Quality San Diego Business Listings, San Diego City Information, San Diego Attractions and Activities

San Diego BizMart
San Diego, CA

Produced by
The CyberSide & Co.
San Diego, CA

San Diego Affordable Internet Advertising & Promotion

San Diego
Business Directory:

Business Listings:

Our Business Directory is designed for all San Diego businesses, products, and services.

San Diego
City & County Services:

City Information:

Our Directory lists San Diego City and County  services available to San Diego residents.

Internet Advertising
and Promotion for
San Diego Businesses

San Diego Bizmart com

Sewer Gas - Can You Smell It in the House?

by Jim Neidner

Jim Neidner is a national award-winning
builder/remodeler and radio home host.


Q)  We recently purchased an 1862 farmhouse in lower Michigan. I had contacted you several months ago about a sewer gas smell that permeated most of our upstairs living area. It turned out that two venting stacks (one from the downstairs bathroom, one from the upstairs bathroom) were vented directly into our attic!

So, we had a handyman come out and vent them through the roof. That solved 95% of the problem, and we were odor-free throughout the cold winter months. Now, with the return of hot, humid weather, the smell has returned, although not as bad. It is clearly (in my opinion) originating from the under-the-sink area in the upstairs bathroom. I can see a horizontal, PVC drain pipe connecting to a vertical member which in turn heads downstairs to the main drain, and gives rise to the vent stack. The vent stack pipe, however, makes a quick, 90 degree horizontal turn through an interior wall into an adjoing closet, then it makes a second quick 90 degree turn to head vertically up into the attic and through the roof.

Somehow, with high humidity, ventilation seems to be inadequate, and the sewer gas is "backing up" and leaking out under my sink, into the adjacent closet, out into the upstairs hallway, etc.

So, my question is:
Is there a way to detect a leak in the pipe? It all looks to be secure, and well-glued (there is no obvious play in the pieces as I manipulate them). Is there a substance that I can paint on the outside of the PVC pipe to find the leak, or, can I paint the PVC with some sort of cement to seal any undetectable hairline cracks? Or should I just replace the pipe altogether?

Do you think the presence of the two, quick right angle turns contributes to poor ventilation, and should they be eliminated somehow? But even if you say yes, there has to be a leak somewhere for the gases to be exiting under my sink, right?

A)  If you can replace the pipes (do-it-yourself) I would do that first before you call a plumber. There's a ring inside the pipe connections and it could be missing or leaking. Start by taking the pipes you can remove and their connections apart and take them with you to your local Home Depot or Lowes. Match them up in size and replace. If this does not do the job you could have a hole in a vent pipe from a nail or a loose connection inside the wall.

Try this first and if this does not fix the problem, then call a plumber. This gas you are smelling can be very harmful to you and your family's health and needs to be fixed and the smell stopped.

Regards, Jim Neidner

Articles Index    Top

San Diego BizMart

Home      Business Listings      Search     City Info      Go-See-Do     Events     Articles      Resources      Join Us      Contact Us    Legal      Site Map

spc6.gif (815 bytes)

San Diego BizMart  ~  SanDiegoBizMart.com
Website Design, Development, Hosting & Maintenance by The CyberSide & Co.
All contents copyright The CyberSide & Co., 1998. All rights reserved.
No portion of this document may be duplicated without permission in writing.