Discuss SVP (grey water) gases leaking out - What do you see (pics)? in the Plumbing Forum | Plumbing Advice area at PlumbersForums.net

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Hi all,

I would really appreciate your eyes on these pictures - What do you see ?
Does anything look strange about the Rockwool insulation to you?


I suspect that my long ongoing rotting veg/sewage smell is caused by a fault in this connection that has been hidden from previous inspections behind a layer of clean yellow Rockwool (see pic).

The connection is in a very awkward place to get to, behind kitchen cabinets, which is why I think it has been missed/overlooked (see plan).

The contractors plumber have dismissed these pictures as builders dust but my gut instinct is saying that it can't be a coincidence due to the location of the connection in relation to the smell and that the rock wool is clean on the outside but very dirty around the connection. I have checked everywhere else in the area, above and below.

This connection is located just above floor level in a boxed in column.

Short background: My flat and my next door neighbour are getting rotting veg like sewage smells coming out from around a grey water SVP. The pipe terminates mid wall (eye level) with a Durgo/AAV and this has been changed 3 times in the last 2 years. The SVP is boxed in to a small column that runs through 4 floors of our building but the smell problem is local to our two flats only and within a 2 meter radius of that SVP pipe (red circle in plan).

A camera inspection showed the pipe is not blocked all the way to ground level, yet the smell is still coming into our flat at low level from under the skirting in the area and the light switch. And in to my neighbours kitchen behind the cupboards again at low level.

Am I reaching or does this look like a pretty good sign of dirty air or even water coming out from that connection.

Thank you for you time and help, it's very much appreciated.
Jason
 

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Update: Spent most of the day looking at this and after some research, I realised that what I'm looking at is a boss connection - is that right? I believe these are solvent welded ... could this be my problem, one of the joins is leaking?
 
How can I test this boss connector for air leaks?
I only have access to a hatch near the AAV above the boss and access via the kitchen sink plumbing.

I was thinking of taking out the sink p trap and feeding the area with a smoke machine?
 

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You cant can only air test them but access will be required
 
You cant can only air test them but access will be required
Thanks for the reply Shaun. Much appreciated. This has been going on for so long now I feel like I'm on the brink of an answer.

Do you mean access to the whole stack - What did you have in mind?
And out of curiosity why won't my smoke test idea work? 🤔
 
Thanks for the reply Shaun. Much appreciated. This has been going on for so long now I feel like I'm on the brink of an answer.

Do you mean access to the whole stack - What did you have in mind?
And out of curiosity why won't my smoke test idea work? 🤔

basically you will need access to that fitting and to do a smoke test it will have to be filled internally with smoke but then it’s not the best test

better to bung below and fill with water and see if it leaks
 
basically you will need access to that fitting and to do a smoke test it will have to be filled internally with smoke but then it’s not the best test

better to bung below and fill with water and see if it leaks
I see what you mean. Yeah I was worried about smoke being unreliable.
I have a good relationship with the neighbour downstairs who will have an access point in his kitchen (same layout).
I should be possible to bung the SVP. It's a really good idea. Water should seep out of a hole.

Do you think would find its way out of top and bottom joins of the boss? I'm not so hot at physics :)
 
Did you manage to sort your problem?
 
Did you manage to sort your problem?
Hey Lou, No unfortunately not.

I have had some progress though, albeit not great news.

The master landlord & original build contractor believe the smell has nothing to do with the SVP and have instead placed the blame on a poorly sealed smoke extraction shaft that runs from top-to-bottom of our block and is located just outside my front door (see plan). They think that the smell is a combination of multiple floors and we just have bad luck to be getting the smell coming through.

I do agree that the huge mass of air that is circulating the smell around my flat is coming from the gaps in that shaft because I can feel it through an inspection hole I made just over 1m away from the shaft but I don't think they are right about the source of the smell itself.

As a result of their conclusion they refuse to do a smoke test.

I have decided to try a couple of things myself:
1. Asked my neighbour on the floor below to use a very strong smelling cleaner in the sink. If that smell comes up to us then there is something up with that SVP connection.
2. I've bought a small fog machine and I'm going to do a small local test and see if I get anything at all come through the Durgo(aav) or the boss connector. Its a long shot but cheap and easy to try.

The contractor has agreed that the shaft should be sealed and will do the work at some point in the future but in the meantime I'm still stuck with the smell.

With this in mind I'm going to cut open the wall near my front door and seal all the gaps from my side of the shaft which at least will have a massive effect on the airflow and potentially the smell too.
 
Gosh that all sounds a bit drastic! I hope that you manage to make progress. Keep us updated!
 
Gosh that all sounds a bit drastic! I hope that you manage to make progress. Keep us updated!
Hey Lou, drastic yes but unfortunately necessary. I know if I just sit and wait for them to get their act together it could take months. Will definitely update this thread as and when I have some news.
 
look forward to the update
 

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