Cast Iron Drain Piping Under-Floor Leak Diagnosis & Repair
CAST IRON DRAIN LEAK, ODOR, REPAIR - CONTENTS: Cast Iron Drain Pipe Leak & Repair Case - Odors Lead to Discovery of Under-Floor Drain Leaks. Diagnose & repair cast iron drain connection & leak problems. Diagnose sewer gas odors traced to cast iron drain deterioration. Types of leaks occurring in cast iron drain piping.
Photos of sewer gas sulphur odor leak discovery, cause. Photos of repairs for leaky sewer line under floor slab.
POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how sewer odors are traced, and how to diagnose & find leaky buried cast iron drain pipes and how to trace methane odors to a nearby HVAC duct in the floor slabs
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Cast iron drain pipes leak under a basement floor:
This article describes Conrad's experience in tracking down a sewer gas odor that appeared in the building's (transite) heating ducts, finding a leaky sewer pipe under the basement floor, and repairing (or replacing) the in-floor cast iron plumbing drain waste vent piping, piping materials.
Cast Iron Drain Pipe Leak & Repair Case - Odors Lead to Discovery of Under-Floor Drain Leaks
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Leaky Cast Iron Drain Pipes Under a Floor Slab Send Sewer Gases into HVAC Ducts
A reader (Conrad) provided us with the photographs and case history of the successful track-down of sewer gas odors in a building (SEWER GAS ODORS). The case began with a complaint of sewer gas odors in the building's heating duct work system. As you can see from the "before" and "after" photos, this case involved the following combination of circumstances:
A transite heating duct was buried in a basement floor (below the slab) and located parallel to and immediately above a cast iron sewer pipe (photo below left)
The sewer pipe deteriorated and developed leaks (photo below right)
Sewer gases leaked out of the cast iron waste line and into the heating duct line.
The repair required breaking up the concrete floor slab and replacing the leaky sewer line. We recommended replacement of the transite heating duct as well.
Photographs of Finding, Excavating & Diagnosing Transite Duct & Cast Iron Drains Buried Under the Basement Slab
The photo at below left shows the basement floor slab cut open to permit replacement of the leaky cast iron drain line. At below right our final photograph shows
the new white PVC drain piping installed in the floor.
Photos of Repairs to the Leaky Cast Iron in-Slab Drain Lines
At above right and in more photographs below we show the sewer line break repairs and floor re-tiled kindly sent along by reader Conrad.
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(Apr 13, 2015) Nancy said:
Hello and so glad I found your site!
I bought my house 3 years ago and it had an odor then--(45 years old,single story on foundation.) We demoed everything and still have the odor. The laundry room has a floor drain, and at the time I thought "how cool". When I retiled the floor I kept the drain. Only appliance now is a washer/dryer in this room, along with a sink. Wish I had sealed over the drain (is this even possible?)
Anyway, people always comment on the odor......smells like sewage. My husband and I are here all the time so I think we are now used to odor. I'm more sensitive and notice it more. My brother said he thought it could be the trap and gases. I've put water down it as well as Dymon-Liqued Alive.
I saw the pictures of drains being ripped out of foundation and do no want to go to that expense. This laundry room sits next to a powder room with sink and toilet, but I cannot imagine they would share the same drain.
What are your suggestions? Mineral oil? Seal drain? and what with?
San Antonio Stinky
First there are some simple things you can try:
Pour clean mineral oil into the floor drain trap so that it's not "dry" - see if that stops the odor.
It's also simple to duct-tape a flat rubber tub drain cover over the floor drain.
Both of these are stop-gap measures: we don't want potentially dangerous methane to be leaking into a building.
Before abandoning the drain by pouring concrete into it I'd be sure that you are not risking blocking a drain inlet connection from some other plumbing fixture nearby.
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Thanks to reader Conrad for discussing an under-slab sewer gas odor source traced to a combination of transite heating ducts in the floor slab and leaky cast iron drain piping - January 2010
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