I am a renter and my house often smells overbearing of sewers gas. I guess this is a two part question. The smell cures up from all the drains and I’ve made the landlord aware of this, she has not sent anyone to look at the plumbing or drainage. The plumbing is septic. She did however schedule someone to “clean out the tank” but as I’ve said has not sent anyone to assess the issue.

Will/could that solve the problem?

The other issue is shown in the picture. Is it acceptable for venting to vent directly into a room within the apartment rather than venting outside?

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    That looks like a chip bag. No, that is not proper. If that is indicative of the quality of the plumbing in the house, it's likely that getting it up to code (or even minimal safety) is not cheap. – longneck Dec 3 '18 at 17:02
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    Very close, cracker bag I covered it because I was desperate using any means possible trying to minimize the sewer gas seeping in. – Sara Mastrangelo Dec 3 '18 at 17:11
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    Call you local housing authority or building inspector. They may come out and inspect for you, and then threaten to fine or condemn to get the landlord to act. Where are you located? – longneck Dec 3 '18 at 18:47
  • Elma, Erie county N.Y. – Sara Mastrangelo Dec 3 '18 at 19:36
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    Calling in the building inspector and getting them to condemn the property as unrentable could bring an undesirable side effect. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Dec 3 '18 at 20:41

Admiral Ackbar identifying the part: It's a trap

That bit of plumbing where the pipe does a U shape before going down, that is called a trap.

Every drain has one. Think about what happens when water goes down that drain regularly. The water can't all get over the hump, so it stays down in the U-shaped area. This has the effect of plugging the pipe. The whole point is to stop sewer gases escaping.

Now, think about what happens when water doesn't go down that drain regularly. That "plug" of water dries up. Voila, the pipe is now wide-open and stink ensues.

The cure is to pour water down that drain.

The water will be trapped in the U-part, and provide the sewer gas plug as intended.

As you can imagine, it only takes months for that water to dry out, so it has to be done again from time to time. And it will happen to any drain or sink that is disused. So you should be prepared to do it as often as needed.

Or you can properly cap the line with actual pipe fittings that clamp or screw in, readily available at the hardware store.

Whose responsiblity is it? Let's see. That fixture appears to be intended for a washing machine, so it is a "feature" not a "defect". Even if it was a defect, do you really want the landlord coming into your home every 3 months to dump water down each trap? I would argue the traps should be maintained by the tenant.

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