Sewer Drain Odors
LESLIE: Pam in Illinois, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?PAM: Yes, ma’am. About a year ago, we moved into an older home and in the basement there is a drain, a sewer drain, and it has an open vent on it.TOM: OK.PAM: Occasionally we get some odors coming up from that. I covered up the vent a little and put a bucket on it because it is also being used as a drain for our air conditioning unit.TOM: Oh, boy. OK.PAM: For the dehumidifier.TOM: Right.LESLIE: OK.PAM: The other thing I’ve come up with is pour a little bleach around; ammonia.TOM: Mm-hmm. Well, listen, unless you have – if you have an open vent for a drain-waste-vent pipe, you’ve got to have that really tight or you are going to get an odor. So our advice here would be to get a plumber in with the right parts to make this do what it needs to do without being open whatsoever because you are going to get a gas out of that and at certain times of the year it’s going to be a really strong odor, as you probably have already discovered, Pam.LESLIE: (chuckling) Yeah.PAM: We have.TOM: Yes, yeah.PAM: We have. Walking into the house, especially, and noticing it.TOM: Yeah, not pleasant. It sounds to me like somebody probably opened it to maybe add that condensate drain, at some point in time, and just didn’t put it back together correctly. This is not difficult. This is not unusual. It’s something a plumber can do very successfully; shouldn’t be very expensive. But I would have it done and have it done right so that you don’t have this problem because that could be very unhealthy.PAM: OK. OK, is there any sort of a test that I can get to see if that is hindering our health; you know, in the house? I mean are the fumes going to be …?TOM: You know, it’s going to make you very uncomfortable. You’re going to be thinking about it all the time. You know, I would just tell you …LESLIE: Mm-hmm, just fix it.TOM: I would just tell you to get it fixed. OK?PAM: (chuckling) OK.LESLIE: Just for peace of mind and getting rid of that odor, it’s going to be worth it.TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, exactly. Yeah.PAM: Exactly.TOM: You’ll feel so much better when the plumber finishes. Instantly, your health will improve; at least your mental health.PAM: OK. OK. (Leslie chuckles) Thank you.TOM: Pam, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.