Pumping from one tank to another - causing smell?

Discussion in 'Septic Tanks' started by cne24, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. Jun 17, 2014 #1

    cne24

    cne24

    cne24

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    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
     
  2. Jun 17, 2014 #2

    journeyman

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    Are there any drains that could be getting the water sucked out of the traps due to bad venting?
     
  3. Jun 17, 2014 #3

    cne24

    cne24

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    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 ...
     
  4. Jun 18, 2014 #4

    journeyman

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    Is your tanks on the same side and level as your basement
     
  5. Jun 18, 2014 #5

    cne24

    cne24

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    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.

    sewer pipe 2.jpg
     
  6. Jun 19, 2014 #6

    journeyman

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    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
     
  7. Jun 19, 2014 #7

    cne24

    cne24

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    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.
     
  8. Jun 20, 2014 #8

    journeyman

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    Out of curiousity how did the pipe the abs into the cast iron hub right below the p trap on the 2 inch line
     
  9. Jun 21, 2014 #9

    cne24

    cne24

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    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.

    joint.jpg
     
  10. Jun 22, 2014 #10

    journeyman

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    Where the plastic goes into the cast iron what did they use to make the connection is that a rubber gromet
     
  11. Jun 24, 2014 #11

    cne24

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    Ok, got it. I'm out for the next few days, I'll check when I return. If I recall correctly, it did appear to be a rubber-based material, but I wouldn't stake my life on it. Think it could be bad? Thanks again.
     
  12. Jun 25, 2014 #12

    journeyman

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    Yeah possibly
     
  13. Jun 29, 2014 #13

    cne24

    cne24

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    Yes, that is a rubber gasket. The edges do flex a bit. Want me to take a picture or something else? That is the rough area where the smell comes from, though I can't be exact if that's exactly where it is coming from, if that makes sense.
     
  14. Jul 1, 2014 #14

    jorgeglens

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    This is very doable but I would suggest a slight modification. On my system, water drains from the main tank to the sump. From the sump I have 1 pump that returns to the main tank and also pumps to a 30gal and a 40 gal. The 2 smaller tanks drain back into the sump. or else call spam name plumbers they will help you.

    Moderator note: Goodbye, my spammer friend! Neither your spam or your "plumbing advice" are needed here!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2014

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