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Old 11-30-2010, 05:41 AM   #1
caspurr6
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Default Sewage smell after shower

Ok so first of all let me say that i have been doing alot of reading...i hate being that person who posts something that has already been answered somewhere, but the thing is i have found some similar issues, but nothing that quite matches exactly, so i am unfortunatly going to have to risk being that person today...sorry!

For the past few weeks I have noticed that just about everytime someone takes a shower (usually only after a longer shower, and not so often after just a short one) there is an aweful smell of sewage in the house. Strangely enough the smell doesn't actually seem to be in the bathroom (which is the only one we have), or at least isnt the strongest in there, but rather right outside the bathroom door in the kitchen. We are on a septic system, which was just put in a little over a year ago, and as far as I can remember i haven't smelt this is the past year we've been here. We have a partial basement with crawlspace under the rest of the house, some of which is inaccessible. I am not sure how the plumbing looks down there, so i can't offer much help in that aspect. A few weeks ago i used some drain cleaner because our shower and our kitchen sinks were draining slow. i don't recall smelling this smell until after that. We still have an occasional problem with our kitchen sink draining slow, but that is normally only when some food gets caught up in there. Otherwise things seem to be draining ok, at least better than before i used the drain cleaner.

I won't claim to know much of anything about plumbing, infact i really don't know much at all and thats why i am here. I am also new to having a septic system which is another reason. I was wondering what could be the causes of this, and what can be done to find out what it is. Although I have admitted to now knowing much, if anything at all, about plumbing i am pretty handy and i am a fast learner, so if this is something i can do on my own i would really like to save the money of hiring someone to fix it, finances are pretty tight!

Thanks in advance for all your help, and please excuse any silly questions i may need to ask to make sure i am doing things correctly and understanding things fully!

-Michelle



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Old 11-30-2010, 06:11 PM   #2
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oh and i forgot to mention that it generally only take 30-60 mins give or take for the smell to go away completely. Or at least until we run another shower!



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Old 11-30-2010, 08:30 PM   #3
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I give you a few ideas, NEVER PUT ANY CLEANERS IN A SEPTIC SYSTEM unless they are the enzyme type, most cleaners wil do damage to a septic and they are close to useless on a regular system.

When was the last time you had the septic pumped? it dosesn't matter how old it is you have to check to see if it is overfilliing.

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Old 11-30-2010, 09:36 PM   #4
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Is there a mechanical vent on the kitchen sink? Look underneath, on the drain piping. Is there an odd looking cylindrical object sticking up from the drain piping somewhere? These can stick open, and it is plausible that as the water from the shower displaces sewer gas in the pipe, it is getting pushed out through the stuck open mechanical vent.

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Old 12-01-2010, 04:00 PM   #5
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@Psycho99-I didn not put too much cleaner down, but I will remember that for the future. However, I must ask, even though the back of the bottle says it is safe on septic systems?

We have never had the septic pumped because it is a brand new 1000 gallon system that was put in last year, which is when we bought this house, and there are only 2 of us here. They told us it wouldn't need pumped for at least a couple years.

@phishfood-I checked under the kitchen sink and i don't see anything that looks odd to me. All i really see is just the pipes that plumb the sink.

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Old 12-01-2010, 04:26 PM   #6
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Even if the system is only a year old check it to see if it needs to be pumped. It shouldn't need it after a year but installation problems could mean it is full.

The vent phishfood is talking about looks like the photo below. Also check you bathroom for one, since people tend to jam them everywhere without understanding what they do. The most common cause for a seweage smell in the house is improper (or damaged) venting.



The smell also might be coming from your ejector pit, have you tried sniffing around there after someone showers?

One other thing: It might not be related to your septic system at all. A big buildup of hair and residue in the shower drain will start to smell very similar to sewage. Of course, it would probably smell more in your bathroom than the kitchen, but it is worth shoving a snake down the drain and seeing what you come up with.

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Old 12-01-2010, 07:03 PM   #7
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i will check around the drains for that vent you showed me, but i dont think i have ever seen anything that looked like that before. Do I have to hire someone to come and see if it needs pumped or is there a way i can check myself? Where is this ejector pit? And I don't think i have a snake, but will try and get my hands on one so i can see if that is what it is.

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Old 12-01-2010, 10:23 PM   #8
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If you can't borrow a snake for the shower drain, you might buy a "Zip-It" to try and clean the shower drain. We had a small discussion on the ZipIt a little while ago, I will see if I can find it.

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Old 12-01-2010, 11:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caspurr6 View Post
We have a partial basement with crawlspace under the rest of the house, some of which is inaccessible. I am not sure how the plumbing looks down there, -Michelle
If you're not squeamish or claustrophobic, put on some coveralls and go check under the house for anything obvious.
Is your drain system old cast Iron, ABS (black plastic) or PVC (white plastic)
Cast iron has a tendency to crack and fall apart. Could be a cracked vent in the wall

Here's the ZIP-IT

Zip-it[/QUOTE]
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:19 PM   #10
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i did buy an auger/snake last night. I will try and get to the drains sometime today. I have tried to go into the crawlspace before, and i didn't get far.

oh wow i just watched the video for the zipit, i almost wish i would have gotten that!!

Oh well, lets see what happens with what i bought, and i will get back to you guys!



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