home

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Cortez (cort) Cate

Expertise

PLEASE read this entire introduction. I have been doing this for a long time and I have come to the conclusion that if you are not willing to take the time to write a detailed question then don't expect a detailed solution! I am getting far to many questions that do not give enough detail to warrant a good solution. I realize it is a little difficult to formulate a good question but if you want a good answer you have to give me good details....read this entire introduction please....remember this website is world wide I have no clue where you live if you don't tell me.....to give more detail on the fixture you are having problems with...a one piece eljer 3.5 gallon flush will be totally different than a one-gallon flush toto.....details are important. I can answer most questions related to residential and commercial plumbing for many buildings. I have sufficient knowledge of the UPC and UMC. I will speculate for you if necessary. In those cases I will try to give you some guidance and you should use that to refine the question further and we, together, can seek the answer via a follow up. Plumbing codes and practices vary around the world--If you don't tell me where you live the answer I give may not fit your locality. I am giving my time to you as a way of fulfilling my perceived obligation to share. I am here to try to help you find a solution to your problem. REMEMBER, If you want a good answer you need to ask a detailed question and include where you live, type of pipes, type of building, water pressure if it is a water problem, type of heater, age of appliance & building all these and many more are variables that have an effect on various situations. Detailed information will help produce a better answer.

Experience

Since 1972 a California licensed B-1 General Building Contractor, C-36 Plumbing and C-16 Fire Sprinkler Contractor; also installing and servicing Heating, Air Conditioning and Sheet Metal operating as C and C Building and Plumbing, California State License 279516. In 1995 I downsized the company to become semi-retired. Still I remain active in the construction industry. As head of a company I placed personnel and job safety as the number one objective followed closely by training and continuing education. Always seeking to stay informed of leading edge technology in the industry. Also I have spent several years as an Apprenticeship Instructor in the Pipe Trades Unions. Additionally I am a certified OSHA instructor.

Education/Credentials
United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Instruction Training, Ann Arbor, MI Bakersfield College, Bakersfield CA Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, CA Foothill College, Los Altos, CA California Licensed Contractor from 1971

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.