Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
AIR CLEANER PURIFIER TYPES
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES
ANIMAL or URINE ODOR SOURCE DETECTION
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
BOOK MOLD, Moldy Book Cleaning
CAR MOLD CONTAMINATION
CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
CAT DANDER in buildings
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS in WATER
CHEMICAL ODOR SOURCES
CHLORINE IN DRINKING WATER
COMBUSTION GASES & PARTICLE HAZARDS
DIRT FLOOR MOLD CONTAMINATION
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, IAQ, GAS, MOLD
Fireplaces & Woodstove Contaminants
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
GASES, EXPOSURE, TESTING
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
GAS EXPOSURE LIMITS & STANDARDS
GLUES ADHESIVES, EXTERIOR CONSTRUCTION
HEATING OIL EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS
INDOOR AIR HAZARDS TABLE
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
LIGHT, GUIDE to FORENSIC USE
GAS LP & NATURAL GAS SAFETY HAZARDS
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MILDEW in BUILDINGS ?
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT MOLD
MOLD or INDOOR AIR EMERGENCY RESPONSE
MOLD TEST KITS
MOTHS, MOTHBALL ODORS
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheets
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
OIL, HEATING, EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS
OIL HEAT ODORS & NOISES
OIL TANK LEAK & ODOR CAUSES
OIL ODOR SOURCES
OUTHOUSES & LATRINES
OZONE MOLD / ODOR TREATMENT WARNINGS
PAINTS & COATINGS ODORS IN BUILDINGS
PESTICIDE EXPOSURE HAZARDS
PET ALLERGENS / PET DANDER
PET STAINS & MARKS in BUILDINGS
PET STAINS on WALLS
PLASTIC ODORS-SCREENS, SIDING
PLUMBING SYSTEM ODORS
SEPTIC SYSTEM ODORS
SEPTIC TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS
SEWAGE BACKUP, WHAT TO DO
SEWER GAS ODORS
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES
STAINS on CONCRETE
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
THERMAL IMAGING MOLD SCANS
TRAPPED MOLD BETWEEN WOOD SURFACES
UREA FORMALDEHYDE FOAM INSULATION, UFFI
URETHANE FOAM Deterioration, Outgassing
UV LIGHT BLACK LIGHT USES
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
VINYL SIDING or WINDOW PLASTIC ODORS
VOCs VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER TEST CHOICES & WATER TEST FEES
WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT CHOICES
Sewer or septic gases through conduit or ducts: this article describes the detection and repair for sewer or septic gases & smells that are traced to passage through electrical conduit, open piping, or HVAC duct systems.
We describe how odors may be traced back to electrical wiring, conduits, or panels & sub panels, and how people stop that odor passage.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2014 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
Reader Question: Question: There is a Septic Tank Odor Coming from a Vent Under My Air Conditioner: Who do I Call?
I live in a condo on the second floor, of three floors. I often smell a septic tank type of odor coming from a vent under the air conditioner. When I opened the vent there is nothing but open space.
When I go into the bathroom and open the cabinet under the bathroom sink I could smell the same smell.
The bathroom sink and the air conditioner and vent share a common wall. They are next to each other only separated by a wall. I don't know who to call to help fix the problem. I'm not sure if it's a plumbing problem or if it is an air conditioning problem. HELP!!!! - N.A.
Reply: Air Conditioners Themselves Don't Produce Sewer Gas but They Might Move Gases and Smells Around in a Building
A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately track down an odor or smell problem. That said, here are some things to consider:
Watch out: we warn in all sewer or septic gas odor articles that because sewer gas contains methane gas (CH4) there is a risk of an explosion hazard or even fatal asphyxiation.
Watch out: also sewer gases also probably contain hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S). In addition some writers opine that there are possible
health hazards from sewer gas exposure, such as a bacterial infection of the sinuses (which can occur due to any sinus irritation).
Also see ODORS in AIR HANDLERS & DUCT WORK for other sources of HVAC air duct odors & smells & how these are tracked to their source & cured.
Question: Sewage ejector pump system causing sewage odor picked up by furnace air intake
I have a septic system. I also have an ejector sump pump and pit that receive drain water from my master bathroom sinks and bathtub. This water is ejected through a 2” check valve into a 4” drain that goes to the septic tank.
I also have 2 in the ground basement catch basins flush with the basement floor and hooked up in tandem. They receive ground water from around, and under the house. The water is discharged into a common 2” line to outside the house where it increases to 4” and runs under ground for a long distance to a holding area where it is discharged. All that goes through these lines is ground water, no septic.
I sometimes have a septic odor coming from these 2 tanks when the tanks are emptied. The odor is then picked up by my furnace intake air duct and distributed throughout the house, and the bathroom toilet water also has odor problems. We have been putting chlorine bleach into the sumps while they are stagnant and not in operation, and this has helped, but I was wondering if you have any ideas as to how to eliminate these odors? - T.B.
TB something is very wrong, unpleasant and even potentially dangerous if your warm air heating system is picking up sewer gases. I'm guessing that you are referring to smells around the sewage ejector pump tanks, not any outdoor components.
I've inspected quite a few sewage ejector pump installations. Where sewage odors were present I usually find as the cause one of the following [of course there could be a different defect in any case]:
See details about sewage ejector pump inspection, diagnosis, repair and maintenance
Question: rotten egg smell from bathrooms and HVAC air handler
We are currently renting a condo and we have only been here a month. We started smelling a rotten egg smell coming from the bathrooms and the air handler.
We had the Fire department come out and they did not take two steps and they could smell what we were smelling and immediately said that it was sewer gas. Now we have had the wax rings changed in all the bathrooms and we still are experiencing this smell. Are there any gas experts in Jacksonville, Fl. ? - Helpless in Jacksonville
Helpless in Jacksonville:
Continue reading at SEWER GAS ODOR REMEDIES or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
Suggested citation for this web page
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No FAQs have been posted for this page. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Search the InspectApedia website
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...