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New boiler sewage smell

2

Comments

  • angdell120angdell120 Posts: 28Member
    @JUGHNE boiler goes to the one at the back of the house. The one on the right has a wood stove insert in it. We have an electric water heater.
  • angdell120angdell120 Posts: 28Member
    @jughne the picture is of the back of the house.
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 4,098Member
    So the exterior chimney nearest to the sewer vent.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • angdell120angdell120 Posts: 28Member
    @fred we have septic, had it pumped this summer. We haven’t found any floor drains. The slop sink gets used daily, I have smelled the drain and it seems fine.
  • angdell120angdell120 Posts: 28Member
    @Charlie from wmass I don’t believe the chimney has a liner, the home is from the 1800s. We installed a wood stove in our fireplace, was cheaper than installing a liner. The smell is coming from the basement (we think).

    We have a third floor that is rough plumbed for a bathroom, previous owners never finished it and we didn’t need the additional bathroom. They had stuffed papertowels in the pipes to prevent any smells from coming up. Do you think that could have something to do with it? We always smell it in the basement, that’s why I never questioned it.
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 4,098Member
    I recommend properly capping all the drain pipes before proceeding.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • DocfletcherDocfletcher Posts: 475Member
    Does the cast iron vertical section of pipe shown in your basement photos connect to copper pipe? If so there may be pinholes in the copper. Is the vent stack copper or cast iron?
  • angdell120angdell120 Posts: 28Member
    @Docfletcher no copper attached to the cast iron
  • FredFred Posts: 8,105Member
    Where is the water heater and does it vent into the same chimney? If it vents into a different chimney and you smell the odor even when the boiler isn't running, have you checked for dead animals in that flue/chimney?
  • angdell120angdell120 Posts: 28Member
    @Fred silly question, it’s electric, doesn’t look like it vents anywhere?
  • DocfletcherDocfletcher Posts: 475Member
    edited September 26
    Cooler, dryer air is dense and humid sewage air is denser still making the smell more prevalent. It is possible the odor is being drawn in via a issue with a vent pipe. When our weather turns colder and you use the boiler more you may find the odor even more prevalent because of the boiler burner pulling air.


  • Alan WelchAlan Welch Posts: 184Member
    If I am following correctly, there were no smells from around April until mid September, and now they are back. you say you get the smell when the heat is on, but sometimes at night when not running for heat. Did you have the boiler shut off at a switch all summer? It's possible the boiler is maintaining a certain temperature, and runs at times when not needed for heat. Do you hear any sound from the vent damper in the fluepipe when you turn up the heat?
  • angdell120angdell120 Posts: 28Member
    @alan Welch yes you are correct. No we didn’t turn anything off we just turn the thermostat way down so it won’t come on.
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 4,098Member
    What is the exact boiler model
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 3,496Member
    I don't see any signs of makeup air and also I noticed the dryer down there.
    Is there any smell when the dryer is running or when both the dryer and boiler are running.
    Keep in mind a vented dryer can pull almost all the available air for combustion out of that basement rather quickly.
    Checking with a draft gauge/manometer in the room, may provide some diagnostic help.
    Have you pinpointed a spot or section where you smell it more?
    Btw, how long is that run of flue pipe to the chimney base. Looks like it maybe too long, especially the TEPL with 3-90° elbows.

    ------
    I had a customer who swore they had a gas leak. I went over and it smelled but not really like gas.
    Turned out their trashcans were right outside the leaky basement window that was unwittingly providing combustion air to the furnace. So when the furnace ran, it was pulling in the smell.
    Pinpointing smells can obviously be sometimes rather tricky.
    steve
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 4,098Member
    How many square feet is your basement? Roughly
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Bill_Kitsch69Bill_Kitsch69 Posts: 22Member
    edited September 26
    In the 1960s I knew a guy who couldn't hold it, no bathroom in sight.

    He went in the corner of the basement in a rag, wrapped it up and put his poop in the base of the chimney... They found that from an odor.

    Also, the room could be going slightly negative pressure when the boiler fires, pulling sewer gas from somewhere. So it could be insufficient fresh combustion make up air if the boiler is installed in a room with a closed door, or no way to get fresh air.

    The source could be a dried out piped floor drain trap (put water in it), or even a french drain, and a sewer line is broken under the floor and gas finding its way out there.

    Also, look at the back sides of pipes against walls for holes in the cast iron. Smell closely too.

  • JakeCKJakeCK Posts: 137Member
    > @Bill_Kitsch69 said:
    > In the 1960s I knew a guy who couldn't hold it, no bathroom in sight.
    >
    > He went in the corner of the basement in a rag, wrapped it up and put his poop in the base of the chimney... They found that from an odor.
    >
    > The source could be a dried out piped floor drain trap (put water in it), or even a french drain, and a sewer line is broken under the floor and gas finding its way out there.

    First off people are disgusting...

    Second, I had roots getting into my sewer out in the tree lawn. This of course was backing up crap and causing a smell to seep through the floor and wall. This made me think I had a broken tile so I had an inspection camera ran up and down from the outside cleanout. Luckily no breaks in the sanitary but even with no breaks it still smells when ever the roots start to get in there. I now have it snaked by the city at least once a year with or without problems.
  • angdell120angdell120 Posts: 28Member
    @Charlie from wmass 300-400 sq ft, us boiler co model# x-20
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 6,231Member
    So your boiler used the back chimney, it has the most brick exposed to the cold and with loss of the standing pilot light may take some operation time to establish proper draft.
    Could your smell be from burned gas fumes coming out of the bottom of the draft hood, but the draft is established before the blocked vent switch is activated.

    Or your other two chimneys may come down to the basement for foundation support. There may be clean outs for them in the basement. Have you checked those for odors? If the boiler is pulling air down either of those chimneys and something dead is in them or one has a boot legged sewer vent stuck into it in the attic then that could be the source.

    Can you see where the sewer line leaves the house thru the basement wall?
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 4,098Member
    If you have tree root intrusion the joints are compromised you don't need cracked pipe to warrant it needing replaced. That also means that pipe is acting as a leaching field on it's way out of the house.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • JakeCKJakeCK Posts: 137Member
    > @Charlie from wmass said:
    > If you have tree root intrusion the joints are compromised you don't need cracked pipe to warrant it needing replaced. That also means that pipe is acting as a leaching field on it's way out of the house.

    Tree lawn is the cities responsibility, not mine. I can't force them to fix it. And I don't have the +15k to spend on it anyways.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Posts: 11,470Member
    One test I haven't seen mentioned is a smoke test. This is something a plumber will have to do, and likely in cooperation with your municipal waste water authority, but can be very enlightening (!). Basically what is done is a powerful smoke bomb is placed in the nearest manhole, or if there is an outside cleanout on your sewer line, in that cleanout, and a blower is used to force air into the manhole or cleanout. If there are ways in which sewer gas can get into your structure, that will find them (it will also find illegal storm water or roof leader connections...).

    Warming: if there are such leaks, the results can be rather spectacular and dismaying. Trust me. Been there, done that.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • neilcneilc Posts: 729Member
    new roof ?
    I see a shiny flashing on that roof, with a stretchy diaphragm wrapping that one stack.
    Do you smell this upstairs? in the attic?
    Where I work I tracked down a vent stack that was flashed with a loose fit sleeve, topped with a inner / outer counterflash cap.
    the inner counter fit inside the vent stack, and the outer was over the roof jack(loose sleeve), but there was a good 1/2 inch gap between the roof jack and the vent stack,
    and that stank would follow that gap back into the attic, and get sucked into the occupied space.
    pulled the cap and filled the gap with spray foam, cap back on and alls been good since.
    Ya might check your roof vents and flashings.
  • FredFred Posts: 8,105Member
    I see a clothes dryer in one of your pictures. I assume there is a washer next to it. Where does that drain? It has a stand pipe, I'm sure. is there a trap on that stand pipe?
  • Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 987Member
    @angdell120. Sorry this smell has raised its ugly stench again.

    Hartford still has a few septic systems in use. It's a good idea to find out what your systems drains to....your own septic or the municipality? ( I have had some customers think they had city sewer when they actually had there own septic system )

    The ideas expressed above ^^^^^ concerning vent stacks in chimneys and fixture traps not having water in them are your best leads as far as I can tell at this point.

    Chipped and broken cast iron drain pipes just below the floor can cause the problem you describe.
    Is there a floor drain under furniture or under a appliance like your washer and dryer,or even the boiler? Take a good hard look around. If so, they need to have water poured into them.
    Was any concrete work done on the floor in the basement that could have put a skim coat of concrete over a floor drain?
  • angdell120angdell120 Posts: 28Member
    I have a chimney guy scheduled to do an inspection and make sure no animals or moisture is in it.

    As I was sniffing around the boiler, I noticed a switch called flue gas flow on the pipe that goes to the chimney. It is in the off position. Does anyone know if this should be on?
  • angdell120angdell120 Posts: 28Member
  • DocfletcherDocfletcher Posts: 475Member
    edited October 5
    When closed flue gas will not escape (vent Out). I would open the vent so flue gas can vent out . I'm a homeowner like you.
  • angdell120angdell120 Posts: 28Member
    Wonder if that could be the root of my problem?
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 4,098Member
    sewer and exhaust are 2 very different odors. that should be reaching the open position when the burners are lit. There is also a small disk that is installed upon installation to cover a small hole in the damper. if your boiler has no standing pilot (which should be your model) then the disk is solid, if not it uses a disk with a small hole in it.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • angdell120angdell120 Posts: 28Member
    Charlie from mass
    We have had the sewer line smoked 2x, not drains in the basement floor and the sink gets used everyday.....

    I just wonder what could possible be going on becides the chimney at this point!
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 4,098Member
    can you post photos of the piping around the sink? if you already have I apologize for the redundancy of my request.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • angdell120angdell120 Posts: 28Member
  • FredFred Posts: 8,105Member
    What is that rectangular cover I see on the floor, under the slop sink?
  • angdell120angdell120 Posts: 28Member
    Fred, nothing, I lifted it up. Not sure what it was for.
  • ratioratio Posts: 2,136Member
    It looks like maybe a floor drain to me. Is the metal plate slotted/perforated?
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 4,098Member
    edited October 6
    Where does the sink drain go? It is hard to tell from the picture.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • DocfletcherDocfletcher Posts: 475Member
    Enlarging his photo shows a straight length of pipe bhind the cleanout going directly into the brick wall.


  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 4,098Member
    @Docfletcher yes but where is it going.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
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