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Discuss Desperate help needed in the Fittings & Pipes area at UKPlumbersForums.co.uk.

  1. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

    Hi guys,

    for about a month or so now we have had a really bad smell in our house - it seems to start in the kitchen and bathroom on one side of the house (We have two bathrooms and the smell never seems to go in the second one).

    Now it's really hard to pinpoint where it's coming from, or why because it's there sometimes and not others. Generally speaking it's lingering first thing in the morning, and seems to be most common when we are running hot water (After showering or after washing dishes). Also it changes from stagnant water smell to rotten egg smell (although since we've had the septic tank emptied it's far more stagnant water smell than eggs)

    We just had a new boiler installed just before Christmas 2015 so I can't see it being the central heating, even though coincidentally it seems to be whenever we are running the central heating.

    The other thing we just found out (As we live in a private let) is that the home is serviced by a septic tank. Now we have just paid through the nose to have this emptied thinking that must be the problem, and yet the smell is still here.

    So far we have done the following:

    Used expensive foam-drain cleaner down all the plugholes in the house (Pre-septic tank emptying, this was a day or so before we even knew we had a septic tank)

    checked all the kitchen appliances for dead rodents etc (As we live in the country so thought it could have been a dead mouse somewhere)

    Checked the tray at the back of the fridge, but there is nothing there, it was totally dry when we looked

    checked the waste hose of the washing machine and put it through a service wash with cleaner

    Now the kitchen and bathroom that has the smell is on the same side of the house as the septic tank so is it just a normal thing? I've never had a septic tank before, but we've lived here a year now and the smell has just started so surely something has gone wrong somewhere?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. The landlord does NOT like paying out for things to be done so we want to narrow it down and try and sort it ourselves before we bother her with it.

    Many thanks in advance!
     
  2. Voidbetween

    Voidbetween New Member

    Check that use of one item ie sink, bath,toilet flush, does not pull water out of another trap which will allow for foul smell into property.

    I have not worked on septic tanks ,but if tank is not vented then a possible build up of gas in tank could bubble up through traps.
    Anyone else have any thoughts - As a Gasman please correct me if I'm off track :)
     
  3. lame plumber

    lame plumber Guest

    septic tank means in the sticks means dead rat under the floor is highly likely, leave it another 2 weeks and the smell will go once it has dried out.
     
  4. Dotty

    Dotty Guest

    A crispy critter doesn't smell that much, the moist ones do.

    If you're out in the sticks you'll soon be able to tell the difference between a corpse and various other whiffy pongs.
     
  5. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

    Bleh - moist critters... I do have two cats, so a dead rat/mouse somewhere could be an answer and we also have a house that is raised.

    In regards to the 'traps' is this something in the plumbing and is it something I can change or something I would be best getting a plumber out for?

    Many thanks guys, I appreciate it :)
     
  6. lame plumber

    lame plumber Guest

    I once lobbed a fox I shot (it had murdered all our chickens and geese) into a ditch near an annoying neighbour, he called out dynarod every day for a week a few days on :) have you upset any neighbours recently? :):):)
     
  7. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

    Haha no, not that I know of. I am convinced something must be wrong somewhere as we've been here a year and it's only just cropped up now.

    There is a little door that leads to a cellar underneath the kitchen, it has some water from local flooding in Jan/Feb time sitting - not terribly deep, but I can't see how that would be making the smell unless there is something dead in it. I really don't want to siphon it out and thought it would just dry up on it's own.

    I will persevere though and keep hunting - if I turn up the culprit I'll be sure to let you know!
     
  8. lame plumber

    lame plumber Guest

    dry rot stinks, got any fungus popping through the floor boards
     
  9. Chalked

    Chalked Plumber GSR

    Could be coming from a vent on the drain. Look at the top of a external soil pipe.
    In normal circumstances, septic tanks don't smell. But if they need emptying or the bacteria has stopped working' they can seriously pong!
    I would get it checked out by a company who empties them. It might need restarting.
    Ps what type of detergents are you using. Some can kill the process.
     
  10. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

    Hi there! We just had it emptied and I did ask the guy if all was ok (As I was using bleach because we didn't know we bloody had one in the first place!). He said all looked fine. There is a drain in our back garden for it, but they checked that too and it all seemed fine.

    I have however noticed today that the boiler pressure is on '0' and am now wondering if there is a problem in the system somewhere (the info on the boiler lid says that it could indicate a leak??).

    I've also bought some enzyme sticks for the drains, but we've not had this problem in all the time we were living here, even before we knew we had a septic tank. It was only because we noticed a bad smell we emailed the landlord who then saw fit to tell us we had a septic tank and it might need emptied.

    I'm really worried there is something broken in the house somewhere causing it!

    As to dry rot I can't see any fungus coming through those two rooms - one has linoleum stuck down and sealed around the edges and the kitchen is a tiled floor?
     
  11. Dotty

    Dotty Guest

    Just top up your boiler pressure to about 1 bar cold. As long as all your traps are holding water and none of them gurgle when any other sinks or loo's are used I would say it's unlikely to be them.

    Wet rot doesn't smell the way you've described but stagnant water does, I should get as much of it out as you can.

    But I'm still going for a floppy moist corpse....
     
  12. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

    Haha your preoccupation with corpses might need some attention :p I swear my fiance is still alive and breathing for now, although this far out in the country I wouldn't put it past something to be lurking somewhere!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. dleaf12

    dleaf12 New Member

    Just a thought, and a bit of a long-shot, but I had something like this in my (city located) 2005 built err thrown up house.

    Turned out that the 1.5 inch waste pipe from the kitchen sink was not properly fitted into the rubber reducing collar where it went into the 110mm pipe that headed off through the floor to outside and the drains. The waste pipe went into the 110mm drain well off-centre and the original installer had just shoved the collar in the drain end beside it! Effectively we had an open 110mm sewer pipe under our kitchen cupboard. Smell seemed to come and go with the weather, and sometimes (bath nights upstairs) it smelt of apple shampoo.

    You could check that something similar hasnt happened?
     
  14. dleaf12

    dleaf12 New Member

    Pah - forum posted twice!
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  15. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

    Hi guys to bring you up to date we did a huge investigation and found it!

    The house has a solum and we went in there, there was a pipe that had come loose and was completely open letting waste water from the shower and the washing machine etc just pour underneath the house. It appears that during this time something (I can't tell what it even was) has died in the water under the house.

    The pipe appears to have been knocked loose either when the boiler was installed, or from the washing machine spin cycle vibrating on the floor (Although I think it was likely the former!). We put the piping back together, silver-taped it to secure it and have used our vax hoover to drain the water from the solum -

    Well.. safe to say we found the source of the smell alright!

    My man spent the whole morning heaving under the house and I wasn't with him (being pregnant) I was standing outside the little door that leads under the house and even I was being sick with the smell. I can't even describe it - it was horrendous - it was by far the worst thing I've ever smelled and I have smelled some horrors let me tell you!

    However, having an answer has been a total weight off my mind. I am so glad I just didn't assume it was the septic tank now otherwise who knows what would have been the eventual outcome!

    I wanted to just say thanks to everyone that posted up ideas and advice because I really, really appreciate the expertise and the time taken to helping us out! I would never have even looked where I did if it wasn't for you guys!

    Hopefully the problem is solved. :)
     
    • Like Like x 4
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