Been in my house for 30 years. The past year I've been getting an
increase in a gurgling sound when some of the fixtures are used. Also,
in a main floor wash room there is a near constant odor similar to
sewer gas (I am on a septic system).
My research indicates that I may have an obstructed waste venting but
I have no clue as to how to check for that.
Before I am forced to hire a professional for this I am hoping I can
receive some good advise and recommendations from this group.
So, . . . . .
Yes pour some water down the vent and see if it drains quickly away.
Also if the vent is straight down, poke a length
of something down it. Make sure not to drop it (tie something to it?)!
For example our vent system has one main (and straight down from the
roof to the basement floor, of about 19 feet) 3 inch vent stack, with
several branches coming into it within the attic/roof space. Did this
to avoid several separate vents sticking up through the roof for a)
Kitchen b) Bathroom etc.
Gurgling and odor sound like the traps, in one non used bathtub in one
bathroom my tub gurgles when I flush that toilet when its dry, any
trap lets in odor when its fully dry so I just pour in a few cups of
water when it gurgles, fill traps, then if it happens in a few days
maybe trap is rusted, leaking, and now dry. Odors are often caused by
bad toilet wax rings never properly set, I have a few that needed
special double rings after i put in new floors, the floor was raised
but not the toilet flange. so I would consider all traps first. Can
you look under traps for signs of leaks. On the vent put a garden hose
in it from the roof the water weight can clear obstructions, but that
would be last. Ive never had a bad vent, but alot of bad toilet wax
rings and rusted leaking traps.
In my old house, which was about 30
years old at the time, gurgling started.
Shortly after we got backup from the
basement floor drain when emptying any
sink at that end of the house. I rented
a power auger and attempted to clean out
the drain pipe. BTW, under the basement
floor the drain was all cast iron. The
auger went through fine, but the backup
persisted. So I called a plumber. He
did exactly the same thing that I did,
however, he was successful in opening
whatever was there and charging my a few
hundred dollars for his time. He
thought is was rust buildup in the pipe.
He said that after that many years the
4" pipe might be reduced to only 2" or
less due to buildup. The strange thing
is that I actually used an auger with a
larger diameter boring tool on the end,
than he did. If this would ever happen
again, I would get a heavy spring and
mount it perpendicular to the auger.
This way it could collapse when entering
a, say 2" line, and open in the 4" line,
thus scrapping the sides.
Vents are tested with smoke. The smoke is blown into the drain at a low
point and should only exit the pipes through the roof vent. Smoke anywhere
else indicates a failure of the venting system.
The methods already posted by others are about as good as you will be able
Do add water to all the traps. We have to do that a few times per year
especially in our unused guest bath.
The broken wax ring is the first suspect for the smell after an unfilled
Right smoke, I forgot, a plumber wanted to drop a smoke bomb down the
pipe to find "The Leak" but he wanted to bust open walls that were
wallpapered to look, so luckily mine was the toilet wax ring and I
saved the walls, but a smoke bomb should do it too if needed.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.