OMG my house stinks like farts! **Updated in post 24** - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 11-02-2009, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We moved into this house at the end of August and it has this farty smell that was here when we moved in. I'd guess the house is around 80 years old, and has recently been remodeled but a lot of the original woodwork, doors, and wood floors where left intact. We have carpet in one room downstairs so I don't think it's that. We also have two small dogs that sometimes stink, but I don't think they are stinking up the whole house. (I plan on bathing them this afternoon) What could be causing this smell? I will burn candles or incense but it just masks the smell. I suspect its the pipes that stink, like sewer gas is coming up the pipes into the house. Any advise would be appreciated!

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#2 of 25 Old 11-02-2009, 02:10 PM
 
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Mold...
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#3 of 25 Old 11-02-2009, 02:27 PM
 
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In an older house, I'd suspect mold as well. If it is superficial, though, painting the walls and having the carpets cleaned should really help. If it's mold, you have a much bigger problem...

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#4 of 25 Old 11-02-2009, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh man, I didn't want to hear that. We had to move out of our old house because of mold. My dd is allergic. When we toured the house in July I did not see evidence of mold. But, since moving in I have seen it in the storage room off of the laundry room. Her allergies have lessened since moving so I thought we were in the clear. The asthma/allergy doctor we saw in July said he would call a social worker if we did not move. I can't continue to move, move, move. We have moved out of two houses that had mold issues. What can I do to kill the mold? Do you think it's throughout the whole house but hidden in the wall? Gah, I'm freaking out now!

Oh-I cannot paint per our lease, but was going to use kilz in the storage room to try to kill the mold.

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#5 of 25 Old 11-02-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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where is the smell concentrated? we get this from backup in our 100 yo pipes.

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#6 of 25 Old 11-02-2009, 05:58 PM
 
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I was thinking pipes too. Could be something stinky stuck in drain traps.

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#7 of 25 Old 11-02-2009, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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where is the smell concentrated? we get this from backup in our 100 yo pipes.
Kitchen/bathroom area. We use our side door which opens into the diningroom. The kitchen is to the left and bathroom is to the right.

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#8 of 25 Old 11-02-2009, 06:18 PM
 
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Kitchen/ bathroom area?

Most likely mold and damp rotting wood where moisture has penetrated.

Do you have a friend with a good nose? I'd have them over and see what they can tell you. And tell the landlord that you suspect water damage in these areas... they might offer to fix/replace them to keep you renting.
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#9 of 25 Old 11-02-2009, 06:45 PM
 
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This sounds strange, but check all of your drains and make sure they have proper p-traps. You mentioned the sewer gas smell and living in an older house. Well, both my house and a friends house had stinky bathrooms when we each bought them. It took me several months to realize that the cause in my house was the bathroom sink having no water trap to stop sewer gases coming up. My experience (and her unfinished basement ceiling) helped me find the same problem with my friend's bathtub. Older houses tend to have a lot of diy work, not all of it good. A short trip to a hardware store and a bit of cutting and gluing of pvc drain pipes, and both of us had non-stinky bathrooms.
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#10 of 25 Old 11-02-2009, 09:34 PM
 
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I'm not sure... but that's the funniest thread title I've seen in a long time

(not to make light of your situation, sorry )

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#11 of 25 Old 11-03-2009, 12:19 AM
 
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That would be mold. If your DD has asthma/allergies I'd be on the phone to the landlord in the AM letting them know of the potential problem.

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#12 of 25 Old 11-03-2009, 12:41 AM
 
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i am guessing that its a trap issue, call your landlords and have them get a plumber out to look at your place, they can identify a leak in the wall and some carry spore kits to test for mold, so if its not an issue with broken/nonexistent traps then they should be able to tell you if its mold.
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#13 of 25 Old 11-03-2009, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It seems the smell is coming from the kitchen. All the sinks have the appropriate p-traps. I think it may be coming from the non-working dishwasher.

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#14 of 25 Old 11-03-2009, 07:31 PM
 
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it could be a sulfer build up in the drainage of the dishwasher, does it smell like rotten eggy farts? like stink bombs?
if it does, you can buy some grey water tank neutralizer at most stores, its in the RV section or automotive section.
you can also straight up pour bleach in there.
i personally would have it removed and replace it with a functioning used one.
but i cant live without a dishwasher.
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#15 of 25 Old 11-03-2009, 08:49 PM
 
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The water in the trap for the dishwasher may have all dried up, since you aren't using it. That would let sewer gas in. Try pouring some water into the dishwasher's drain and see if that stops the smell.
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#16 of 25 Old 11-04-2009, 02:01 AM
 
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Is your house heated with natural gas? No, seriously, they put a stinky smell in natural gas so you can smell it if there is a leak. I see you live in MO. I know in Springfield, City Utilities will come out and check if you suspect a leak. They do it for free (last I checked anyway) so you could call your utility co. and ask if you think that could be the problem.

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#17 of 25 Old 11-04-2009, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is your house heated with natural gas? No, seriously, they put a stinky smell in natural gas so you can smell it if there is a leak. I see you live in MO. I know in Springfield, City Utilities will come out and check if you suspect a leak. They do it for free (last I checked anyway) so you could call your utility co. and ask if you think that could be the problem.
Yes, we heat with gas but the smell was present when we first moved in and we didn't have gas hooked up for awhile because our hot water heater is electric so we didn't need it. I have smelled natural gas before and the smell it not quite that strong.

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The water in the trap for the dishwasher may have all dried up, since you aren't using it. That would let sewer gas in. Try pouring some water into the dishwasher's drain and see if that stops the smell.
I will do that, thanks!

Quote:
it could be a sulfer build up in the drainage of the dishwasher, does it smell like rotten eggy farts? like stink bombs?
if it does, you can buy some grey water tank neutralizer at most stores, its in the RV section or automotive section.
you can also straight up pour bleach in there.
i personally would have it removed and replace it with a functioning used one.
but i cant live without a dishwasher.
I will try the bleach as well. It worked a total of one week and I called to have it fixed-then it worked again for a week before quitting again. We are going to be on the lookout for a cheap one to replace it. We haven't had a dishwasher in about 3 years, so we are used to it

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#18 of 25 Old 11-04-2009, 11:22 AM
 
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The uncapped trap could be almost anywhere in the house - we found one in our basement, hidden well behind the furnace. Sort of a backup washing machine location? I added water and placed an end cap (no adhesive needed), ending our stink problem.

There could also be a basement floor drain or (for example) unused shower with an empty trap.

If the dishwasher is totally broken, maybe you could get the landlord to remove it?
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#19 of 25 Old 11-06-2009, 10:35 PM
 
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Yes, we heat with gas but the smell was present when we first moved in and we didn't have gas hooked up for awhile because our hot water heater is electric so we didn't need it. I have smelled natural gas before and the smell it not quite that strong.
We've had a slow natural gas leak here -- very slow. It wasn't our complex's gas system, it was part of the gas company's equipment (so it would probably still be an issue if the gas was turned off). The tiny leak didn't have the typical strong natural gas smell, it smelled just a little "off". A gas company guy with a meter identified the leak and fixed it quickly -- for free. See if this service is available in your area. I've also had wierd smells arise from improper ventilation from a natural gas heater -- the duct was partially blocked so the combustion wasn't complete (it was actually dangerous because of the carbon monoxide) -- again, not the normal natural gas smell.

You need a friend with a nose . I am really good at that kind of thing .

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#20 of 25 Old 11-07-2009, 09:44 PM
 
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Just another idea among so many: my mom's house got very stinky one time, and she couldn't find the source in spite of emptying every single closet, cabinet, etc. She finally discovered that a squirrel had gotten into one of the walls and died there. Since it wasn't practical to start ripping out drywall until she found the dessicated critter, she burned odor-eliminating candles until the errr...natural process...came to an end.

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#21 of 25 Old 11-08-2009, 01:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I had wondered if there was something dead in the walls. I'm going to call the gas company on Monday to come do a check just in case. We were gone for about 1 1/2 days and the heat was shut off. I also plugged all the drains and the smell was gone. I can't determine if it was because the heater was off or because I plugged the drains.

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#22 of 25 Old 11-08-2009, 12:48 PM
 
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Sounds like it is the drains. Hope it gets sorted and that you are done moving!

and I had too agree here...

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I'm not sure... but that's the funniest thread title I've seen in a long time

(not to make light of your situation, sorry )

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#23 of 25 Old 11-09-2009, 12:11 AM
 
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I've had our place go stinky on us a few times because of the drains. Dump about a cup of bleach down each drain and leave it a bit. If it's the drain that should take care of whatever it is.
My first thought though was have the gas company check the place. My nose can smell chemicals a mile a way it seems and I'm usually the first to smell the gas but it definitely has a rotten egg smell to it. If it didn't smell in the summer when you looked at it were the windows open at that time? Maybe it's stronger once fall came because the place isn't being aired out as much.
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#24 of 25 Old 11-09-2009, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You wise mommas have saved our butts, literally! I called the gas company today and we do have a small gas leak in one of the burners of the heater. The gas man knew the repair guy for our place and put in a call, it should be fixed tomorrow. Luckily it's not all that cold here, so we should be ok for tonight.

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#25 of 25 Old 11-09-2009, 10:45 PM
 
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Oh my god!
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