Forum Title: Sewer smell ?????
I have this ongoing issue with a new client.A two story apartment complex with two downstairs residents complaining of a sewer smell coming fom their fixtures.I checked one residence and found the traps to be primed adequately.I snaked the drains and they are clear.I got up on the roof and snaked the vents with no obstructions.The only thing coming to mind is if the place is wet vented floor to floor somehow.Possibly unpriming a tub trap Any ideas would be certainly appreciated.
Category: plumber Post By: Jonathan Flores (West Point, AR), 09/15/2017
The only thing that occurs to me immediately is to ask if any of the fixtures are vented with an air admittance valve. Perhaps the valve is sticking, or a fixture on the floor above is causing a positive pressure, which the AAV cannot relieve? Back to back laundries, and maybe a shred of cloth is wicking the traps dry? Perhaps next time you have to go there for this issue, run a small cable through the tub overflows and down into the trap to see if it comes back dry or wet? That would tell you if the trap has water in it or not. Just throwing ideas out there.

- Horton Brown (Minnie Lake, ND), 10/16/2017

Did you confirm that the smell is coming from the vicinity of their traps? Reason being is when I worked for my city, we had fielded lots of calls regarding sewer smells, and many turned out to be a city public works problem, with the sewer having clogs, backing up into homes. Just a thought!

- Clara Dean (Hebron, PA), 10/16/2017

Hmmm. Okay thanks for the tips.I was thinking the same thing about it being a city sewer main, but the traps would still have to be dry in order for the smell to come through.I will run a snake into the tub traps and see if it gets wet. Strange thing is that when i show up, the resident says that it does'nt smell right now. The guy seems honest and he tells me that when they get home from work the whole apartment smells like sewer.Now his next door neighbor is complaining of the same problem.I am scheduled to go back over there on Tuesday.I'll let you know what i find.This time i'm going into the attic too.Comes to mind that if they have too many fixtures on a 2 vent, then maybe it is sucking air through a trap(did i miss something?).These are two story apartments and they are back to back as well,so.......its going to be a tough one.

- Oscar Norton (St. Albans, ME), 10/16/2017

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