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Thread: Septic Tank Odor - Vent pipe (Why now?)

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Longjt's Avatar
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    Default Septic Tank Odor - Vent pipe (Why now?)

    Not for sure if I have this posted in the right area or not - I'm new to the forums. If I need to relocate - let me know or a moderator can relocate it for me.....

    Here's my issue-

    I had lived alone (for about 6 years) in my 1100 sq ft ranch home up to June of last year when my fiancee and her 2 girls (9 and 7 yrs old) moved in. I had the septic tank emptied just after they moved in because I anticipated a quite a bit more water usage and I knew the 1500 gal tank was way over due. This was the first time it had been emptied since I bought the house in 1996 (I know it should be emptied every 3 - 5 yrs) . Ever since having it emptied, I can smell a sewage odor (H2S?) on the back side of my house (close to where the vent pipe is located on the roof) on a breezy day. I have climbed up the roof and verified that it's the same smell coming out of the roof vent. I have never smelled this odor before until after the tank was emptied. I thought it would eventually go away but it hasn't yet.

    Any thoughts anyone????????

    I have had no problems with the leech beds (knock on wood). I have a diversion/splitter box after the tank that allows me to alternate between the two leech beds (I do it every spring). I just added some Rid-X for the first time about 2 weeks ago thinking that maybe there's no biological matter in the tank to break things down. Could the waste be going septic? If so, how can I fix this problem????????


    Please help....


    Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Rid-X is for killing roots.

    You may be better off with Bio-Clean to add some bacteria to the septic.
    They also make filters for vent pipes that help with the smell issue.

  3. #3
    Geotechnical Engineer AL_2007's Avatar
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    Sounds like a leach field problem to me. I had a similar problem and even emptying the tank didn't solve the problem as it was quickly refilled with waste water. The problem of odor and leaking water near the septic was solved after I built a new leach field.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member JJLJr's Avatar
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    Default Septic tank odor Outside

    Last August, I bought a new house. The cesspool did not pass inspection and was replaced with a septic system in October. Prior to installing the septic system, my wife and I would notice an occasional odor and figured it was from the cesspool. However, we still get the smell with the new septic system. After checking various websites, I think the odor is from the stack pipe. The pipe appears to be only about 8" high and the roof only has a slight pitch. I suspect the when the wind comes over the roof it carries the smell. Other than that we have no problems in the house as all drains are very quick, no noises or gurgling.

    My question is what is the best way to get rid of the odor? I have discovered several options through Google searches, such as placing a filter over the pipe, extending the pipe, flushing a cup of baking soda weekly down the toilet (from Arm & Hammer) and adding a T or U connector to the pipe. Will any of these work?

    Thanks for the help.

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    DIY Junior Member patman2's Avatar
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    Default Outside odor from septic system

    About two years ago we finished building our house on 25 acres and a recent problem has me stumped. For the past six months weíve occasionally detected a sewer odor outside. Iíve walked our property and tried to locate the smell concentrating near the septic tank and leach field but the smell is not coming from either of these areas. I recently noticed that I can only smell it when the wind is blowing lightly from a certain direction. Suspecting that the odor was coming from the vents, I climbed up on the roof to check it out. There was a light updraft coming from the vent and strong sewage odor. Initially I couldnít understand how there could be an updraft in a sealed DWV system. Air must be coming in from somewhere, but where? Then I remembered that we installed three inside AAVs, which are allowed by local code.

    So here is my theory: It has taken several years for our DWV pipes to become tainted by sewage so that is why we havenít detected any odor until now. So when the conditions are right, the roof vents warm in the sun and warm air in the DWV system tries to rise. But if the system were truly sealed there would be no replacement air coming inÖ except for the 3 inside AAVs. AAV valves, which are designed to admit air to the system, could also admit air into the system as warm air from the roof vents pulls air from the system. Is this a possibility or could something else be going on?

    Iím stumpted.

  7. #7
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Your system is producing gas.

    The same thing happens when you make wine. You can't cap a fermenting wine bottle because of the pressure from the sugars breaking down and creating gas.

    http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/...ic_basics.html
    Last edited by Terry; 10-29-2012 at 09:42 AM.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member patman2's Avatar
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    Creating gas? Is that normal? Is there anything that I could do?

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