This may be a little OT because it's not for home, but church. My
church has developed a really bad sewer like smell in one corner of the
building, actually by the main entrance. I thought it might be the new
drinking fountain and it was just installed and maybe there was some
kind of drain leak ... apparently not. BTW, there is a basement right
under that corner, but is smells ... well it doesn't, at all. Someone
found a a bag of meat left out from the food pantry tucked away in a
corner of a room ... apparently not that. A plumber was called and he
found a somewhat loose toilet so he replace the wax ring and tightened
it ... not that either.
Ok, all that said, does anyone know of a way to trace where it is coming
from? My smeller is pretty good, however, it's hard to pin point the
spot when it seems to be everywhere. And then, on some days, nowhere;
although the bad smell days far outnumber the non smell days. Any
On Sunday, March 6, 2016 at 7:51:14 AM UTC-5, Art Todesco wrote:
For me, the bag of meat tucked away in a corner is the best clue.
How does that happen? Sounds deliberate. So, I'd be looking at any
other places, closets, openings, anywhere some jerk could have left
something else to rot.
That intrigued me too. Was the area sanitized after? A little residue
can still make a good stink for a long time.
My father bought a brand new from the factory 1959 Chevy Impala.
Started to stink. Found a half a sandwich under the back seat. And
people wonder how foreign cars took such a big market share.
Make sure the traps in *all* drains have water in them (an unused drain
can dry out in short order).
Vent the area (you said it was proximate to the main entrance so some
fans running for a few hours should vent EXISTING fumes). Then, start
hunting. I.e., finding the highest concentration in an otherwise
"clean" area is easier than finding it in a perfused area.
[I had a *tiny* natural gas leak, here. SWMBO, plumber, neighbors, etc.
couldn't smell it. I borrowed a portable gas analyzer from the local
hospital and used it to isolate the point of the leak.]
Others went with my thought, a dried out
drain trap of some kind. Another concern
is possibly a pipe that is unconnected, or
Perhaps you can open all the doors and blow
the building out. Then sniff around when the
doors are first closed.
A dry trap is the most likely but they do tend to have a distinctive smell.
If you have someone with a sensitive nose sometimes they can discriminate b
etween different causes.
If it is a dry trap, it doesn't happen suddenly and it will always recur re
gularly. Pouring water in helps, but you have to figure out the interval a
nd remember to do it quarterly, monthly, weekly, whatever; depends on tempe
rature and humidity usually. Some people put a tablespoon of vegetable oil
on top of the water on the theory it prevents evaporation in the trap. Ma
ybe it works, maybe not, I dunno. I just make sure I run water periodicall
I have also run into a case where the exhaust fan was strong enough to pull
some sewer gas up through the trap even though it wasn't dry. That was so
lved by putting a vent in the door so the makeup air could come in that way
Yes it did, however, I don't think it is coming from the water fountain.
I've stuck my nose right against the drain and also behind the unit
and there was nothing. I haven't been there since I first posted, but
will be there tomorrow. Thinking about this and all the replies, I
think there are 2 washrooms just under the lobby, and these washrooms
are not heavily used. I don't think many people even know they exist.
My wife was there yesterday and didn't smell anything, but it does seem
to come and go. I'll keep you posted.
Good thought. I'd completely forgotten an experience that I had.
Did a complete gut job of the kitchen (house built in 1974) down to the
stud walls. On a common wall shared by the kitchen plumbing and a bath,
I discovered that over the years something (sewer gas?) had corroded a
section of the 3" copper vent stack in that wall, necessitating replacement.
We never experienced sewer gas smell, but strange stuff can happen with
plumbing, so trader's suggestion has merit.
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