First off its not from "that" stink.;-)
Ive cleaned the floor, toilet, sink, shower with comet and then used
lysol over and over and over but this odor seems to stay. Its like an
open sewer line or the like. Ive poored water down the shower stall
drain. This shower rarely gets used its the "2nd" bath not main one. The
toilet and sink though get used every day.
What now should I check for?
Im guessing I should look at the toilet as the cause but what to check?
Ive been thinking of pulling the toilet to check the wax seal but is
there any way to tell the wax seal is leaking without pulling the toilet
off, which is something Ive never done? I too about last year at this
time had to tighten the bolts cause the toilet was rocking a bit.
This bathroom was put in 4 years ago but the smell started like last
5months or so.
Hey Ray, Sounds like you have a vent problem. When sinks/tubs/showers
are not used for a long period of time the water in the traps
evaporates and allows the vent gasses to rise out of the drains. Run
some water into the sink/stub/shower for about one minute and that
should clear up your problem. Take care.
If the shower went unused for a very long time, the water in its trap
could've evaporated and left an open conduit for sewer vapors. But
you've put water down that drain so the "seal" if you will is there,
so cross that off the list.
Pull the P trap of your sink and clean it. Rotting toothpaste hair
and spit may be the culprit.
If the wax seal were leaking, I'd have to think you've have water
problems on the floor below. But wax seals are cheap-- you can pull
the toilet and simply replace the wax seal and reinstall and cross
that off your list too.
Clean that sink drain p trap, and the tip about cleaning the overflow
was a good one too. Report back!
Thanks for the tips. I guess I left out that this bathroom is on the
concrete lower level of my tri-level house so no way to tell if its
1.I ran the shower again for about 3 minutes
2. Will pull the sink trap and clean it.
3. Is there a "standard" distance from the flange to the top of
flooring? I will need to "read-up" a bit before pulling the toilet just
to get familiar with what Im facing.
4. My sink doesnt have an overflow drain hole so nothing there.
If it comes to pulling the toilet will a vac be able to get all the
water out? This way when the toilet comes off seal no water comes out
and then if I do see wet areas then it was a leak.
The package that the wax seal comes in should give a range of
Yes, of course, read up on toilet reseating/replacement. Don't
rely just on this newsgroup.
I use a toilet brush to shove as much water as I can out the trap,
then a small paper cup in a gloved hand to bail the trap.
As your complaint was odor, the seal leak might only be passing
gasses and not liquid (please send scatological jokes to a different newsgroup),
and so you might not be able to determine if there was a leak by
examination. You will only know for certain if the problem goes
There could be many other causes for sewer gas odor. Others
that come to mind are cracked, broken, or cut drain, waste or
vent plumbing. I have seen open tees and saw cuts that did not
get noticed for decades. Here is a suggestion for one more
Use a window fan to pull a slight vacuum on the bathroom
(put it blowing out in a window, seal with cardboard around it,
and close the door).
Sniff for odors and feel for drafts.
Since you put water down the shower drain, that is probably not it.
The toilet seal is a very good guess. If the toilet hold down bolts
are corroded it is likely that the toilet is leaking.
If the toilet was rocking it is likely that the seal is leaking, as the
wax seal is not intended to flex. Once the toilet is installed
with the wax seal, any further motion can cause leaking.
Should you pull the toilet you will have to replace the seal.
Things to note:
1) check the height from the flange to the floor. Sometimes flooring
(tile, linoleum, etc.) gets added after construction which raises
the toilet too high for a standard seal. There are devices available
to raise the flange, and there are extra thick seals.
2) Sometimes the toilet bolts screw into the floor, rather than hook
on to the flange. If that is the case, make sure that the flange is
well fastened down to the floor, or switch to T- bolts.
3) There is available a non-wax seal system that will let you pull and
replace the toilet without having to replace the seal. It may also
be more reliable for beginners.
4) Do you like this toilet? Does it flush well without clogging?
If not, you are doing almost all the work of replacing the toilet.
Might as well put in a better toilet. I favor Toto toilets.
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