Forum Title: Please help. Sewer gas smell only at night, only January-March
Hello all, First, I'd like to say that I am now working with a professional plumber and am willing to pay to solve this problem, but I could really use your thoughts and or suggestions. Infrastructure: City sewer City water Natural gas forced air furnance Natural gas hot water heater Problem Description: In the evenings, I have been fighting a sour smell in my basement for the last three winters, which I presume to be some type of sewer gas. The strange part about this smell is that it is only present under the following conditions: 1) Cold night, Mid January to Mid-to-late March. 20 degrees F or colder 2) Night time, starting around 7PM and it is usually gone by morning 3) It is strongest is the basement, and sometimes permeates to the main floor as I have an open stairwell from the basement to the main floor 4) Rarely, when it is really bad, the smell will permeate to the main floor bathroom (through the walls?) I have not been able to identify the source, and here is what I have done thus far to troubleshoot it. 1) Both floor drains have water in them 2) Basement sink drain p-trap has water in it 3) Basement toilet flushed regularly 4) P-trap for forced-air furnace has water in it 5) P-trap and clean-out cap for forced-air furnace is "tight/sealed" 6) Clean-out caps for all visible drains / etc are sealed 7) Roof vent is clean and not frozen 8) Professional plumber visited during the day when no smell was present with gas meter thing, was not able to identify source 9) Tried turning gas hot water heater off for a night, including turning off the source valve 10) Tried turning gas forced air furnace off for a separate night 11) Tried keeping the basement warm by opening all ducting vents 12) Tried keeping the basement cold by closing all ducting vents 13) All sinks / toilets / showers / tubs / washing machine / etc run regularly to ensure there are no dry traps I am asking the plumber to visit during the evening when the smell is present, and hope to have this done this week. At this point, I am willing to try anything and everything. Please share your ideas! Thank you.
Category: Plumber Post By: ALICE PARKER (Napa, CA), 08/28/2016

Quote: Originally Posted by Mr_David Odors can be a troublesome problem to find. Dead animal in the wall? Cracked or broken vent inside wall or below floor. Thank you very much for the suggested threads, I will go read them. I don't suspect it's a dead animal since one would think that would smell year round, as well as more than from 7PM-7AM on cold nights. The cracked or broken vent is an interesting idea. Could smell permeate from a cracked or broken vent inside poured concrete (basement floor)?

- HILDA GRIFFITH (San Ramon, CA), 09/24/2017

ask your plumber to check the water heater and heating unit vents, make sure they are drafting properly. is it a funky egg rotten smell or a bad fart smell ? funky egg is the w/h anode.

- ASHLEY PETERSON (Haverhill, MA), 09/28/2017

Odors can be a troublesome problem to find. Dead animal in the wall? Cracked or broken vent inside wall or below floor. Smoke test may reveal the source some related threads. maybe these will help

- OLGA SIMON (Grand Prairie, TX), 10/05/2017

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