I am hoping to get some feedback about a situaton that quite frankly I am at my wits end about. I have a tenant in a retail strip center that states they have an intermittent "foul" smell permeating their office. To them it smells like sewer gas.
I have had every trade vendor (plumber, a/c, maintenance) and no one seems to be able to find the source. The tenant typically reports the smell in the morning and within 20 mins it disappears. I had the tenant call me when the smell is there and when I show-up; it's gone.
Does anyone have any suggestions on what direction I can go with this? I have had to deal with smell issues in the past, but I typically know the source of the smell. I don't know where the source is coming from so I don't know what trade to start with.
I had this problem some years ago. You might do a survey to determine if there has ever been a septic system with tank on the property. I found a still functioning septic tank in the loading dock of a shopping center which the owners had forgotten about. Another source may be an open sewer line [no trap with water] somewhere on the property. Good luck.
I had the same issue with a retail tenant not too long ago. My maintenance tech would go over frequently to check out their plumbing in the back of their store, and it was never a plumbing issue. The tenant actually had an old washing machine hooked up in the back that had been recently un-installed; the smell was coming from the old tubes on the back of the machine.
If your tenant has any old equipment that once was hooked up, the smell might be coming from that.
We typically get the same smell throughout our buildings for time to time. Typically it appears when the temps. are cold outside and the air is dry. This causes the water in the drain traps to dry out which lets the foul odor to come into the building. These traps are found under the floor drains, under unused kitchen sinks, etc. The best way to keep them from smelling again is the regularly pour water down the drain. A cup of vegetable oil poured on top of the water will allow the water to stay in the trap longer and not evaporate as quickly.
I agree with Jeffery's reply. I had the same issue in one of my 2 story office buildings and it was the HVAC fresh air intake too close to the sewer vent. The vent was raised another 3 feet and it solved the problem.