House smells of sewage Please Help!

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by tnkrizzo, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. tnkrizzo

    tnkrizzo New Member

    I have a 5000sq/ft 2 story home w/basement and have 2 ClimateMaster Genesis systems. I have a 7 ton, 7 well closed loop system. There is a split unit for the upstairs and and downstairs and the upstairs unit has 2 boxes, one in a hall closet and one in the basement.

    Here is my PROBLEM. Each winter now my house reeks like sewage as the system runs. I have lots of returns throughout the house, but the units seem to be sucking all the air out of the home and drying out pea traps. Specifically, in the basement, it dries the floor drain and the vent line that goes to my ejector pit creates the sewage smell that fills the whole home.

    This has been happening for 2 years and there does not seem to be a solution from the installer. Do I need to just tap my return to the outside of the home to bring in that air rather than having the return suck from the basement?
    I am at a total loss here and looking for possible solutions...can someone please help?
    Tony Rizzo
  2. Bergy

    Bergy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Your Geothermal system does not require "make-up" air like a furnace does because you are mot exhausting anything outside. You are simply recirculating the air within the home. Your system does not produce condensate during the winter, as it does in the summer, so you could try pouring several cups of water down the drains to prime the traps.

  3. tnkrizzo

    tnkrizzo New Member

    That is what I thought too and remembered my installation guy telling me too. The problem is that this is occurring too often and when I am gone for several days at a time and come back reeks like raw sewage. Not something that I want to come home to.
  4. gonegeo

    gonegeo New Member

    I have had drain traps dry out, but only after a couple of months on non use. This issue had nothing to do with a heating/cooling system. Have you tried making sure that each drain gets some amount of use to keep it filled? If so, I don't see how geo drying the air could make a trap dry out in a short amount of time.

    I would shut off one system at a time to see if you can isolate which one might be causing the smells.

    I know from experience the smelly areas aren't necessarily close to where the problem is. The way that gas moves is mysterious.

    I will try to think of other things you can try to isolate the source. Good luck
  5. tnkrizzo

    tnkrizzo New Member

    I was told that by my installer and also thought that too. I have dumped gallons down just to flush it and then leave on business for a few days and when I return, the house reeks like a sewer! Not good to come home to, trust me. Then I am opening windows in sub 0 temps to vent the home so that I can go to sleep and breathe.

    There has to be another way...?

    My filters are pulled to the top of the flow they are being sucked up with extreme force.
  6. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Veg oil ( or such ) works to stop the evapotranspiration
  7. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Learn something everyday
  8. tnkrizzo

    tnkrizzo New Member

    That is interesting....BUT since it is made from a food product, will it not mold in my plumbing lines?
  9. griffin 6

    griffin 6 New Member

    does there need to be a return vent so close to that drain
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  10. tnkrizzo

    tnkrizzo New Member

    In the basement, it is not a big vent at is just a "normal" floor vent that is screwed into the return itself.
    The heat pumps are screwed into a piece of 3/4 that is mounted on studs to the wall that my unit is by. YES, it is also @ 5 feed from the Ejector pit.
  11. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Not really different than what is already in your floor drains already? Unless you have some open potable plumbing setup I'm failing to understand.
  12. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Could you explain this please?
  13. tnkrizzo

    tnkrizzo New Member

    Yes. When my unit turns on, the filter is sucked up to the flow. I thought because it was clogged, but a replacement filter was put in last week and it does the same thing. It is held there with such force that I have to shut down the unit to remove it, while the fans are running. Then the filters are almost convexed due to sucking them into the furnace. This happens on both units.

    I was thinking that my fan speed was set too high, which I need my installer to modify. I called ClimateMaster and their customer service was less than satisfactory. They could not answer any of my questions and gave me a number to a distributor.
  14. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    OP is unable to reply immediatly so I'll share information from a PM.
    "They are filtrite filters. The upstairs unit uses a single filter 20x20x1 while the downstairs unit uses two 14x24x1 filters."
    I was concerned that filters being pulled in may suggest other trouble vis a vis returns or blower speeds. Can we see properly returned systems with clean filters of those sizes having filters "sucked up with extreme force?"
    Thoughts anyone.....
  15. geome

    geome Member Forum Leader

    2 new things for me... A new fix and a new word. Thanks! :)
  16. Bergy

    Bergy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    This must be separate issues. There is no way a trap would dry out after several days because of a heating appliance...Gas, Electric or Geo! It also makes NO sense that this would only happen in the winter. I think only boot on the ground will solve this one.

  17. Palace GeoThermal

    Palace GeoThermal Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    My guess is there is a problem with the plumbing on the Ejector pit.

    I agree that the heat pump can't be causing the problem, it is just circulating the stink.
  18. tnkrizzo

    tnkrizzo New Member

    What seems to be happening is that the return duct in the basement is sucking all the air into itself that it sucks the pit. I have siliconed everything on the lid of the pit, but it still sucks that smell right out of it and then, as stated above, it just simply circulates that smell to the entire home.

    The upstairs unit is simply contained to the pea trap that is in there. That I just can dump water down and the problem is solved.

    My question is: Does everyone else need to keep wetting the traps too, or is this a single contained issue? I think that the veg oil will be a viable solution and when my heating guys comes over, I will run that by him.
  19. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Sorry, been busy

    If the ECM drive is sucking in the filters. Guess what? There is not enough return air ducted from the conditioned space. It may look like it is ducted, but it is not ducted.

    I use 1.5% of undisurbed return air passage per square inch of supply air inches for every 1 square inch of supplied air, at the very least.

    An ECM drive blower systen knows one thing. It will try and move the air requeasted on the control board no matter what untill it fails.

    So if it is sucking filters into the blower wheel it is not getting enough air.

    Cut in larger returns. Do the math. I will help. Pie are squared.
  20. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    My feeling is this (and I welcome opinions)... Heat pump is not drying trap, but dry trap is not containing sewerage gas...... return air starved system is sucking wind from the basement.
    I also feel boots on the ground make sense here, but my sense is the stink is a symptom- R/A starvation maybe exacerbating.....

Share This Page