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Solution for bad odor coming from sump pump
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posted
Hi, My Name is NormaJean. I am writing this to help my daughter who is having a problem with a "sewerlike "smell coming from her sump pump. This all started after she discovered a leak in a pipe in ther yard. They had a new pipe put in to correct this. She had the new pipe put in and everything was reconnected. Now there is a very bad smell coming from this sump pump. We have poured gallons of bleach down the sump pump pipe and it hasn't helped. My husband installed a fan to vent the air from the room where the sump pump is to the outside. It seems to take the bad smell outside, but we don't know how to get rid of the smell. We are thinking it won't very nice to sit outside on the patio next summer if this continues; the smell is now concentrated to the side yard where the patio is. We are thinking somehow the soil got contaminated somehow and the water is trickeling down and picking up smell from the soil. Any ideas on how to get rid of the smell permanently. Thanks in advance.
 
Posts: 1 | Location: Ohio | Registered: 08 November 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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it sounds like you have a dry trap on the sump pump and it's letting the sewer gasses back thru the system. the trap could be cracked or leaking and may need replacing. I would have a good plumber come out and take a look at it.
 
Posts: 14 | Registered: 12 November 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of matt berman
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do you have a septic system,if so it could be overflow or leakage.also the new pipe could be leaking at the joints.matt
 
Posts: 2 | Registered: 11 April 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The trap could be dry , missing or broken. gallons of bleach pourd in would sugest to me there is-not a trap. There could also be a mechanicle trap(valve)that is worn out or stuck open. There should also be a vent pipe on the downhill side of the trap that goes through the roof it could be broken and alowing sewer gas in.
Sewer gas is mainly methan gas which is flamable as in natural gas from the gas company with the oder nutrulized and perfumed.
 
Posts: 20 | Registered: 10 December 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If the odor is constant, the problem is probably not a dry trap. It COULD be a broken or missing check valve. But then, theoretically, the sump pump should not be discharging into the sanitary sewer or septic system at all. It is possible that a sewer pipe is broken beneath the floor slab, and sewage is finding its way into the sump.

If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck, and if it smells like sewage, it's pretty much gotta be sewage.

One way to check is by means of a dye test, where dye is flushed down a toilet from above, and the the water in the sump is then soon checked for the presence of the dye. Many home inspectors can perform such a test, and many plumbers also.


Architect (NY) and Home Designer (PA)
 
Posts: 2870 | Location: Tobyhanna, PA | Registered: 24 October 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of benjamin
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Your pump system may need to be cleaned, as most home owners that have thease types of systems are never told that any type of maintenance is ever needed, they are in fact negelected. Like any mechanical device maintenance is needed, just like changing the oil in your car at every three thousand miles, your pump system needs to be cleaned and your control system and pumps need to be checked by a qualified pump technichian at least once a year. As the waste material builds up in the tank and begins to break down it creats the oder you are smelling, with regular maintenance you can prevent build up of sludge and gases and prevent any damage to your pump system. You may also have a venting problem from the tank to the outlet on the roof of your home, or it may be a broken vent in the wall and possibly improperly vented. All of thease things can be checked by a qualified pump technichian, do not call a plumber to inspect your pumps, 90 percent of them do not know enough about about pumps and control systems or will not admit that dont. No offense to you plumbers out there, but I,ve been in this industry for over 20 years and have seen what happens when things are not done right or misdiagnosed.

plumbing contractor/pumps and controls specialist
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 30 November 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think we're talking about a sump pump here, not a sewage pump. I've never seen a sump which is vented, and what would be the source of the "waste material" in the bottom of the sump, if only ground water is allowed to enter the sump?

Those comments aside, the suggestion for annual checks of the sump and pump, and the controls, is a good one.


Architect (NY) and Home Designer (PA)
 
Posts: 2870 | Location: Tobyhanna, PA | Registered: 24 October 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am wondering if you got a solution to your sump pump odor. I have the same problem. I have put in a brand new pump, installed a ventilation system to the roof, had the drain tiles power-washed, poured gallons and gallons of breach in the sump, replaced my sewer line and trap, had a camera on all my lines, dye tested from the toilet. The ventilation system blows the gases in the windows. I am beside myself. Any suggestions would be welcome.
Thanks.
Bridget
 
Posts: 2 | Registered: 21 November 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm wondering if these odoriferous sump pumps are discharging into the sanitary sewer (waste line). In most jurisdictions, this is not permitted, and it can, if the sump discharge isn't trapped and vented, allow aewer gases to enter the sump.


Architect (NY) and Home Designer (PA)
 
Posts: 2870 | Location: Tobyhanna, PA | Registered: 24 October 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Richard,
Thank you for your response. My sump is going to a storm line (not the sewer line) however, there is concern that there is contamination in the main storm line in the street causing sewer gases to come back in.
Bridget
 
Posts: 2 | Registered: 21 November 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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hey bridget i know its been a while since you sent this out but i am a new home owner having the same problem i was wondering did you ever sole your problem with the smell coming from the sump pump, if so how did you do it.
quote:
Originally posted by bridgetm:
Richard,
Thank you for your response. My sump is going to a storm line (not the sewer line) however, there is concern that there is contamination in the main storm line in the street causing sewer gases to come back in.
Bridget
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 26 August 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi! I am having this same problem. The smell is definately similar to a sewage smell. We had a really bad drought this year and someone suggested that if there is no groundwater to constantly make the sump pump function then this may cause this smell. In other words, water that was pumped in never got flushed out because there was no longer anything pumping in due to the drought. When we pour a bucket or two of water in the sump pump, it seems to make the smell go away temporarily. Does this sound right to anybody? Anybody have further suggestions? I really don't want to have to keep dumping buckets of water in there to make the smell go away.
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 12 November 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Same problem here. We've been here 11 yrs, only past 2 months bad smell. Never before. Very dry summer, not much water coming into the sump pit. The smell did decrease when I ran the hose into the sump pit. We also have a septic, and the line for the sump effluent runs close to the septic bed. Could the sump line be contaminated by the septic tile?
Thoughts would be appreciated.
Dave L
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 05 September 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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i am also having a "sewer gas" issue with my sump - always seems to improve after a rain, where the pump is active and flushing itself. I even ran a garden hose through the basement door, and cycled the pump a half-dozen times this past summer - the relief was temporary. I have gone the bleach route, no real help. My concern is that since the house sanitary line is about six-feet away, that is may be contaminating the sump-trench - and i fear the cost of finding out what the real issue is, but if I want to sell this house would need to disclose the problem.
 
Posts: 1 | Location: IL | Registered: 05 January 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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