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Jack
This is a post for MacawLover a new memeber unable to post.
Jack

For a while now I have been smelling a smell similar to when you turn on your furnace for the first time in the Fall season on a forced air system. In the past, it would be just occasionally but now it is more often, when I take a shower or use the dish washer. I have a front end laundry washer so not so much then.

I have a tri-level house and the smell is in the upstairs bathroom. The water heater is in the sub-basement but the vent would be coming up through that connecting wall.

House is 31 years old.

There is a double wall galvanized metal vent which has turned to more of a lighter gray color than the first pipe that comes out directly from the water heater.

Water heater is a 9 year warranty that will be in use since 10-4-05. Yes, date was written on it. Gas model. Not a model with a fan on it.

Friend came over on Saturday, took the vent off downstairs, nothing in there such as a dead animal. With the use of his wet/dry vacuum and twine, we managed to get that metal snake down there but no blockage. Several times he closed off the top of the vent while running his high HP vac but nothing came out.

Smell seemed to go away for about 1.5 days after investigating the vent.

The vent in the house would have two bends in it as the vent on the roof and water heater do not line up one under the other.

Carbon monoxide is not detected by the tester in the upstairs bathroom. When I placed it by the water heater, it did signal a 90 reading but that might have been an error reading. Heck, if there was CO coming out, the 2 large parrots that are in the room when you enter the sub-basement is, would be dead and I would be one basket case if they died on me. No other reading since. There is also a 3rd Macaw in the spare bedroom in the upper level where the bathroom is.

What else can be done to track this down???? Could the double wall vent be compromised? How do you determine that? Have even considered replacing the water heater with the Rheem XR90 seeing that it has a fan assisted draft inducer on it thinking maybe that would get the heat out of the vent faster.

Furnace is not turned on, besides, that is vented using PVC out the side of the house. No gas stove, just drop in electric stove top. First noticed an occasional smell about 1 year ago so nothing smoldering either, otherwise I should have been up in flames a long time age LOL

With this being a tri-level house, the plumbing vent for the kitchen is separate from the one used by the upstairs bathroom and where the water heater vents comes up through that wall.

Any suggestions on how/what to do next? I am on a very tight budget along with the very real possibility of not having a job shortly so any $$$ spent must be used wisely.

Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated.

Jack
Re: This is a post for MacawLover a new memeber unable to post.
Jack

My first question is, are you sure the smell isn't coming from the water? With a unit that has been used for 11 years the sacrificial anode rod may be completely gone.

Jack

HoustonRemodeler
Re: This is a post for MacawLover a new memeber unable to post.
HoustonRemodeler

What Jack said. Have you ever flushed the tank ?

Jack
This is a post for MacawLover a new memeber unable to post.
Jack

MacawLover added
For both yours and HoustonRemodeler the answer would be no to both. Had not even thought of either one of those.

With the rod, if after pulling that out and seeing that it has been eaten up, what would the indication be the tank is then too damaged? There has been no fluctuations in the amount of hot water I get. Will get that checked and the tank flushed and see if that changes anything. Thanks for those ideas. :o

and

Forgot to add that it would not be from the water as I don't use the shower upstairs and it happens when the dishwasher is run and the kitchen (ground level) is not close to the upstairs bathroom where the smell is at.

Jack
Re: This is a post for MacawLover a new memeber unable to post.
Jack

Another idea is that you have a clogged stack vent and are getting sewer gas being forced into the house.

Jack

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