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brasilmom 08-03-2012 12:57 PM

Sewer smell
As my flooded basement saga continues, we encountered some off smell yesterday. We are gutting the bathroom and as I moved to start removing dry wall from the wall next to the door, and as we cut the bottom part of it a sewer smell appeared. Behind that wall, is a steel post. It is enclosed by 2x4 or some other size wood. I assume it is part of the structure of the house, but could it be the main sewer drain? Today we will finish removing that portion and will be better able to tell what that "pipe" is. it is round and it is metal (iron, steel, or whatever. Can anyone here help me brain storm this one?
Thanks. Be well

CallMeVilla 08-03-2012 02:52 PM

Pictures always help! By "enclosed" I am guessing you mean it penetrates the 2x4. The alternative would be 2x4 wood on all sides. (Probably not)

The "post" may be cast iron and could be a drain pipe from upstairs plumbing . . . when you encounter these in the wall upstairs, it could be a vent pipe which allows air to get behind the draining water so it flows smoothly.

You can tell it is structural or not by looking for a flange which is nailed to the framing at the top or bottom. No flange means it is probably plumbing. You can get a clue if it is plumbing because there are connections (bell) or cleanouts at the bottom. The cleanout allows you to snake the line when it gets blocked.

These are educated guesses. Send pics and you will start getting really good advice . . .

Lastly, DO NOT remove this "post" until you are sure what it is.

Waiting to hear from you. :D

brasilmom 08-03-2012 03:46 PM

I took few pictures as requested. So, for what I can see it has wood all around it. I got a lot removed today, but that dry wall is so stuck on the wood that it got me stalled. Anyway, until we remove the rest of the dry wall it will be impossible to take a closer look. We will not remove the pipe or whatever that is, but we need to find the source of the smell. I am thinking also that could it be coming from the toilet, which I plan on having it removed tonight. Now to the pictures, which I am not sure how to upload. I will try to figure out and post shortly.
Thanks. Be well

brasilmom 08-03-2012 03:50 PM

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I hope I got it. And also hope that it is easy to understand the picture. I will post one at time

brasilmom 08-03-2012 03:52 PM

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Next one is a little close up of the pipe. Ooops sorry that it is sideways

brasilmom 08-03-2012 03:54 PM

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And another one to show the side of the enclosure:

nealtw 08-03-2012 05:38 PM

It looks like the main stack, cast iron. As long as you have water in the bowl you should not get gas from the toilet. When you have the toilet off make sure you plug that pipe as that is an open hole to the sewer. You may want to have the pipes scoped to see if you have dammage under the floor.

timnuroomremodeling 08-03-2012 05:45 PM

If it's a cast iron drain, have someone flush a toilet or drain a bathtub full of water on the upper floor of the house and stand next to the area in question you should be able to hear the water flowing.

Is it in-line with a steel I-beam supporting the floor joists down the middle of the basement? Then it's a support post.

Just a question, but does the toilet bowl have water in it?

brasilmom 08-03-2012 08:05 PM

Thanks all for the replies. We added water to the bowl and it seems to have solved the problem. As for the pipe, we are not positive it is a drain at all. We have a drain pipe next on the next room, which is for the kitchen upstairs. Then along the wall we have 2 other drains for the bathrooms. All 3 of them have a clean out plug. This newly found does not have, as far as we can tell a clean out plug. We will remove at least the front wood to see what hides underneath. Now, it is in line with a steel supporting bean, but also in line with the one of the drain pipe. Further investigation still to come. For today, we are done. Be well

CallMeVilla 08-04-2012 04:55 PM

Smart $$$ says it is a support post. Be very careful with your demolition. Hope you have a nice sawzall to trim the nails and pull off the 2x4's.


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