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Help with my stinky basement!

Let me start off by saying I know little about plumbing but am pretty handy.

My problem: We have had a bad smell in our unfinished basement for years since I bought our spec house. I have never been able to track it. We have two sewer drain lines that go down in the floor: one smaller one coming down from a main floor bathroom, and the other 'main line' coming from everything else on the upper levels. As part of my troubleshooting, I inspected all clean out connections and all seemed tight. All had some sort of sealant on the threads except for the main sewer line horizontal clean. I noticed also noticed that it looks like at some point it might have had a few drops on the floor under it. It doesn't have the typical pipe wrench plug, but it looks more like something that a biscuit joint piece would fit into to turn.

I taped a plastic bag over the cleanout to see what would happen. The next day my basement smelled better. I did notice that although I had squeezed all the ‘air’ out of the bag, it was fully inflated which makes me suspect that gas is coming out of that cleanout hole even with the plug in there.

1. Is there supposed to be some sort of ‘lock tight’ on that plug to prevent gas from excaping?
2. How do I fix this?

Thank you!

MLB Construction
Re: Help with my stinky basement!

any hardware store will sell pipe thread sealant. most are a white paste that you put on the threads, then screw it back in nice and snug. that should solve your problem.

Re: Help with my stinky basement!

I have never seen the tool I would need to turn this. As I said, it looks like you would stick a biscut joint into it to turn it. Any advice on where to find the tool I need?

Thanks for the reply so far!

Re: Help with my stinky basement!

What you have is a flush clean out plug. You should be able to use a pair of channel locks. Open as wide as they will open and use the jaws inside the grove. You may have to use a screwdriver in between the jaws for leverage.

Re: Help with my stinky basement!

The moisture in the basement can cause smell and dampness which can lead to the development of mod and mildew. The first step is to control the moisture by determining the source of leakage. Check that all the gutters are closed and worki8ng properly and check the drainage that water is draining away from house. You can even use sump pump to draw off the excess amount of water from basement.

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