A friend had a new gas boiler installed last winter. Over the past few months,
she noticed a smell (something like oil) in the basement that comes and goes.
She called the boiler people, who said there's nothing wrong with the unit, but
suggested that maybe her neighbors had poured oil into their basement sewer and
it had backed up into hers. She had the sewer line rodded out; the plumbers
discovered a cracked drain pipe and replaced it. But the smell comes back
occassionally, regardless of whether the boiler is on.
She's thinking maybe the vent for the boiler and/or hot water heater is
Any other suggestions on what to check?
I bet the traps in her floor drains have dried out. It's a common occurrence
in wintertime, when the humidity is lower. Have her pour a bucket of water
down each drain, and see if that takes care of the smell. If so, a gallon of
water in each drain, once or twice a month, should prevent a recurrence.
Get a Co meter-alarm, Nighthawk makes one that includes a Ng gas leak
alarm. It could be a dry trap, a sump pit, or is it possible the bldg
used to be heated by oil, then likely oil spilled , that is a problem I
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