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Thread: Help! Sewage odor coming from wall? in 1/2 bathroom -- toilet is sealed

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member chrisw's Avatar
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    Default Help! Sewage odor coming from wall? in 1/2 bathroom -- toilet is sealed

    Hello -- this is my first post. I've been reading the archives all day trying to make sense of my problem. I'm hoping you guys can show me the way

    Last week during the hard freeze of the fall (Dallas!) my 1/2 bath in the middle of our one-story house (all on inner-facing walls) developed this sewage smell. The house was built in '96. So I pulled the toilet (plus one in the other bathroom) and resealed them. The Ĺ bath still stinks. I've actually sealed it two times (reinforced wax ring). I also purchased a closet flange repair ring from Lowes, as my metal ring that seated around the PCV in the floor was broken. I have used these before with no issues.

    Regarding technique, I placed the reinforced wax ring on the closet flange on the floor. The toilet seated nicely, squishing the ring. And I used my body weight to set the toilet. Flushes fine Ė and no water/sewage liquid from the floor. However, the smell is still horrible. The thing is, I canít pinpoint where itís coming from. It really doesn't smell like it's coming from the toilet base.

    I checked the sink trap -- working fine. Also checked the trap water level as I flushed the toilet -- to check for backpressure or suction. I went on the roof and ran a wire down the vent pipe (thought something might be frozen up there), but found nothing wrong. I have access to the vent pipes (three toilets in the house) in the attic, but visually see nothing wrong. I traced the PCV vent pipe from the roof -- it "Y"s off and functions for two bathrooms. There is no odor from the second bathroom. It "Y"s off before the vent plumbing in the stinking bathroom.

    After moving some of loose, blown in insulation in the attic above the stinking bathroom, I'm easily smelling the sewage in the attic. The vent pipe "Y"s above this bathroom -- (1) side going to the sink (2) the other to the toilet. I can only think something is lodged in one of these vent pipes, and I believe it's the one to the toilet (as when I remove the trap on the sink, there is no odor in the drain pipe. But I may be misdiagnosing this.

    The house is only 10 years old -- and I just don't see how a vent pipe on an inner facing wall could crack or break. And, I've sealed seveal toilets before without any problems. So I'm kinda ruling that out.

    What do you guys think? I believe something is clogging the vent pipe. And by doing so, maybe exposed a weak link in my bathroom venting PVC pipe. I don't have an auger, but could buy/rent one. I thought about cutting the pipe in the attic -- and augering from there, as the bends may be too difficult to negotiate from my tall, steep roof. Crud.

    Oh yeah, the city came buy today and checked the sewer line at the street -- all was good. I'm not having any issues flushing any toilets or draining either tub.

    MANY THANKS, guys. I appreciate you listening!

    (sorry that I posted this twice --- first in the main plumbing forum)

  2. #2
    DIY Junior Member chrisw's Avatar
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    Default

    It was a dead rat above the ceiling sheetrock (buried in the insulation). It sure smelled like sewer gasses.

  3. #3
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Default good to know

    thank you for posting this, Chris.

    I guess my reaction was like others -- I refrained from posting anything at all until I could think of something solid to suggest.

    You sure did your homework. Your first post explains a lot to a lot of newbies.

    david

  4. #4
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    see what the cold does...up North we seal our houses before the first frost cause them little varmints want inside real bad.

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