we started noticing an occasional sewage smell in the basement. It comes and goes. I can't figure out its cause or source. I suspect it is somehow tied to the sump pump. The sump pump was replaced by roto rooter around a year ago. When I was there investigating, I moved a small rag and discovered to my surprise a big hole in the cover where the power cord is coming from.

Is this hole suppose to be sealed somehow? If I look inside I can see water. I imagine that could be the source of the smell.

sump pump, rag and power cord

1 Answer 1


I am Guessing this a sewage pit/ sump Based on the size and that there are 2 pipes and in that case it should be sealed and there should be a gasket under the lid. I have seen pits with a float and a stick that were not a tight seal and when a toilet flush or running water there was a smell until the pump kicked in. I installed a internal sensor that measured the distance to the water level where the stick was and eliminated the smell totally by sealing but they still had a high level indicator.

  • I should have noted that 3rd hole may have been for a vent, it really depends if there is a vent in close proximity5-6’ , each of those pipes needs a union and the supply from the toilets and sinks should have a ball valve or shutoff. These items are important when there is a problem , making access to the pump for a clean out or replacement. I had a friend that used to hard plumb them and say when it fails they can cut the pipes and install them, so be aware if there are not union's you may need them I think I see the flanges at the tank top so there may be a way for access.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 16:14

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