Septic tank gas

antares4141

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I recently noticed a urine type smell in my bathroom in my new home.
https://antares4141.wixsite.com/website
I narrowed it down to the toilet.

So I pulled it scraped off the old wax ring and put on a new one.
Still had the same smell so I removed the toilet again and I put a flat
piece of styrofoam over the still remaining wax ring.

Goal is to see if the problem is the seal between the toilet and the wax ring or if it is leaking out from underneath the ring.

And that so far appears to be the case. I'll update this post as soon as I can tell for sure, but it looks like I am going to have to go back to using a bucket outside again.

There is a crack in the foundation but counter to what some of the articles I read say I don't see how that could be the problem. If the flange is properly attached to the pipe and the pipe has no cracks or leaks.

Anyways I just thought for hypersensitive people this may be a contributing factor as to why some of us don't get better despite taking extreme measures to control our environment.

I actually think I am way better on the CFS spectrum than most. But still do have problems with all the hallmark symptoms just not nearly as bad as when I first moved out of my moldy home 20 years ago.

The level of gas is probably pretty low but the reading I have done is your sense of smell get's diminished with prolonged exposure. It can probably also be masked by other odors in the home.

And according to the articles concentrations as low as 100ppm can make a healthy person sick.

Here are some articles on the subject:
https://medcraveonline.com/JACCOA/JACCOA-06-00228.php
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sewer_gas
https://deltaplumbingatlanta.com/news/the-danger-sewer-gases-present-in-your-home

ring02.jpg
ring01.jpg
 

Wishful

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Sewer gas doesn't really smell like urine. Maybe someone kept missing the toilet and the concrete absorbed it. Try sealing the opening really well (stuff a ball of plastic bags in it) and sniffing the concrete around the opening. If yes, or if you're not sure, try bleaching the concrete, or google the other ways to remove urine odour..

I've been using a bucket outside for many years now (no plumbing in my cabin). No real problems, aside from the time I found the bucket some distance away, with big bear toothmarks punched through it. :nervous: I sank the bucket into the ground, and I can say that squatting really does make BMs easier.
 

antares4141

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I didn't think sewer gas smelled like urine either. I'm still somewhat in the habit of doing #2's outside and puting it on my pistachio trees. I rarely use the toilet for urinating. I put all that on my bushes and trees also. But because the smell is intermittent and I can make it out gas by pouring a couple of gallons of water into the kitchen sink I'm pretty sure what I am smelling is sewer gas. Also since I put the styrofoam lid over the wax ring I haven't seemed to be able to smell it. But it was intermittent so I am going to leave it this way for a week or two just to make sure. You did read the part of my post that mentioned this?
 

antares4141

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Ok so the smell has gone almost completely away since I covered the wax ring with the piece of styrofoam. But every now and then I get a whiff. Enough so that I think I am going to try to figure out a way to seal it and the pipe and the flange off. Which might not be easy cause there is a crack going through the foundation.

It was disappointing last October when I moved in in that I didn't feel like the new environment was any better for me than the home made truck camper I was staying in prior.

I do seem to be feeling a lot better since I sealed it off but have learned a long time ago to take any positive or negative experiences I think I'm experiencing with things I try with a huge grain of salt. Because I have been wrong so many times in the past.
 

antares4141

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Oh for clarification, when I say seal it off I don't mean with a new wax ring and a toilet. I'm done with toilets for now. I am going to put some type of plastic lid over it and seal that off with caulking.

I would rather have to go outside in 20 degree weather in the middle of the night than expose myself to that gas again.

I'm fine with the traps in the tub and sinks. The pea-traps make a airtight seal.

And for anyone who is thinking about getting an RV to stay in I hate to recommend this but it would be my recommendation. Never use the toilet and make sure the plumbing to it is separate from the gray water so that you can use that.
 

antares4141

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Didn't feel well at all yesterday. So I closed the bathroom door to see if I couldn't concentrate the gases that are still leaking out of the sewer pipe between the flange and the wax ring. Which I have been doing periodically since I sealed it off. To see if I could detect them, and gauge how serious the problem may or may not be. Which I thought were negligible at this point. Because of the way I sealed the top of the wax ring with a piece of styrofoam. And after a few hours I could smell a new smell. Probably more like a soiled diaper that was allowed to steep for a few days maybe. As opposed to the urine type smell I reported here in the past.

I've been shutting the windows and running the ac during the day here cause I thought like I said earlier, the amount of gas leaking were negligible. My alternative housing here has 480 square feet of floor space though. So things get concentrated to the point where you can almost smell a banana sitting on the counter.

I am not sure why I didn't notice this or think it was bad earlier? Maybe I am more sensitized to it. Maybe I was in denial which I have been known to do in the past when faced with stark realities. I did want to make sure the flange was leaking before I resorted to sealing the floor off. I wanted to make positivly sure that having a toilet in here isn't an option.

Whether the flange was defective or installed correctly or whether the engineers who designed it allow for some leakage I don't know.

But I finished the job. Sealed it off with a saucer thingy people use to catch water from potted plants. At least until I find something a little more suitable for the application.

I almost wanted to gag (exaggerating slightly). When I was down on my hands and knees working on it. The smell might have not been extremely pungent but I was very very aware of it.

There is a crack in the foundation so in theory I guess some gases could still make it inside my living area. But suspect this time they would be really really miniscule.
 

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antares4141

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Well this is embarrassing to admit. All this time I thought it was my toilet it probably wasn't the problem. Wishful was onto something when he/she, said sewer gas doesn't really smell like urine. I still had the odor after all I had done so I pulled out the wall (styrofoam) on the back side. Not the finished side you see in the above photo. You can see if you look at the pictures on this link: https://antares4141.wixsite.com/website

I had a rat infestation and they of course don't go outside to pee. I'm afraid I'm going to have to pull out the entire wall. And replace the insulation. That is after I get the rats back under control. Thought I did have it under control. Saw no evidence of them inside my building. Unfortunately not. Not too happy about this.
 

Wishful

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Okay, that's a surprising finding: stealthy rats.

"Shhhh! The human is back again. Everybody be quiet." :)

Pest removal and prevention is a hassle. They're just too good at finding the one hole that you didn't notice. Good luck.