Sewer vent question

My main bathroom started smelling like urine a couple of days ago so I went on the roof and flushed out the sewer vent (w/o a bladder) with the garden hose but it still smells. I've tried disinfecting everything and taking everything out of the bathroom that isn't nailed down. The base of the toilet is sealed off with silicone and the holes where it's screwed down are sealed too.
Question: On average, how often should sewer vents be cleaned out with a sewer rooter? I've here 5 years and I haven't had it done yet. It's a slab house.
Any suggestion on what to do next?
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On 5/2/2012 11:30 AM, gonjah wrote: ...

That's not good...there is no reason for and there should not be any caulking around the base of the stool; the seal is at the flange.
More than likely your problem is there is a leak there and you can't see it because you've forced it to stay in there and soak up the subfloor, etc., instead of having early indications of a problem.
Take up all that caulk and I'll bet you'll find it's damp/wet.
After that, the fix will likely be obvious--take up the stool and repair what's needed. If you're lucky it'll only be a new wax seal not a new subfloor.

This house is 100 yr old and has never had vents rooted out. Unless a bird builds a nest or somesuch, what's to clog them--they're just vents above the trap there's nothing but air.

See above...
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On 5/2/2012 11:56 AM, dpb wrote:

I was thinking about taking a look there eventually but why would there be any odor of there isn't a place for the odor to escape?
The seal is there so bath water doesn't get under the toilet and cause mold or bug problems.

The floor consist of cement and ceramic tile so I doubt there is an issue there.

Thanks.
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On 5/2/2012 12:17 PM, gonjah wrote:

Look there first, not last unless you have another drain somewhere that is unused (like a floor drain) that possibly has been so long that the water in the trap has evaporated below the necessary level to stop all sewer gas. That's about the only other possibility unless there's another waste line somewhere that has a leak.
Odor being airborne is able to get places that are still watertight; there may even be a tiny amount of damp getting through that evaporates faster than you yet notice it.

The tub is to hold bath water, not the floor...
All you're doing is covering up a potential problem; it should _NOT_ be there. If you get so much water on the floor as to make it seem a need the problem is one of training the users to not be so sloppy.
--
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On 5/2/2012 12:30 PM, dpb wrote:

I have to respectfully disagree but thanks anyway.
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On May 2, 10:32am, gonjah <gonjah.net> wrote:

SNIP
You disagree all you want with dpb (respectfully or otherwise) but based on my similar experiences with older homes (tile floor, bath tubs, etc)........ his analysis is "spot on".
good luck
let us know how it all turns out
cheers Bob
PS my home is 81 years old (I've owned it for 33 years) and I have never had to mess with the vents
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gonjah wrote:

In my personal experience, having owned many properties since 1970, I have cleaned out the sewer vents exactly zero times. It is very rare that something clogs a sewer vent, but I'm sure it can happen. When it does, I think the problem tends to be slow draining and/or a glub-glub sound when draining because the air isn't venting properly.

I guess it is possible that you have a broken sewer line somewhere under the slab.

I would take the toilet off and look to see if the wax ring is leaking etc. If it is, even though you used silicone to seal everything off around the toilet, I think that if there is a leak in the wax ring the smell could still come through.
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On 5/2/2012 1:08 PM, TomR wrote:

Thanks. I took everything out and now it seems much better. I might have solved it but it'll need more time to be sure. My nephew is learning how to use the potty and he may have just gone in there and soaked something.
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gonjah wrote:

Very funny! I'll bet that's it.
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SNIP

Consider having him "practice" outside.......
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On 5/3/2012 12:20 AM, DD_BobK wrote:

He does. I think this was an accident and I'm pretty sure we nailed it. It's been hours now and still no smell. I'm guessing he got out of the pool and ran for the potty but didn't make it. He puts it off until he just can't hold it anymore because he's having so much fun. Great kid but his pee really stinks.
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On 5/2/2012 1:08 PM, TomR wrote: ...

+2 :)
All he really has to do is to cut the caulk and watch the water run out if he has a leak...and odds are, he does.
I've worked on many houses in more years than I care to think of (mostly refurb's; renting is about the _last_ thing I'd consider :) ) and w/o exception the caulking of the stool base causes more trouble than it cures by delaying the discovery of a problem.
I OP's case, being a slab, about the worst will be that he may have some loosened tiles from the long-time dampness; in the case of conventional construction it can go from a case where can leave the subfloor to dry out and it'll be ok if find it early enough to the point of having to repair/replace floor joists that are rotted through to the point of near collapse.
The caulk is _bad_idea_ (tm) despite the many homeowner sites that suggest it.
--
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On 5/2/2012 1:16 PM, dpb wrote:

In my old house I didn't seal it because it wasn't slab. If it's not my nephew the next thing I'll do is yank the toilet but I think I solved it. :-)
Good info on the vents.
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Let us know the final outcome.
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gonjah wrote:

Approximately never.
Maybe twice as often in extreme cases.
Wild ass guess - you might try flusing something with a distinctive, but not too bad, smell: Oil of cinnamon, gasoline, perfume, and see if you detect the odor thereafter. If so, the toilet is the culprit. Likewise with the tub/shower.
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On 5/2/2012 1:20 PM, HeyBub wrote:

Not a bad idea but I'm thinking I know the problem now and he's about 3' tall. :)
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/39352_1262169414923_1850341296_529249_3361783_n.jpg
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