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My house smells of sewage!

(12 Posts)
mycatlikestwiglets Wed 26-Mar-14 15:09:11

Ok, so the downstairs of my house occasionally smells of sewage, more often than not following a bit of rain (there's just been a heavy shower here and the smell is pervading the house). It's quite a longstanding issue but not constant and it doesn't always do it - there's no particular consistency as to when/whether it will smell confused. Is it likely to be a problem with the drains? Do I need Dinorod type people to come and take a look?

PigletJohn Wed 26-Mar-14 15:32:48

how old is the house.

what are the floors made of

are the visible pipes and gullies plastic?

ClaimedByMe Wed 26-Mar-14 15:34:10

We had this! The waste pipe had cracked and sewage was seeping out it under the house!

mycatlikestwiglets Wed 26-Mar-14 15:48:33

House is 1912. Floors are concrete - house was fully refurbed in about 2005 (we bought it in 2009).

All visible pipes and gullies are plastic.

I hope that isn't the case here ClaimedByMe, that sounds expensive! He did you find out?

mycatlikestwiglets Wed 26-Mar-14 15:49:25

How did you find out, rather!

PigletJohn Wed 26-Mar-14 16:03:52

you can examine the plastic pipes, start at the bottom, for signs of leakage.

Hopefully the tops of all your soil pipes are open to the air, above window height, and are visible. If you have an Air Admittance Valve such as a Durgo, inside the house, perhaps on a new WC, it probably leaks.

If all your floors are concrete you will not be able to see any underfloor leaks.

A house of that age doubtless has salt-glazed clay pipes underground, which are most likely cracked or broken. However you would not normally smell them. In rainy weather they may overflow as the house may have combined foul and rainwater drains.

Use a spade to lift the covers of any "manholes" and verify that they are empty, fairly clean, and do not smell.

mycatlikestwiglets Wed 26-Mar-14 16:15:00

Thanks PigletJohn, I can definitely get DH to lift a manhole cover at the weekend and have a look. Pretty sure there are no cracked pipes and I don't think we have a air admittance valve anywhere (how would I tell if we do?).

ZaphodandArthur Wed 26-Mar-14 16:17:00

hi -we had this and was a blocked drain, although not completely blocked as the loo still flushed (but slowly). However, we finally realised the source of the problem when sewage pooled out around the manhole cover! If you have home emergency cover as part of your insurance policy, you might be able to claim as we did, although I hope that you don't get to that stage. Otherwise I'd definitely recommend getting a local independent drain firm in, rather than Dynorod, Drain Doctor etc as it will be cheaper.

mycatlikestwiglets Wed 26-Mar-14 16:21:55

Thanks Zaphod, hopefully that's all it is - we've paid out a small fortune on resolving a leaky roof recently so could do with an easy fix for this

ClaimedByMe Wed 26-Mar-14 16:34:58

We discovered it when we had an electrician in for something and he had to go under the floor to feed wires, cost about £250 to fix I think!

SimLondon Wed 26-Mar-14 20:51:06

Do you have an old-fashioned leaching cess-pool?

mycatlikestwiglets Wed 26-Mar-14 21:06:19

No old fashioned cess-pool, all is fully modernised in the house.

That's not so bad ClaimedByMe, that sort of cost would be a relief! I guess I need to get DH investigating then call in a drain person if necessary.

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