Asked on Jul 28, 2018

What to do about a smell in home of septic when running washer?

Ana BacallaoWilliamFran


I have tried smoke test , camera, and 4 plumbers for a smell of septic . I have purchased an exhaust fan for my roof PVC pipe as a solution . It will be spliced in to that vent . Is this a viable solution ?

7 answers
  • Susan Massey
    Susan Massey
    on Jul 28, 2018

    If the PVC pipe isn't capped with a screen or something where it comes out the roof...maybe there is a dead bird stuck in there and you only smell it when air is being forced up that pipe and can't go through. Like when the washer is going.

    • Jerry Held
      Jerry Held
      on Jul 29, 2018

      ran hose down vent stack , no clog . No break in line , found out with camera. Smell is not constant only some times. Myself and four plumbers can't understand why smell . The vent draw in air for pressure to go to septic tank ?

  • William
    on Jul 28, 2018

    Installing a fan in the vent pipe can cause negative pressure and suck the water out of P traps. You need to make sure the roof vents are clear. Kitchen, bathrooms, and utility rooms have separate vents. How does the washer drain?

    • Jerry Held
      Jerry Held
      on Jul 29, 2018

      Washer drains in a fitting for washers , Ran water to check stack and no clog, checked all pipes by cutting wall to check by plumber.. Washer doesn't smell ,no septic hose leak , camera proved that. fan installation will be with adjustable switch ( fast or slow fan ) on line . Myself and 4 plumbers have run out of ideas

  • Jewellmartin
    on Jul 28, 2018

    Turn off the washer water, pull the washing machine away from the wall, mop and dry the floor, put down a layer a paper towels, and leave them for a couple of hours. You should be able to see if there is any leakage coming from a nearby refrigerator, sink or toilet that might be sharing a wall with the washer. Check your other appliances similarly. Pull your drain hose and water lines to the washer as much as you can. Run a straight wire clothes hanger into each to see if you need to clean out and hoses (like from a sock or detergent buildup). Have your septic line cleaned out. Use Drano on every line. If any lines are sluggish or slow, that could be your culprit. Have one of those plumbers make sure none of your septic hoses has a leak or disconnection. Pour bleach through every line you can. Those are my ideas—see if one of these helps. ☺️

  • Oliva
    on Jul 28, 2018

    I'd avoid using Drano or bleach in a septic system!

  • Fran
    on Jul 29, 2018

    Just a thought...Perhaps your washer itself is dirty. They can build up debris on the outside of the washtub that you may not see, particularly front loaders. There are commercial products for cleaning this.

  • Ana Bacallao
    Ana Bacallao
    on Jul 29, 2018

    We chose to install a dry well for our washing machine and it's worked out really well for us and eliminated any prior problems. See below:

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