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Question DetailsAsked on 3/28/2015

Rotten dead animal smell in one room. Comes and goes. No rats or mice. No noticeable pipe leaks under house. Help

The house is 100+ years old and we had a weird rotted meat smell about 2 years ago. I did not know who to call about it. Called city and they sent fire department truck and all, they smelt the smell and found nothing. Embarrassing. Called a plumber and he found that the pipe under kitchen sink (under the house) was not put together correctly. So with this new gross smell I went straight to thinking it was a pipe under the house. So I crawled under the house (as far as I could) and saw nothing. No wet areas anywhere. The smell comes and goes and I cannot figure out if there is any connection. The only wild animals around here are opossums and I did not see any thing like that down there either. I really don't know who to call or what to do. Maybe some thing died in the wall. I am not sure. Any advice would be great.

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1 Answer


This can be tough to root out - a couple of similar questions with responses in links below that might help: I would close ALL doors and shut off the HVAC system (assuming not so cold you will freeze pipes) for 4-6 hours, then see if you can pin down closer what room the smell is coming into strongly. Also check basement/crawlspace and attic at same time for stronger smell. Also - check under all sinks and around toilets and tubs and such, and smell at the drains of each for possible gas leaking up around/through them. Actually, the FIRST place I would check is any infrequently used drains (typically lowest level but sometimes guest bath) - basement laundry tub and floor drains to be sure the water in them has not evaporated out and left the trap open to sewer gases coming out. I would also run the washer and while it is pumping out check the lowest level drains in the house (floor, laundry tub, shower, whatever) for any smell or gurgling sounds. When you start getting a sewer backup the first sign is commonly gurgling in the lowest elevation traps as the water backs up in the sewer pipe underground, forcing the air in the pipe up through the traps. If this is happening fill the traps with a gallon or so of water with a dash of vinegar and some baking soda in each and check again for gurgling when emptying washer or tub. If no joy there or with other suggestions in linked questions, you might need an Animal Control (your Search the List category) specialist. Could be a dead animal in crawlspace - they tend to crawl up into very inaccessible places when they get sick or are dying and also sometimes get into walls or other tight places and forget how they got there. Also have a tendency to crawl up under tubs and showers into the tight spaces there and die. If dead small animal like mouse or squirrel or rat typically 2-4 weeks will dry them mout enough that the stink goes away - a larger animal can take months.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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