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Marc, Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 1127
Experience:  Plumbing heating & home maintenance contractor
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This rented home has a strong septic/sewage smell that is

Customer Question

Hi, this rented home has a strong septic/sewage smell that is clearly evident in colder weather - it is horrible. You can really smell it outside and to a lesser degree inside. The garage ceiling is open where the ladder to the "attic" used to be and the
smell is especially strong in the garage. The landlord states that there is nothing wrong with the plumbing, but I'm convinced there is. What needs to be fixed with the plumbing? Can you point me to a website or two that gives a fix for the issue? And if we
don't fix it ourselves, do you have any thoughts on getting the landlord to get it fixed? Thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Phil replied 1 year ago.


So far it sounds like an improper sewer vent installation. In cold weather the air outside is more dense than the air in the house and it will 'fall' or draft down the vent into the plumbing and bypass the sink and tub traps. That is an educated guess, likely no more than 70% chance of being correct.

More likely is a sewer vent not run through the roof, but terminated in the attic, of not connected properly in the wall.

Another more likely cause is a 'dry trap' any unused sink will result in the trap below the sink drying out over a few weeks time, if that happens sewer gas will have a direct pathway to the inside of the house.

Let me know what you can discover, we can go from there.