We just bought a home in Lee's Summit, Missouri. When we looked at the home, we noticed a sour sewage smell. Other than that we loved the house. The selling agent assured us that the smell would be addressed before we moved in. We hired Bull Dog Inspections to inspect the house. The inspector and the plumber working with him said they couldn't find the source of the odor and suggested that we just air out the house. The selling agent hired a plumber and he said the problem was that a vent in the basement wasn't capped. So he capped the vent and declared it fixed. The selling agent also had the air vents cleaned. When we did the final walk through of the house, we continued to smell the sewage odor. We should have refused to close until the problem was fixed, but we took possession of the house. We hired a plumber to address the problem and he said the sewer vent in the basement was causing the problem. He replaced the vent and declared it fixed, but we continued to smell the sewage odor.
So we decided to approach it from the Heating and Cooling system angle. We hired Calvert Plumbing, Heating and Cooling to do normal maintenance to our HVAC system and while they were here we asked them to trouble shoot the sewage odor problem. The first thing they pointed out was that the furnace exhaust was on the roof and it was only about 21 inches away from the sewage exhaust vent It is unusual for a furnace exhaust vent to run UP to the roof. When it was windy we could smell the odor even stronger because the wind was pushing the sewage exhaust down through the furnace vent.
Instead of stopping there, fixing that problem and declaring it fixed, Clint and Chris suggested that they do a smoke test which, most of the time, definitely determines the source of a sewage system odor. A smoke bomb is set off in the sewage system and if there is a crack in a pipe or an exhaust problem it will show up. When the smoke bomb was set off, smoke came billowing out of the return air vent in the main living area. They cut into the return air vent to take a look and found a 2 inch sewage exhaust pipe inside the return air vent. The return air vent has been pushing toxic sewage gas through the whole house.
Clint and Chris from Calvert Plumbing, Heating and Cooling didn't give up until they found the root causes (plural) of the problem. They systematically diagnosed the problem, one layer at a time. They permanently fixed the problem, not with a quick band aid fix, but used the best possible solution to be sure the system was running efficiently and the air circulating in the house was clean and safe to breathe.
We hired Clint and Chris from Calvert Plumbing, Heating and Cooling to do routine maintenance on our heating and cooling system and they solved a highly unusual problem that many experts before them were not able to figure out. We are so appreciative of their persistence and their determination to fix a problem that could have seriously affected our health.