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Question DetailsAsked on 7/20/2016

I have a sewer smell coming from my crawl space but not all the time

The smell seems to be by the tolit but in the crawl space

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Common sources of this type of smell below - sometimes a Handyman can track it down for you (moving aside insulation, etc as necessary to locate it) and if a fairly minor issue, solve it.


More expensive per hour but also more expert so might find it quicker and able to properly handle any plumbing problem that might be found - Plumbing (your Search the List category).


Of course, if you can locate the source yourself then you will know what sort of professional(s) you need - Plumber, handyman, Mold control specialist, etc - or fix it yourself as appropriate.


Potential sources in no particular order (partly depending on how sure you are that it is a "sewer" smell rather than mildew, mold, fungus; and if so whether it is raw sewage smell or sewer gas). Obviously, if in a warm area where pipes are wide open in the subfloor easier to track down than if concealed by insulation, or worse yet locked-in with foam-in-place insulation or plywood soffit over the bottom of the joists.


1) leaking or cracked sewer pipe - in subfloor under bathroom, in the crawlspace joists, or in the ground after the drain line goes underground


2) leaking toilet wax seal


3) cleanout left open or leaking - commonly situated so a snake/router can be run from just outside the foundation wall or just inside


4) septic system overflow/backup causing sewer liquids to back up into the crawlspace - either due to overfull tank, blockage/loss of permeability in the leach field, or elevated water table from excess watering or heavy rains or such


5) other water accumulation in the crawlspace from leaking water pipe or surface/groundwater infiltration resulting in stagnant water, which after enough time (think VERY stagnant pond) can smell much like sewage as it goes anaerobic


6) water or sewer pipe leak in subfloor, or leaking wax ring, causing mildew/mold/fungal growth in the subfloor


7) chronic high humidity in crawlspace leading to mildew/mold/fungal growth in subfloor


8) from 5), 6), or 7) above - decay/fungal growth of wood piers or columns (or blocking/cribbing for them) which are supporting house rotting at the ground contact


9) with large colonies, some insect colonies can smell similar to sewer gas


10) dead animal in crawlspace


11) stagnant sump pump

Answered 2 years ago by LCD




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