Missing roof stack

CPascalOctober 20, 2011

I live in a victorian that was remodeled in the inside before we purchased the home three years ago. We've recently noticed a foul smell coming from the first floor bathroom. When we called our plumber, he thought is was probably due to a clogged roof stack. We had a roofer come check (the roof is too steep for a layman to access), but he informed us that he could not find a roof stack anywhere. Next, we had our plumber come and based on his assessment he thought the smell was due to a dead animal rather than anything to do with the drain-waste-vent system. He said the smell was definitely not sewage.

My question is, how is it possible not to have a roof stack? I've been in this home for three years and one would think that the house would smell like sewage/methane constantly if this were the case. Does anyone have experience with this problem? Where could the system be terminating if not through the roof?

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alphonse

The DWV probably vents in the attic. Code notwithstanding, such a situation isn't a problem if there is free air flow through the space.
Any sort of confinement WILL give trouble with condensation, mold and rot.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 6:04AM
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brickeyee

"The DWV probably vents in the attic. "

Or if built to designs common at the time, into a separate flue in a chimney stack.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 9:53AM
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lazypup

I would love to see a plumbing code that permits venting DWV into a separate flue in the chimney. I have a collection of old plumbing codes all the codes I have from 1890 to 1948 say a plumbing vent must terminate through the roof and have a minimum horizontal clearance of 6' from a chimney.

I would suspect he has one of two common problems:

1. At some time in the past they have done some roof repairs and during that repair the vent was cut down and never restored.

2.The house was initially constructed by an owner/builder in an area where they do not require permits & inspections by example, in Ohio permits are issued by the local AHJ and in many rural areas they simply do not require permits.

About 4 years ago I worked on a 6yr old 3br ranch in Greenford, Ohio that was built by the original owner.

The township of Greenford has no permit requirements and they have no building inspectors. Basically from the foundation to the front door key, the only permit & inspection that is required is a mandatory state inspection on the septic system.

When they sold the house the bank insisted upon a code inspection and during that inspection it was discovered that not one single pipe within the entire structure was up to code.

If I was Cpascal I would look in the attic space and see if I could locate the vent stack and once located have it properly extended through the roof.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 11:45AM
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brickeyee

"I would love to see a plumbing code that permits venting DWV into a separate flue in the chimney. I have a collection of old plumbing codes all the codes I have from 1890 to 1948 say a plumbing vent must terminate through the roof and have a minimum horizontal clearance of 6' from a chimney. "

It was common for a good while (and is still done in Europe all the time).

Not every place adopted a code, and many places went a LONG time without them.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 1:59PM
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