View Full Version : needshelp

11-03-2008, 08:58 AM
I am hoping someone can offer some help in a situation that has me so very frustrated.
I have one bathroom in my home, I might add that I live in a rural area, so I have my own septic system. For the past 4 days or so, when we flush the toilet, we have a horrible septic odor coming back into the house, in the basement that is. Now, before I get people telling me that the lines should be checked. They have been. All the lines are running smoothly, water is going where it should and so on. The septic has been pumped out just this spring.
There is no odor coming from sink drains or anything else. The odor is coming back into the basement and smells horrible. With winter coming, we can't be leaving a window open to relieve the smell.
The vent pipe is on the outside of the house and it also has no odor coming from it. We have tried adding more pipe to that and it hasn't helped. No lines or pipes are plugged, the toilet flushes properly.
Any suggestions?

Southern Man
11-03-2008, 09:52 AM
Check to make sure that your traps in the basement plumbing are filled with water. The most likely cause would be a floor drain or sump that has evaporated.

11-03-2008, 01:35 PM
Have no sump and no floor drain

11-03-2008, 03:30 PM
There must be some type of connection between the septic line and the basement. It could be a leak in a pipe you do not see or a leak just outside the wall that puts the sewage up against the basement wall and it seeps in through a crack someplace.

Does basement have a sump pump? Those things get very nasyt if not used often. Toilet mints helped mine, but use the type you can secure to something so they don't get under the float ...

Southern Man
11-03-2008, 04:41 PM
I think he's saying that the smell occurs soon after flushing the toilet. Is this correct?

Are there any other plumbing fixtures in the basement, such as a washer or sink?

11-03-2008, 05:46 PM
Ok well jebars post hit the problem right on. We have since discovered that the odor is coming from the concrete wall and floor seam....you know where they come together,they aren't tight seams. I just read an article on another site where a family had a similar problem. Seems as though when they had their tank pumped, the pumper sucked out the drain that is at the bottom of the tank. Seeing as how we had the tank pumped within the last 6 months, I am beginning to wonder if this could be it. Or perhaps a crack. The odd thing is that we have dug the lines up to make sure they are not cracked. They are not. I am wondering though if there were some sort of leak or drainage from the tank, would we have seen that during the digging?

At this point, it is when we flush the toilet, about 5 or 10 minutes after is when the odor occurs. We are hoping to have the problem fixed before winter ( we are in Eastern Canada) or atleast a winter solution until spring. Thinking about caulking the floor/wall to have tighter seams. I know this won't solve the problem but were atleast hoping to hold off with this.

11-04-2008, 08:49 AM
Fighting the problem from the inside is not the answer. Moisture is best sealed from the outside and your wall probably had an outside treatment applied when it was built.

The crack may actually be in the wall. It has to be close because the smell appears so quickly.

What type of pipe and wall do you have?

Also does the pipe slope away from the house to the septic system? Sometimes they don't.

Is there a joint or cleanout near the wall?

Are there trees near the line? Tree roots could be restricting the flow and causing a portion of the flow to go backwards. The line can be 3/4 full of roots and still appear to function properly.

11-04-2008, 09:45 AM
I think at this point, moisture on the outside may be the problem. We are pretty certain that there are no breaks in any lines or the tank itself as all the dirt dug around it is clean and simply smells like dirt.
The gutter has not yet been put back on the house after shingling the roof, therefore any rain simply stays at the base of the house. We did have about 4 days of rain last week before the smell. So we are now wondering about the ground being saturated with water at the base of the basement and gases from flushing being "sucked" into this moisture, and then escaping back into the house.

The pipe does slope away from the house and has been replaced just days ago to be sure that wasn't part of the problem. My walls are cinder blocks. No trees around the property at all. Good old rocks and dirt. Pipes are all code. We actually took the cap/cover off the pipe in the basement that leads out to the septic and the only smell coming from there is just plain old plastic smells.

It's very odd. We do not think we have a crack in the tank or anything like that because as I said all the dirt surrounding the tank and pipes are clean, no signs of leaks. It's a mystery.

Thanks for helping troubleshoot.