100 year old house sewer pipe advice.

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New Member
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Anthon, Iowa
My wife and I just purchased a 100 year old old I’ve been renting for 10 years. 31k 4 bedroom 2 bath. A medium-large house in a small town in Iowa 30 miles east of Sioux City Iowa.

In recent years the smell of gas has been getting stronger. When you flush the toilet on the upper level the sink and tub gurgle. Loudly. My upper level can produce a strong odor on occasion. My main level toilet clogs consistently. When it does clog. It blasts water in the basement. Which the basement has no floor drain. My mud room. Pictured inserted. The space between garage and house and access to basement reeks like sewer gas all the time now.

There is no venting on the roof. Only this lone pipe behind my house. Adjacent to my daughters bedroom. When the downstairs toilet clogs. It blasts pipe water out and out of the area around it from where the house lays on the foundation. Picture is included of outside pipe. I’ve had rotoroter here three times to snake the main outlet. Still I have gas problems. I’m at a loss. Any advice on what is going on and what the options are is appreciated.

My main outlet to the street sits a foot or two about the ground. Pic included. So I can’t have a floor drain and any water on the floor has to be carried out.

It’s gotten to the point of sinus infections are becoming regular. Upper respiratory infections are common. And the smell is like a crap demon has taken residence in my home. It’s never been this bad in the 10 years I’ve lived here.


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The Plumbing Wizard
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Bothell, Washington
100 years is a long time for cast iron drains to survive, and plumbing codes have change over the years too.
When I drop a toilet into a waste line, it's either into a 90 bend, forcing waste one direction, or into a wye or combo fitting. I see yours into a santee on it's back, which doesn't really work.
Venting helps to prevent traps from siphoning dry and losing trap seal. I don't see a trap for the tub, but maybe it's on the other side of the cast.
Venting normally exits the roof, so that the sewer gases can disperse high in the winds. You don't want them lower than windows.


Tuttles Revenge

In the Trades
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Yep.. remodel time. A lot of what I see like the toilet dropping into a San Tee on its back and the lack of any venting besides that one... its time to gut it and start over. Especially if its making you and your family sick. There is a good possibility that there were vents, but someone chopped them off in the wall and never capped em.

You can get a drain in your basement, but the drain gets pumped up to the gravity sewer.
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

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