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We have a cottage on a lake that is very treed in. Alot of

the time we can smell...
We have a cottage on a lake that is very treed in. Alot of the time we can smell sewer gas. any ideas what our problem could be?
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6/13/2017
Mike R.
Mike R., Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 2,886
Experience: 20 years of plumbing experience, including high end homes and service work.
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Hi, I'm Mike and I have 20+ years of experience as a plumber. I'll be glad to assist you today.

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Where do you smell it? When the windows are open or outside?

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What stack did you extend?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
roof stack

Where do you smell it the most? Inside with the windows open? Outside in the yard? Do you smell it when the windows are closed? How many vent stacks are there?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
outside

Is there a clean out access without a cap?

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You do not smell it inside only outside?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
there is only one vent stack located on the roof. it is an older cottage . no the clean out has a cap, we having checked the line used for pumping out sewer also and there are no cracks
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
when windows are open it can be smelt inside if the wind is right

How far away from the septic field do you find the smell? What type of septic field is it? Is it a mound septic field?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
it is a septic tank which is close to the cottage, with a sewer line running uphill so the trucks can access it easier. we have a lift pump right in the septic tank which assists the sewer truck when pumping out.
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
underground septic tank

Yes, the septic tank is then pumped to the leach field. There is not a leach field you have to get it pumped out every year?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
not sure what you mean by leach field...The septic truck takes the wastes to a dump site

A septic system would consist of a septic tank that fills and the waste settles in the tank. The waste water drains out of the tank to a leach field.If the leach field is uphill from the septic tank then it would have a sewer ejector pump that would pump it to the leach field. How often do you have to get your tank pumped out?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Once a month in the summer time and less in winter

Is the smell there all the time or only near time to have it pumped? How did you inspect for cracks in the tank? Did anyone ever dig any of it out to inspect?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
it is there all the time. if it had cracks the fluids would leak out? also we have had lots of rain over the last 2 years and it did not fill the tank at all

I am not suggesting there are cracks. I was just asking how the inspection was done. Is there just the one septic tank? The ejector pump is in this tank? How is the ejector pipe exiting the tank?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
just one tank and yes the pump is in the tank. The pump stays in the tank at all times and is plunged into and electrical outlet when being pumped out

How is the ejector pipe exiting the tank?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
4" abs pipe

Does it come out of the top, out of the side? Is the pipe underground to the uphill tank?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
out the side close to the top. no the pipe is not underground

The 4 inch pipe is uphill all the way to the tank? How far is it?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
the pipe is 40 feet uphill

How is the pipe sealed at the penetration of the tank?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
foam
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
spray foam

How about the tank lid?

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How much of the tank is above ground?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
metal lid on top of concrete opeing
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
the only thing above groung would be the opening where the lid fits on

The lid of a septic tank is concrete but yours is metal? How does the metal lid seal the tank?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
it is just sitting on top of the concrete

Are there any gaps where the lid is?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
possibly

Is there a check valve on the abs pipe?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
no

How far from the lid is the abs coming out? Is the outlet of the pump also 4 inch?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
1 foot and yes

Any idea the horse power of the pump? How long does it take to pump it out?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
1/2 horse 20 minutes approx

Are you sure that the pipe is 4 inch and that the outlet on the pump is 4 inch? Is the outlet on the pump 2 inch and then an adapter used to make it larger?

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Yes to which?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
to the last question

So the outlet on the pump is 2 inch?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
are u still here

Yes, I asked again if the outlet on the pump was 2 inch or not? Sorry it was not clear to me.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
to this question yes
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
just a thought, could it be because the stack is enclosed by trees on the north side. should we be extending the stack above the trees
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
sorry Mike but I do have leave soon, any thoughts

So the discharge pipe is a few sizes too large and also it is not the right type of pipe. It should be 2 inch pressure pipe. If there are not any cracks in it there will be. The pipe is staying full of waste and draining back into the septic tank. Also the pipe does not have a check valve on it and that is a lot of waste draining back down in the tank. When correcting the pipe size, bury the pressure pipe and also where the pipe connects to the pump drill a couple of 1/4 inch holes in the pipe. Still typing....

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Put a check valve on the pipe where it exits the tank. Seal the pipe with hydraulic cement instead of the foam. This is a water proof concrete that will seal it much better than the foam. Throw some dirt on the lid enough to cover the lid and the dirt will seal the lid. All of that will get rid of the smell.

Mike R.
Mike R., Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 2,886
Experience: 20 years of plumbing experience, including high end homes and service work.
Verified
Mike R. and 87 other Plumbing Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thank You Mike, we will be trying all of the above

You are very welcome.

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Mike R.
Mike R.
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