Plumbing Forum - Professional & DIY Plumbing Forum > General Plumbing Discussion > Septic Tanks > Pumping from one tank to another - causing smell?



Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-17-2014, 12:49 AM   #1
cne24
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 7
Default Pumping from one tank to another - causing smell?

Good evening.

Forgive my lack of terminology. I have what was termed an "A+" system by an inspector. Problem is, I get an intermittent sewer smell in my basement. There are no floor drains, etc, that I can see.

The waste of the house drains into the "old" tank. The liquids are then pumped (I assume when a certain level is reached) to a newer tank, probably 10-15' from the older tank. The solids remain in the old tank (this based on what the inspector told me).

At odd intervals, I get a sewer whiff in the basement. Long story short, I assume the smell occurs when the liquids in the old tank reach a certain level, and that activates the pump to the newer tank.

Could this action be causing the smell? If so, what can I do to eliminate the problem? Would an external vent help? Is there something that is exposed in the house, though I can see no exposed location? Baffles me since I assume the system should be "closed" and I can see no area where the smell would come from, other than being caused by the liquid pumping action.

Could there be an issue with the regular bathroom vents thru the roof - though there is no smell elsewhere in the house?

Does this make sense? Thanks for any help,
Chris



__________________
cne24 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-17-2014, 02:34 AM   #2
journeyman
the professional
 
journeyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: san diego, california
Posts: 256
Liked 81 Times on 63 Posts
Likes Given: 71

Default

Are there any drains that could be getting the water sucked out of the traps due to bad venting?



__________________
journeyman is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-17-2014, 09:40 PM   #3
cne24
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by journeyman View Post
Are there any drains that could be getting the water sucked out of the traps due to bad venting?
I suppose that's possible. Would the next step be ... go on the roof and check the vents? Or run water on a daily basis at every drain spot in the house and check for the smell?

The smell only is in the basement. There's no floor drain down there, just a sump pump. The kitchen sink was moved during a remodel (before I moved in) and that left an exposed drain in the basement (it was relocated and tied into the "main" line). I capped the old exposed pipe off ...
__________________
cne24 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2014, 04:36 AM   #4
journeyman
the professional
 
journeyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: san diego, california
Posts: 256
Liked 81 Times on 63 Posts
Likes Given: 71

Default

Is your tanks on the same side and level as your basement

__________________
journeyman is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-18-2014, 09:51 PM   #5
cne24
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by journeyman View Post
Is your tanks on the same side and level as your basement
Yes, the tanks are on the side of the basement where the smell comes from (and where the main line exits the house). I would bet that the top of the riser is about 6' from where the floor of the basement is.

Also attached is a picture of the pipe that I capped off.
File Type: jpg sewer pipe 2.jpg (84.3 KB, 26 views)
__________________
cne24 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-19-2014, 04:04 AM   #6
journeyman
the professional
 
journeyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: san diego, california
Posts: 256
Liked 81 Times on 63 Posts
Likes Given: 71

Default

It looks like the ac line penatrates the wall above tank. I bet you have a crack in the tank and it is getting in your basement. Is that pvc cap glued on or just stuck on. Can you post some more pictures of that whole wall

__________________
journeyman is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-19-2014, 10:47 PM   #7
cne24
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by journeyman View Post
It looks like the ac line penatrates the wall above tank. I bet you have a crack in the tank and it is getting in your basement. Is that pvc cap glued on or just stuck on. Can you post some more pictures of that whole wall
Thanks for all the replies.

I've considered that, but in my mind I can't wrap my head around the thought that - if there was a leak, why wouldn't it smell it nonstop? When it smells, I take a can of lysol into the basement, spray it around, and the smell goes away.

I'll try to get another pic of the wall, but basically the wall you see extends to the right terminating in a sump pit. The wall turns to the left, where a heat pump unit sits next to the stairs to the main level. You are right, the AC lines exit the wall where you see it, and that point is about a 10" above ground level outside (I sprayed foam in the exit point outside). The wall is offset, and you may be able to see where the blocks leave an exposed area at about head level. I can see the line exiting the house if I stand on a ladder and look thru the blocks. To the left, the wall is higher and also offset. There appears to be a drywalled area that leads to that spot (behind the wall to the left) that I've thought about cutting open and seeing what's back there ...

And yes the cap is glued ... I've tried a sniff test around the cap and smell nothing.
__________________
cne24 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-20-2014, 03:59 AM   #8
journeyman
the professional
 
journeyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: san diego, california
Posts: 256
Liked 81 Times on 63 Posts
Likes Given: 71

Default

Out of curiousity how did the pipe the abs into the cast iron hub right below the p trap on the 2 inch line

__________________
journeyman is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-21-2014, 01:26 AM   #9
cne24
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 7
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by journeyman View Post
Out of curiousity how did the pipe the abs into the cast iron hub right below the p trap on the 2 inch line
Forgive me sir, I don't quite understand what you are asking.

I tried to take a closer picture of the spot where the kitchen line joins the iron. The only thing that drains thru the plastic is from the kitchen area. Where the iron comes thru the wall (to the left) takes the rest of the house. I can't get to the area behind that wall, which is why I suspect that an access to that could be behind an area behind the stairs that is drywalled. If that makes sense. I assume there has to be a way to access that area, as someone would have had to run the plumbing to it.
File Type: jpg joint.jpg (86.4 KB, 19 views)
__________________
cne24 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-22-2014, 04:26 PM   #10
journeyman
the professional
 
journeyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: san diego, california
Posts: 256
Liked 81 Times on 63 Posts
Likes Given: 71

Default

Where the plastic goes into the cast iron what did they use to make the connection is that a rubber gromet



__________________
journeyman is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sewer gas after septic pumping wlsmith General Plumbing Help 3 09-29-2012 02:53 PM
pumping uphill gadus Toilets and Sinks 7 09-24-2012 09:45 AM
Water tank smell Chris General Plumbing Help 8 07-21-2012 08:44 PM
Septic Tank Smell - Interior Skidder Septic Tanks 7 02-10-2012 11:56 AM
Saniplus pumping toilet vent? dan0 General Plumbing Help 1 03-30-2010 02:00 PM

Newest Threads