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Discuss Help! Sewage smell & water under the house in the Plumbing Forum area at UKPlumbersForums.co.uk.

  1. Jane Oginni

    Jane Oginni New Member

    Hi,

    Please forgive my lack of experience. I am a relatively new homeowner to a fairly old semi-detached property.

    For the last two months, we have had a HORRIBLE smell of what smells like raw sewage to me that comes and goes, on and off but getting worse on the ground floor of our property and is there most of the time, present in 3 out of 4 downstairs rooms.
    Today, a plumber finally came and took a look under the house. Generally the rest of the house plumbing has been working fine, and the pipes outside all look fine as well (what can be seen of them).

    He showed me a video of standing water (probably a couple of inches) which he said was very stagnant and very smelly, under the kitchen and living room. He said he couldn't really identify the source of it, as the walls were all dry above the water level, everything he could see was intact and his best guess (from what I could understand) was that this water was soaking 'up' through the ground from the garden side of the property, perhaps soaking through a wall and sitting at this level. His only suggestion was to take up (some rather miserable looking) decking outside the kitchen where the waste pipes run under to see whether they may be damaged below the level of the decking ( but due to miserable condition of decking it probably won't go back down again).

    He also suggested maybe contacting my home insurance. What would I say? What should I do now? Can this be fixed? How can I find out what is causing this/is it really bad.. and if its just water, why does it smell to me like an open gutter?

    Any suggestions/advice would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Pickwickpick

    Pickwickpick Plumber

    Do you have any sewage lines that go under the house? If it was clean but stagnant water it would smell musty but not of sewage. If you've got a broken/burst sewage pipe under the property somewhere that would be a likely culprit.

    If you can easily & cheaply get some of the decking up and dig down around what I presume is your soil stack? you could narrow it down further but otherwise I'd start off by getting someone out to do a CCTV survey of the drains.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Jane Oginni

    Jane Oginni New Member

    I know there are larger sewage lines that go very close to the boundary of the house from other houses as well and they join up very nearby to our property (I live at the bottom of a cul-de-sac). I believe there may be sewage lines under the house as well.

    To me, it definitely does not smell musty, but like raw sewage (and I used to live in a country where you could walk around open sewers all the time and that's exactly the smell). The plumber has said the water is clear, but its hard to tell what it is as its kind of filtered through the bricks. He says it does smell but it could be the result of it stagnating.

    CCTV drain survey: how far will they look? (I'm thinking if this is a problem further away from the house and then sewage is soaking back through my exterior wall and pooling underneath these two first rooms)
     
  4. Chuck

    Chuck Well-Known Member

    This is definitely one to refer to your insurers. Just tell them the facts as you've explained them above. Don't delay because the longer this goes on the more damage will occur and the more clean up will be needed.

    In future, if you smell raw sewage in or around your property don't wait weeks or months before investigating. These problems never, and I mean *never*, fix themselves and they always get worse and more costly to fix with time.

    Good luck.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Jane Oginni

    Jane Oginni New Member

  6. Rob Foster

    Rob Foster Top Contributor!!

    No , contact your utility they will always turn up examine for free bangva cctv down it , and if it’s shared sort it out fir nothing
    They are the rules now Rob Foster aka centralheatking
    Do not be mis led all shared drains are the legal responsibility
    Of your local utility ...I Know
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Rob Foster

    Rob Foster Top Contributor!!

    Do,let us know how you get on plse we like feedback chkng
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Jane Oginni

    Jane Oginni New Member

    I will do. Have just requested callback from Yorkshire Water - will explain that I don't know where in the drainage system this problem is and see if they'll come and have a look at it.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Rob Foster

    Rob Foster Top Contributor!!

    That’s the ticket and their boys will love the overtime ...make them a cuppa ...Centralheatking
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Jane Oginni

    Jane Oginni New Member

    Yorkshire Water came out - extremely cracked soil vent pipe in the U-bend (dye tested), so its our own sewage leaking and pooling under the house - lovely.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  11. Rob Foster

    Rob Foster Top Contributor!!

    I don’t quite understand , cracked soil vent...that’s usually dry, but the u bend ? Is leaking
    What did they actually say please. You might go down house insurance route but beware of blaming subsidence as it will come back to bite you when you come to sell up. Rob Foster aka centralheatking
     
  12. WC1

    WC1 Active Member

    Fwiw. I'd think about get that in writing from them and then get my own cctv survey. If they were wrong you might charge the cost of survey back to York wart. If they were right then you've confirmed it for sure before involving insurance.
     
  13. Jane Oginni

    Jane Oginni New Member

    This is what they said. "CCTV'd from SVP (soil vent pipe) dye tested from toilet and this showed in floor space. The SVP rest bend is cracked."

    I saw the cracks myself as they did it. I think its quite straightforward?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Rob Foster

    Rob Foster Top Contributor!!

    I understand now. Is his bend accessible ? Or buried shallow or deep. And is it Under the building or a path or garden ?
    Chking
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Ben-gee

    Ben-gee Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Time to get the spades out
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
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