Sewer gas problem

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Old 02-03-18, 01:01 PM
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Sewer gas problem

Help! When my washing machine drains, sewer gas comes up the kitchen sink. Washing machine is on an insulated porch, door closed to kitchen... smell definitely coming from kitchen sink. Consecutive loads have much less smell. We've had several repairmen come, smell goes away after 3rd drain of water, but comes back next time (day or more days later) the washing machine is used... always much stronger the more time separates use of washing machine. Thanks for your ideas.
 
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Old 02-03-18, 01:13 PM
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Is there a trap under the sink? Does the washing machine use the same drain as the sink?
 
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Old 02-03-18, 04:06 PM
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Yes, and it is used often! Thinking the washing machine Y's into it. The bathtub used to and when water drained from the washing machine gurgling could be heard in the bathroom... our local favorite plumber put a trap into that line about midway from where the bathtub drains to the common drain (from kitchen & washing machine) to the big pipe that takes fluids out to the big septic tank. There are just two of us in the house. Had a sewer man come and he opened up joint above where stuff goes out to septic tank, said there was greasy junk but fluids could still pass. We ran the machine 3 times but I have noticed that the first load smells strongly, then decreasing amounts quickly til 3rd load has no smell. This guy suggested we need a second vent for dispersing gases... that there may be enough slant in the one there that gas accumulates at the upper end (it is a horizontal pipe that goes out the side of the house and then sticks up about 6 feet with a u at the top to keep snow and rain out. The kitchen sink would be at the fartherest end away from the vent. Also, my husband just turned 83, has lived in this house since he was six, and this problem is new within the past year to 18 months. Your consideration is appreciated. Thank you.
 
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Old 02-03-18, 04:21 PM
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My guess would be that if you have an exterior vent line, that it probably ices shut in the winter time due to warm humid air rising up out of it. If you don't have enough ventilation on your sewer lines, it will suck air out of any place it can...

So every time your trap "glugs", you are getting the stinky sewer smell burping from the dirty gross water in your trap being agitated. Replacing the traps with clean new ones will often remedy that odor problem.

It's hard to provide any other suggestions sight unseen. And sad to say, many Midwestern "plumbers" don't do things by any standard codes in rural areas where codes are not enforced and where there are no inspections. It probably explains why you are having problems. My grandpa's house was the same way. When I fixed his kitchen sink correctly, he couldn't believe how fast it drained. LOL!

I know that in many rural areas where you have a septic tank, you don't really want your washer grey water going into the septic tank. It can often be legally drained to daylight if it is exclusively grey water. You would have to check locally to see if that is the case where you live.
 
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Old 02-03-18, 04:49 PM
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You guys are awesome... but... this problem happens in the summer time also... the only place the glug sound came from was the bathroom but that's not a problem anymore because the new trap that was placed. Both of our plumbers are licensed, bonded and insured... don't doubt their integrity, just having problems figuring this out! Don't know what to say, I use the kitchen sink often... thanks again for your input... BUT I do think you may be right, there may not be enough ventilation for the exterior vent... still thinking the sewer guy might have been right, that we need an additional exterior vent coming out of the opposite end of the house (from where the current one is now)
 
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Old 02-03-18, 05:25 PM
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One reason it's impossible for us to help much is that we would have to study and map out the plumbing for the entire house to understand what's going on.

Sewer lines can get plugged with gunk over time. The sludge impacts how much air can vent over the top of the water that is running through the lines. If the pipe becomes full of water, it is air locked and starts sucking air... like when you turn a bottle upside down and pour water out... chug, chug, chug. One suggestion would be to have all your lines snaked and cleaned out. Adding additional vents or even replacing lines might be in order. We also can't tell how your existing lines are pitched, as too flat or too steep can be a problem. Or how far they are from a vent or stack... if you have any wet venting (2 fixtures sharing the same drain line)... the size of pipe used, etc.

Another idea might be adding an AAV (air admittance valve) under the sink to hopefully vent that sink better. Kitchen sinks especially get gunked up with grease, so a 1 1/2" pipe could easily be only the diameter of your finger inside due to gunk and grease.

It's not simple for us to help sight unseen, so your local plumbers are really the best ones to help you at this point.
 
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Old 02-05-18, 09:38 AM
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Thanks so much... you've given me much to think about and consider... hubby used to take care of all this, and no problems, but now he has serious late stage Parkinson's so must rely on others much more than before.
 
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