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For the past couple days I have noticed a foul smell in my living room and I can't seem to locate it. It smells more like dog poop and/or puke. I have a dog but she has never pooped in the house before though she has thrown up and at this point I won't rule anything out. The thing is, I can't find a stain on the rug or any evidence of an accident on the hardwood portion.

I mostly smell it when I am sitting at the computer and if I get on the floor to smell the carpet I can't detect it at all. I put down some deodorizer and vacuumed the rug and mopped the floor and that didn't help either.

I did just recently turn the heat on for the first time but the smell is really concentrated in one part of the house. Prior to the heat being on the AC was running so I don't think it was something in the vent necessarily.

Any ideas of what I could do to narrow this down? I am slightly losing my mind over this. Thanks.

closed as off-topic by Tyson, Daniel Griscom, ThreePhaseEel, isherwood, mmathis Oct 23 '18 at 17:33

  • This question does not appear to be about home improvement within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because locating source of smells is specifically called out as off-topic in the help center. – Tyson Oct 19 '18 at 0:28
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    I think it is reasonable to ask if my heat turning on for the first time could be the culprit – user1723699 Oct 19 '18 at 1:14
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    The computer chair is the source of many unpleasant odors. – Kris Oct 19 '18 at 2:06
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    bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/530965/laptop-smell. I had a computer that smelled like B.O. this link talks about computer sourced stench – Kris Oct 19 '18 at 2:19
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    if it is a dead mouse, the smell will go away once it dries up in a couple weeks. – dandavis Oct 19 '18 at 17:35
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Have you heard about dirty sock syndrome? Its the smell a heat pump can make if microbes start growing on the indoor coil. If you have gas heat, then never mind. I'm just going to throw out ideas to see if anything comes to mind by anyone:

  • a small animal like a mouse crawled in the wall and died.
  • There are an old drain under the slab that has a p trap that has dried out. Or possibly a sewer cleanout. Maybe a sewer pipe is cracked in the wall or in the slab.
  • No cat right? if a cat sprays, it stinks.
  • You say it not as bad by the floor. That's a good clue, keep trying to isolate it.
  • Could be mold caused by a water leak or water from the roof leaking into a wall. Or any of the walls exterior walls?
  • I have heard of bad smells from certain kinds of bad paint batches. Did you paint recently?
  • Does it change with the humidity? That might be a clue.
  • I have gas heat and the smell is contained to one room so if it is something with the ac/heat I would assume it is in the vent in that room. The strange part is I can really only smell it strong in part of the room when the vent goes in multiple directions. I am going up in the attic tonight to see if I can find anything, I am guessing that it is either something in the walls or in the vent due to the main location where the smell is most noticeable. Also, when I turned on the fan in that room I could smell it throughout the room. – user1723699 Oct 19 '18 at 13:26
  • I have a old farm house (1930) we have started seeing the annual mouse invasion with the cold nights and have found 2 dead mice in the house the smell is bad like poop sometimes + – Ed Beal Oct 19 '18 at 13:50
  • @EdBeal Thanks Ed, that is sounding like it makes more sense because it did just get really cold out, think a drop of a high in the 80's to highs in the low 50's. Unfortunately the vent it could be in is very difficult to access but I am going to see what I can do anyways, worst case I can call an AC company to come out but if I can at least get close to the vent my nose should tell me if I am right. – user1723699 Oct 19 '18 at 13:59
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  1. The smell could be coming from a dead animal that died in a particular location under your house

  2. The smell could be coming from the sink, do your sinks drain slow. Often times when the sewage pipes never get cleaned they can eventually cause a pretty rough odor to come out of the sinks drain

  3. The smell could be coming from your walls without any indication on the inside or outside. How well is the outside of your house, particularly the windows and door seals protected from rain, if rain seeps in through the crack then gets into the insulation with it being a humid area and trying to dry, what you're smelling is the mold forming on the inside of your wall, you just have to determine where ? either by getting a visual thermal detector or putting a sprinkler on the outside of your house and locating where it may be seeping into your walls

  4. A sewage Crack under your house

  • Thanks for the ideas, I am going to go up in the attic tonight to see if I can deduce anything. It has been very rainy in my area the last month and a half so no big changes weather wise but I will look for a leak I couldn't notice. The house is on a slab so no animal could crawl under and die, I am thinking the vent could be the culprit but it is very difficult to reach. The location where I smell it the most is in an area that is in the center of the house so that limits the possibilities a little bit. – user1723699 Oct 19 '18 at 13:22

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