extreme odor inside trailer shortly after running water down a drain...

centerline

Well-known member
I think I will have to pull the corroplast from under the trailer to inspect the plumbing.... but even then im not sure i will be able to see the problem.

when we got the trailer home after purchasing it (used), when I ran the furnace, we would get a strong sewer smell inside the trailer.... but when the furnace isnt running, the smell goes away.....

NOW..... after flushing the antifreeze from the system and running water down the drain (no furnace running) in preparation for the upcoming season, I find that again, we are getting an even stronger sewer odor in the trailer.... nothing is leaking out of the corroplast, but its my fear that a tank vent line has came disconnected from a tank.... its a fear because I dont think i will be able to see the vent line entry into the holding tanks, and if thats the case, I cant fix what i cant find....

ive checked all the plumbing in the "mechanical room" of the basement and under the sinks and elsewhere that can be seen, and everything is good, but im thinking that when the furnace is running, the heated air being pushed down the underbelly heater tube is causing the smell to rise into the trailer as it gets displaced from below, which, although it renders the trailer unusable, its not quite as strong of an odor as when the water is running down the drain..., .... and im thinking that when the water runs down the drain to a tank, its displacing air from the tank, out of the disconnect vent line fitting, and into the underbelly instead of it venting up the tube.... which makes its way into the mechanical part of the basement, which is open and vented to the living space.... and this smell, being displaced directly from the tank, the odor is much stronger

does anyone have any more or better ideas.... or even better, how about a solution to the problem;)
 

cookie

Administrator
Staff member
Check the air admittance valves located under the sinks in the kitchen and baths.
Slip a baggie over țhem and wrap with tape to seal them. Then run water and fire your furnace or whatever triggers the odor.
Attached is a generic picture of a valve and plumbing. Yours will be black and a different profile but similar.

Peace
Dave
 

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JohnDar

Prolifically Gabby Member
If you smell rotten eggs when the furnace runs, it may not be the plumbing but the gas line to the furnace. A while back, we had our furnace serviced for a faulty control board at the end of our summer season. Next spring, we would get the smell in the bedroom when the furnace ran. Removed the outside cover and used my handheld gas detector to find the connection to the furnace was not tight, allowing some gas to escape. Tightened it and no more smell.


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Flick

Well-known member
Could be a dead mouse!! A dead mouse doesn’t smell like sewer gas , but what the heck.
 

centerline

Well-known member
Check the air admittance valves located under the sinks in the kitchen and baths.
Slip a baggie over țhem and wrap with tape to seal them. Then run water and fire your furnace or whatever triggers the odor.
Attached is a generic picture of a valve and plumbing. Yours will be black and a different profile but similar.

Peace
Dave

there was a valve on the kitchen plumbing, but no where else that i can find.... I removed and plugged the one that I found, as it was installed a vent line from the plumbing to the roof anyway....

but another thing that is puzzling to me is when the shower has been run for a while, and then the water is turned off, you can hear the p-trap burping or ingesting air for about 2 minutes til it stops... which, to me, would indicate a plugged vent line somewhere..

- - - Updated - - -

If you smell rotten eggs when the furnace runs, it may not be the plumbing but the gas line to the furnace. A while back, we had our furnace serviced for a faulty control board at the end of our summer season. Next spring, we would get the smell in the bedroom when the furnace ran. Removed the outside cover and used my handheld gas detector to find the connection to the furnace was not tight, allowing some gas to escape. Tightened it and no more smell.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

ive checked with an electronic sniffer, and its not propane.....

- - - Updated - - -

Could be a dead mouse!! A dead mouse doesn’t smell like sewer gas , but what the heck.

....and not a dead mouse. the smell is the same whether its the heater running or after the waters been running for a few minutes.
 

JohnDar

Prolifically Gabby Member
There should be air admittance valves for the shower/bath plumbing somewhere. The way they assemble some of these rigs, it might be hidden in a wall someplace. What you described does sound like the drain is gasping for air. On the other hand, checking for a propane leak, as I did, requires you get close to the fitting, not outside of the panel. Outside of the furnace cover, I found nothing, but could definitely smell it in the bedroom when the furnace ran.
 

centerline

Well-known member
There should be air admittance valves for the shower/bath plumbing somewhere. The way they assemble some of these rigs, it might be hidden in a wall someplace. What you described does sound like the drain is gasping for air. On the other hand, checking for a propane leak, as I did, requires you get close to the fitting, not outside of the panel. Outside of the furnace cover, I found nothing, but could definitely smell it in the bedroom when the furnace ran.

Ive have a repair business for the past 18yrs, and we work on a lot of propane powered equipment, and I have sniffers, and no matter where I test the smell at, its not propane.... and yet I cant get a reading of hydrogen sulfide (sewer gas) either, which can be understandable because even though the smell is large, the amount of actual hydrocarbons is too small to register, which makes it a gas that is harder to detect with a meter, except when very near the source... propane can be detected a lot easier.
 

JohnDar

Prolifically Gabby Member
Yeah, my main sniffer is a Sensit Gold G2 4-gas unit.


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centerline

Well-known member
before pulling the coroplast, is there a diagram somewhere showing the tank layout.... i know the FW tank is nearly over the front axle, but im not sure of the position if the waste tanks... are they housed forward in the step frame area, or are they farther back near the FW tank?..
 

danemayer

Moderator
Staff member
before pulling the coroplast, is there a diagram somewhere showing the tank layout.... i know the FW tank is nearly over the front axle, but im not sure of the position if the waste tanks... are they housed forward in the step frame area, or are they farther back near the FW tank?..

Generally, gray #1 and the black tank will be under the bathroom, which probably puts it to the rear of the front, drop-frame area. Gray #2 for the galley will generally be in the rear coroplast section, toward the front.

If you call Heartland, they might have a drawing of the plumbing that they could send you. Heartland Customer Service at 877-262-8032 / 574-262-8030. Have your VIN # ready.
 

Lou_and_Bette

Well-known member
FWIW, I had a “smell” problem with our current BH and I made it go away by closing the gaps around the vent tubes where they terminate on the roof. I took the vent caps off and there was a significant space between the pipe and the roofing wood. Stuffed plastic shopping bags in to fill the gaps, reinstalled the caps and no more odors. While I was doing that, I took a hose and ran water down the vents to make sure they were open. I have also heard of vent pipes not being intact, or sliding down into the tank.
 

centerline

Well-known member
FWIW, I had a “smell” problem with our current BH and I made it go away by closing the gaps around the vent tubes where they terminate on the roof. I took the vent caps off and there was a significant space between the pipe and the roofing wood. Stuffed plastic shopping bags in to fill the gaps, reinstalled the caps and no more odors. While I was doing that, I took a hose and ran water down the vents to make sure they were open. I have also heard of vent pipes not being intact, or sliding down into the tank.

I think I read an old post of yours that I already got this idea from.... so some time ago I pulled the vent caps, and plugged the gaps there... the vent pipes were about 1.5" lower than the recommend height in the vent housing, but all 4 were at the same level.....

today im going to pull the vent caps again, and use a hair dryer or shop vac to passively blow air down the vent pipes to see if i get a smell inside the trailer quickly.....
I cant blow too hard or air will pass the p traps, and I think if I use a scented lysol spray ingested into the air stream going in the pipe, I should detect it quickly, which may tell me which pipe/tank/area that the leak is in....
 

JohnDar

Prolifically Gabby Member
before pulling the coroplast, is there a diagram somewhere showing the tank layout.... i know the FW tank is nearly over the front axle, but im not sure of the position if the waste tanks... are they housed forward in the step frame area, or are they farther back near the FW tank?..

This photo I took at the plant in 2011 of a Big Country under construction might help you. The white tank is, of course, the fresh water tank. The dark tank forward of it is the galley tank. Next is the toilet black tank and below it, in the drop frame area is the tank for the shower and lavatory sink. If there's a forward installed washer, it drains to that tank, as well. The layout for my 2009 BH 3670 was the same.
 

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