Posts tagged ‘Floods’

“Mom, Our basement stinks!”

Home Service Corp. Plumbing

Finished Basement

Have you ever had an offensive odor in your home that you just could not find the source? Have you been able to determine it’s coming from the basement? From time to time we receive a call from a homeowner wanting us to send a Technician out to check into “a bad” odor in their home emanating from their basement.

The customer tells our Customer Service Rep that they have checked to be sure the dog or cat has not left a surprise for them in the basement. A search of the basement has not come up with a dead critter of some sort either. The children didn’t have an issue and put soiled clothing in the basement laundry basket, and the husband didn’t drop his sweaty gym clothes or sports equipment in the basement. The customer has tried covering up the odor with one of those new sprays but to no avail.

So we send a Technician out to the home to check out the situation and determine if there is a plumbing problem. When the Tech arrives, he will ask several questions of the homeowner to help him hone in on the source of the customer’s problem. Although the customer may have told the Customer Service Rep on the phone, the Tech will ask questions to be sure he fully understands the customer’s need and clarify any information he received from the office.

As the Tech begins his investigation of the odor, he will check into all the plumbing in the basement. An unfinished basement is often much easier to check since walls, floors, and ceilings are exposed and the plumbing can be traced. The Tech will check the drain piping for leaks and possible cracks. If there is a laundry area or a bathroom in the basement it will also be checked for cracked or leaking piping. The drain traps for each of these will be inspected to be sure there is water sealing each of the traps. If the trap is dry, sewer gases can escape from the system and enter the home causing the noxious odor. Although the Technician is not a general contractor or mold inspector, he/she would look for signs of mold near plumbing fixtures and other common mold occurring areas of the basement. Some forms of mold can have noticeable smells which we find offensive and could be a health hazard. The Technician would also check to be sure drain cleanouts plugs are in place and sealing the system and he/she would check the floor drains to be sure they have a good water seal in them.

Home Service Corp. Plumbing

Typical Trap

Many of these possible causes will require the expertise of a plumber or specialty contractor to solve, but a simple solution is often to add 2-3 cups of water to the floor drains in the basement on a monthly basis. This should also be done if there are plumbing fixtures that are rarely used in the basement since the water seals in the traps for those may dry up allowing sewer gas to escape into the home. Occasionally we find a floor drain trap that has rusted through the piping and requires the floor drain to be replaced.

If you have checked everything out without finding the source of the odor, give us a call. We can help.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Home Service Corp.Noah was warned by God of the great flood that was to cover the earth. He had enough time to build the Ark, outfit it, gather the animals, and double check it’s seaworthiness. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had that same early warning of an impending “Great Flood” in your basement. You ask “What are you talking about? My basement is bone dry. I’ve never had a flood.” We’ll, over the years we have heard these words spoken to us along with “I can’t believe my carpeting, furniture, and prized collections are damaged by a flood from our sump pump failing.”

 

There are now many options for helping prevent basement floods. These include a second pump, a battery operated backup sump pump, a water power backup sump pump, audible flood alarms, and of course regular maintenance. Each of these are good options when properly applied, properly installed and properly maintained. We have installed dozens of these devices over the years and have helped many of our customers avoid the “Great Flood.”

 

Some alarm companies are providing an alarm which senses water overflowing the sump and spilling onto the floor. These are also an option but what do you do if you are at work, on vacation, or away from home for other reasons? What if the alarm doesn’t operate when you need it because no one maintained it? Before you can react to the alarm you could have a serious flooding situation.

 

There is a new option for homeowners today. In consists of a water powered backup sump pump with an audible alarm and the ability to contact you and three others by phone if the backup sump pump is running. It senses a higher water level than normal in the sump, starts the backup pump, contacts you via the phone all before water reaches the floor of you basement. It gives you time to check out the problem or to contact us to check it out for you. Although it would not contact you in the event of a total phone outage in your home, it would continue to operate the backup pump powered by your water supply. Technology is providing us with new options which were not even dreamed about just a decade ago.Home Service Corp.

 

You may ask “What other new plumbing things are out there?” These include touch control and touch-less faucets, emergency water supply shutoff systems, smart energy saving hot water heaters, toilets that flush on less that 20% of the water many older models use, quiet garbage disposals, filters to eliminate harmful chemicals and metals in the water supply, and even the kitchen sink with hundreds of styles, shapes and accessories.

 

If you have a sump pump and would like a free evaluation of the options for your unique home, just contact us.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.