Basement sewer smell/Plumbers info req'd.

irv

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2,158
Location
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
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I might have posted about this problem before? In our basement in our laundry room we have a floor drain, which I assume most households would have, and we periodically get a sewer smell from it. My routine has been to fill a bucket with hot water with some dish soap, vinegar, bleach, etc then dump it down the drain. I assumed due to lack of use, the P trap was drying out. Today, looking further into things, I did some reading about a clean out hole and noticed the ones I seen all had a cap on them to stop sewer smells from coming back into the house. In these pics you will notice ours doesn't but you can also see what looks like weeping tile inside this side pipe/clean out spot so I am stuck wondering what to do? The floor opening drain is 4 inches as is the clean out hole. I am confused on this inner weeping tile and what it's purpose is? What I am afraid of is, if I block/cap this hole and because of the weeping tile, will I be blocking something off? Could this possibly be from our outside weepers and could they possibly drain to this floor drain? I have never heard water draining into it but that doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't, does it? So if this is just an inner weeper for some reason and it doesn't drain from here, what can I use to block/cap this off? My dilemma is both holes are 4" inches. Is there something that is available that I will be able to get down there, turn 90 degrees then cap this clean out hole off? I've looked at a few plugs but because both holes are the same size, it is going to be difficult (maybe?) to get something down there to do this.

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First off I hope you are not mixing vinegar and bleach in the same solution. Is your vent pipe close by this drain? Usually it is. Make sure your vent is not obstructed.
 

irv

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2,158
Location
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Thread starter
Originally Posted by PimTac
First off I hope you are not mixing vinegar and bleach in the same solution. Is your vent pipe close by this drain? Usually it is. Make sure your vent is not obstructed.
No, one or the either, never at the same time. Yes, the vent pipe is fairly close and I know where it exits the roof. I'll take a look down it tomorrow with a flashlight but if this isn't plugged/obstructed, I would still assume some sewer smells can come back into the house or else they wouldn't sell sewer clean out plugs/caps, would they? Thanks cheers
 

irv

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2,158
Location
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Thread starter
Originally Posted by PimTac
Is this the cap you were referring to? https://www.plumbingsupply.com/floodguard.html
No, I never seen that one in my searching. I was looking at a few, including these. https://www.amazon.ca/Danco-10839-P...&hvtargid=pla-368865212104&psc=1 https://www.amazon.ca/Liquid-Breake...&hvtargid=pla-338108141924&psc=1 https://www.acklandsgrainger.com/en/product/p/WWG1VNG8?gclid=EAIaIQobChMItaC1seek5gIVBIeGCh0w6weSEAQYBSABEgKOKfD_BwE&cm_mmc=PPC:+Google+PLA&ef_id=EAIaIQobChMItaC1seek5gIVBIeGCh0w6weSEAQYBSABEgKOKfD_BwE:G:s&s_kwcid=AL!3645!3!303439923728!!!g!545896089543! https://www.amazon.ca/Cherne-270138...&hvtargid=pla-368616641207&psc=1
 
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In the houses I've lived in with basements I never smelled sewer gas. So I'm thinking it's either the vent or the stack as some call it or the sewer outside is causing it. I assume everything flushes and drains well? No backups or clogs in the past? If you are very close to your neighbors ask them if they have a similar problem. It might be in the municipal line or one of your neighbors has a problem.
 
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The first link you posted is what plumbers use to test the drain system for code inspection. The second one is good. Tape some Saran Wrap over the hole. It sounds like you have no water drainage issues in your basement.
 

JTK

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12,969
Location
Buffalo, NY
All the places I've lived and plumbing issues I've stumbled through, I've never seen anything like in your pics. Both your pics and the one with the plugged clean out. Sorry if I missed it, but If the sewer gas you are smelling is coming from the floor drain in your pic, is this something that just began? Never did it before?
 
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79
Location
Sioux Falls
Originally Posted by PimTac
In the houses I've lived in with basements I never smelled sewer gas. So I'm thinking it's either the vent or the stack as some call it or the sewer outside is causing it. I assume everything flushes and drains well? No backups or clogs in the past? If you are very close to your neighbors ask them if they have a similar problem. It might be in the municipal line or one of your neighbors has a problem.
In my finished basement, we have a bathroom we never use. After a week, if you don't use the sink or run water in the shower drain the water in the p trap evaporates and it smells like sewage. If I run water in them for around 20 seconds we are good for another week or so.
 

irv

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2,158
Location
Oshawa, Ont. Canada
Thread starter
Originally Posted by PimTac
In the houses I've lived in with basements I never smelled sewer gas. So I'm thinking it's either the vent or the stack as some call it or the sewer outside is causing it. I assume everything flushes and drains well? No backups or clogs in the past? If you are very close to your neighbors ask them if they have a similar problem. It might be in the municipal line or one of your neighbors has a problem.
My neighbor, about 8-10 yrs ago had some type of problem but I forget exactly what it was? I believe, however, it was also some sort of basement floor drain problem but I will have to ask him. Everything flushes and drains well and we've never had any sort of back up/flooding problem. I am not doubting your suggestions/advice at all but if this wasn't a common issue or could become a common issue, then why do they sell clean out caps/plugs for sewer gas smells? (Like in my last pic in my 1st post)
Originally Posted by JTK
All the places I've lived and plumbing issues I've stumbled through, I've never seen anything like in your pics. Both your pics and the one with the plugged clean out. Sorry if I missed it, but If the sewer gas you are smelling is coming from the floor drain in your pic, is this something that just began? Never did it before?
This has been going on for quite a few years now but I can't recall, nor can my wife, if this has been happening since we moved in 18 yrs ago or not?
 
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Originally Posted by maxdustington
Originally Posted by PimTac
Tape some Saran Wrap over the hole. It sounds like you have no water drainage issues in your basement.
Horrible advice!
Why? It will give irv some clues if the drain devices that were linked would work. It's temporary. If he spends money on a drain plug and the smell is still coming in then that is a waste. Saran Wrap for a week should tell the story.
 
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1,248
Location
USA
I have a shower that hasn't been used in more than two years. There was still a water seal in it not long ago. Maybe I better check it. Put the cheap plastic cap in the pipe that's what they do for toilets when the drain is exposed until the new one is installed. Fits good and no more stink. Never put antifreeze into a drain that's so bad.
 
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24,425
Location
Central Florida
Originally Posted by KJSmith
Originally Posted by edwardh1
what should be used - antifreeze to not evaporate
Vegetable oil.
Will vegetable oil attract bugs / mice ?
 
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12,249
Location
Indiana
I wonder if the tile inside the drain is the parameter drain for the house. If it's weeping, the drain shouldn't be drying out and letting gas through.
 
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14,975
Location
NE,Ohio
Originally Posted by Farnsworth
I have a shower that hasn't been used in more than two years. There was still a water seal in it not long ago. Maybe I better check it. Put the cheap plastic cap in the pipe that's what they do for toilets when the drain is exposed until the new one is installed. Fits good and no more stink. Never put antifreeze into a drain that's so bad.
Why is it bad.. its how you dispose of it where I'm at. their is the special recycling that is 30min away and open for 4 hours a week in the middle of the day.. or dump down sewer drain and its processed... not suggesting it for someone on a septic tank/field --not what I would suggest the OP to do however.
 
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15,067
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Upper Midwest
Yep, here in the Milwaukee area where we are on the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewrage District they permit disposal to the sewer system. They encourage recycling but permit sewer disposal as ethylene glycol is easily processed by them. As you note, never dispose of it in a private septic system nor into a stormwater drain.
 
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38
Location
Greater Cincinnati
My house was built in the 1890s and sewer gas becomes an issue in spring and fall, when the furnace/air conditioner are not in use, and no water is being discharged into the basement drains via the condensate hose. In other words, lack of moving water causes the wastewater to remain stagnant instead of moving out of the house. If the smell gets bad, I occasionally dump 4 gallons of water down the farthest drain. I also partially cover the drain openings with light, plastic cottage-cheese-container lids. That seems to block some of the smell, but still permits water to enter the drains in the event of an overflow. When the problem intensifies, you could try to drip the cold-water spigot in the laundry sink to create a bit of water flow.
 
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