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    Gas heater and sewer gas (3 Posts)

  • cjc46107 cjc46107 @ 9:01 AM
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    Gas heater and sewer gas

    Hi there-
    I am currently renting a very old home equipped with a gas heater. A month or so back, we had our basement drain back up with sewage, and my landlord sent some people out to fix it. Unfortunately due to language barrier, we were never told what exactly was wrong, and when I contacted my landlord, he wouldn't give me a straight answer either.
    It was cleaned up, and sanitized and though the basement smells musty, it doesn't smell like sewage.
    Anyway, that said, now that it's cold and we are running our heater, we smell sewer gas coming up through the vents. The house doesn't smell when the heater isn't running.
    Is there any way that these two things are related? Could the heater be pulling sewer gas from somewhere?
    I have very little understanding of how this house is vented, etc, (it was built in the 1920's and not very well taken care of) and unfortunately we have a pretty terrible landlord who is incredibly difficult to get any help out of.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.
  • JUGNE JUGNE @ 11:30 AM
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    How deep

    was the sewage back-up?  Assuming you have a forced air furnace if stuff got into the lower blower compartment it is probably still there.  Look inside the lower door of the furnace for a water line.  The filter might have gotten wet also.  If you have central AC and/or a humidifier the drain hoses should not be connected directly to a sewer line without an air gap or trap.  The worst scenario would be if this was originally a gravity flow air furnace with return air tunnels under the floor. The return/cold air grills were on the outside walls and sometimes dropped straight down to go under the basement floor.  Long shot but maybe.  DO NOT run the furnace without the blower door installed.  CO hazard!!
  • Tim McElwain Tim McElwain @ 2:28 PM
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    Reality coulde be that

    when the furnace is running the pressure in the room changes causing sewer gas to come into the area. Call the local gas company to come and test the environment for a possible methane gas level. They have the test instrument to do this testing.
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