Attn: Plumbers ~ Sewer vents ~ urine smell in bathroom part 2

Page 1 of 2  
I went to bed last night thinking all is well.
I woke up and the demon smell is back.
I pulled toilet.....perfect seal just as I suspected.
Next step: Get a garden hose bladder and pressure flush the sewer vent, if I can get any pressure.
Desperately seeking ANY advice. Apologies to my nephew. :(
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
gonjah wrote:

Still funny about your nephew. I'm thinking that when he gets older he's going to sue you for defamation of character since you already posted a perp picture of him :-)
Meanwhile, back at the problem. That's interesting that you now know it is not the wax ring or anything directly under the toilet. I assume that the smell is not under there either. Any chance that you can do some serious up-close sniffing around to try to determine exactly where the smell is and where it is not? Maybe closely check and sniff around the floor, the walls, each drain (sink, tub, etc.). It sure does seem like you should be able to localize the smell to narrow down the possible source.
I doubt that the vent has anything to do with it.
Maybe there is a cracked or broken sewer line somewhere nearby -- under the slab, etc.
Also, if there is a chance that it is urine etc. that was on the floor and/or walls from the alleged perp, maybe the correct cleanup requires some type of enzyme (Odor X-it, or something that sounds like that). I don't know if this applies to human urine, but I do know that people who try to get rid of dog or cat urine smells say they have to use some kind of enzyme that is made for that. Otherwise, after they clean the area with regular cleaners, the bacteria in the urine that remains behind in cracks and crevices regrows and smells again -- especially in warm climates. Since you said that the alleged perp may have run from the pool to the bathroom, I am assuming that you are in a warm climate where the urine bacteria can regrow and smell again.
Of the two above options, my hunch is a cracked or broken sewer line pipe somewhere. But, if it is just a use-the-correct-cleaner/enzyme issue, that would be a much easier problem to fix.
But, again, I think that really trying to accurately locate the smell should help in solving the mystery.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/3/2012 10:39 AM, TomR wrote:

Nothing I can't back up with witnesses. :)

No. Not even coming out of the drain opening which sort of blows the vent theory doesn't it?

My sniffer isn't what it used to be.

Yup. That's my thought too. Maybe a foundation shift. There is a small crack on one of the 12" tiles that runs across it. When I stick my nose down close it does seem to smell more but it's hard to tell. Maybe it just needs a more cleaning too.

Central Texas.

I'm going to HD now. I'll look for an odor neutralizer.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
gonjah wrote:

That may be the problem.

I have relatives who live in Texas -- about 20 miles north of Houston. I have never been there but they said they have sandy soil and their house was built on a slab with (I think) no real foundation. As a result, they have had ground movement that has caused cracks etc. that they have to deal with.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/3/2012 11:20 AM, TomR wrote:

If it is we're going to have to get used to it for awhile. Foundation shifts are very common here but not in my area. I've made sure that water drains correctly on my property but the damage may have already been done.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/3/2012 9:54 AM, gonjah wrote:

Anyone think it might be a poor toilet design? Allowing gasses to escape?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/3/2012 7:54 AM, gonjah wrote:

Have you verified that all your traps have enough water in 'em? Anything that drops the water level can let gas thru. leak? hairball wicking water up and out?
I have a bathroom I don't use. I have to keep putting water down the drain to replace evaporation.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/3/2012 11:57 AM, mike wrote:

Yeah. First thing I did was run water in the tub because we normally use the back shower. That's not it but thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thursday, May 3, 2012 1:07:54 PM UTC-4, gonjah wrote:

I had a problem years ago with an unexplainable toilet odor. It turned out that the back drain holes under the toilet rim had become clogged with some sort of hard sediment over the years so the back of the under-rim was not being rinsed, allowing bacteria or whatever to build up and produce the odor. I used a nail to clear the holes and the problem was solved.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Put some cooking oil in it and it will float on the water and greatly reduce evaporation
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/3/2012 9:54 AM, gonjah wrote:

...
OK, at least it's confirmed.
You say this is a slab construction?
How old, what kind of sewer/water piping and do the penetrations through the slab have protection from the concrete?
Are you _sure_ it might not have been the nephew again? :)
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/3/2012 12:43 PM, dpb wrote:

I'm not sure of anything. I'm even not sure about the wax ring but it looked like a good install to me. I'll be extra careful to seal it right.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
gonjah <gonjah.net> wrote in

Does your household include any boys below the age of about 8? Does your nephew fit that description?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
gonjah wrote:

Does this bathroom have a ceiling vent / fan? If so, check this vent to see if it's the source of the odor.
Also - check the sink. Sinks have vents too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/3/2012 5:25 PM, Home Guy wrote:

Yeah. I went into the attic and it smells normal.
I did find out that it is a sewer odor. When I reinstalled the toilet I got a good whiff coming right out of the drain opening.
Toilet is CAREFULLY reinstalled with expert instructions and a over-sized wax ring. The hallway, fixtures and the bathroom has been cleaned with urine odor neutralizer.
If it still stinks tomorrow I'm going to get a hose bladder and try to pressure flush the vent. There is only one above the bathroom.
BTW: To anyone following, I did notice one of my shims did go into the wax ring when I installed this toilet the first time. Looked innocent enough and I doubt it caused the problem but it is possible.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you get to the point where you take the toilet off the floor (again), you might want to put a cap or seal over the drain hole and close up the room (for how-ever long you want) and see if the smell is still there. This would at least tell you if the smell is coming from the floor drain.
Something else you might try - squeeze a bead of caulking around the outside edge of the toilet where it meets (rests on) the floor. Make that a water-tight seal. I'd bet your getting an air flow from the drain from the bottom of the toilet stand.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/3/2012 7:58 PM, Home Guy wrote:

We've already had the silicone at the base discussion. I'm all for it and there was one there as this all began. A very pretty one that now I have to replace. :)
I'll try to be sure to isolate the bathroom tonight. I just noticed the same smell in the room across the hall so tomorrow I'll start pulling it apart and do the same sanitize and neutralize.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"gonjah" <gonjah.net> wrote

But no apology to the people here you said were wrong?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On May 3, 7:54am, gonjah <gonjah.net> wrote:

Just saw this thread.
Dry rot, especially in redwood, SMELLS exactly like urine.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/4/2012 7:29 AM, Robert Macy wrote:

I think you're on to something but it's not dry rot or redwood.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.