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Old 09-16-2012, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Sugar Land
2,465 posts, read 4,695,401 times
Reputation: 2733

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I wanted to tap into your knowledge for a bit of help if you ever run into an issue like this.

The toilet in my master bathroom started to generate a mold like or sewage like smell, don't really know which one exactly. I cleaned the tank with clorox but no help. I called the plumbing folks and I had them replace the wax ring just to make sure nothing is leaking and it was all dry bellow the tile. All the hardware and water in the tank look to be in order. I do have a water softener for the house so no hard water. The remaining 4 bathroom toilets in the house are perfectly fine.

What could it be? Did any of you run into something similar? My last resort is to replace the entire toilet. Is it possible that the toilet to be defective and have some kind of leak that will allow that kind of smell to get out. Nothing else around the toilet is leaking for sure.

Can anyone relate to a similar issue and help me with their resolution, or does anyone have any ideas what could it be?
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:38 AM
 
Location: TX and NM on the border of the Great Southwest.
11,439 posts, read 15,289,727 times
Reputation: 21476
The vent pipe stopped up perhaps?
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:45 AM
 
4,762 posts, read 9,729,853 times
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Maybe it is not the toilet and something else in the bathroom?

Maybe a sink or shower or floor drain which is not used? If not used, the water in the "trap" will dry out and allow sewer gases to enter the house. To fix just run a little water into the drain(s) every now and then.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Sugar Land
2,465 posts, read 4,695,401 times
Reputation: 2733
So how do I check or fix this? Replace the entire toilet? Thanks much

Quote:
Originally Posted by High_Plains_Retired View Post
The vent pipe stopped up perhaps?
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Sugar Land
2,465 posts, read 4,695,401 times
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Billy the is no other source for the smell in the toilet room. The toilet is in it's own dedicated room with the door closed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_J View Post
Maybe it is not the toilet and something else in the bathroom?

Maybe a sink or shower or floor drain which is not used? If not used, the water in the "trap" will dry out and allow sewer gases to enter the house. To fix just run a little water into the drain(s) every now and then.

Last edited by ethanw; 09-16-2012 at 12:25 PM..
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:50 PM
 
4,762 posts, read 9,729,853 times
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Well if the toilet is not cracked anywhere, and the bowl water level remains the same from the last flush, then there should be no sewer gas entering the room.

Is it the water perhaps which has the bad smell? Maybe you could dip a cup into the tank water. Then take that cup into another room, then smell it. Water pipes can have water which smells, especially hot water pipes. And some toilets use a combination of hot and cold water via a "mixing valve".

Then are there any air vents in the room for heating / air conditioning? An exhaust fan? If yes, try sniffing around those areas - maybe get a step stool and see if the smell is worse toward the ceiling.

And then there could be a problem with a vent clogged as said above. The symptoms of that would be the toilet does not flush or have the same sound when flushing like other toilets. And when flushing other toilets in the house, the water level on that toilet might change - or maybe bubble up sewer gas.
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:59 PM
 
4,762 posts, read 9,729,853 times
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Here is a diagram of a toilet. So long as the water level remains the same in the lower portion and no gas bubbles up through that water and the wax ring is ok and no cracks in the toilet, then no sewer gas should enter the house.

http://bstorvik0.tripod.com/p7/images/toilet.gif

I found another toilet like this...
(Smell could come out the tube in the water tank?)
"How a Briggs Vacuity Toilet Works">
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:29 PM
 
Location: TX and NM on the border of the Great Southwest.
11,439 posts, read 15,289,727 times
Reputation: 21476
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethanw View Post
So how do I check or fix this? Replace the entire toilet? Thanks much
No, it's not the toilet that is the problem. When your vent pipe stops up, draining a sink or a toilet is like pouring coke out of a quickly upturned coke bottle or gasoline out of an un-vented gas can.

I've actually run a small inexpensive roto-rooter down my home vent pipe from the roof of the house. Vent pipes can become plugged with grease, debris or even rodents or birds. Grease and debris can be a simple removal even with a $5.00 drain snake but a stuck rodent or bird could require a pretty hefty roto-rooter. I wouldn't try a chemical drain cleaner from the roof because a strong one could back up and spill back onto your roof and damage or discolor your asphalt shingles, painted siding, trim, etc.

Along with the odor of sewer in your house, a gurgling toilet or bathroom sink when flushed or drained, can also be a clear signal of a stopped up vent pipe to the roof.

BTW, I'm no plumber. I've just owed several homes and rent houses.

Best of luck but don't get hurt if you decide to climb on your roof.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:41 PM
 
Location: TX and NM on the border of the Great Southwest.
11,439 posts, read 15,289,727 times
Reputation: 21476
Here's a diagram showing Billy_J's toilet plus a simplified vent system that you may have to clear. Most roof vents will actually serve more than one indoor fixture (sink, tub, toilet, etc.) by venting the drain and not just the individual fixture as in this picture.

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6944888-0-large.jpg
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,957 posts, read 16,554,458 times
Reputation: 7193
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethanw View Post
I wanted to tap into your knowledge for a bit of help if you ever run into an issue like this.

The toilet in my master bathroom started to generate a mold like or sewage like smell, don't really know which one exactly. I cleaned the tank with clorox but no help. I called the plumbing folks and I had them replace the wax ring just to make sure nothing is leaking and it was all dry bellow the tile. All the hardware and water in the tank look to be in order. I do have a water softener for the house so no hard water. The remaining 4 bathroom toilets in the house are perfectly fine.

What could it be? Did any of you run into something similar? My last resort is to replace the entire toilet. Is it possible that the toilet to be defective and have some kind of leak that will allow that kind of smell to get out. Nothing else around the toilet is leaking for sure.

Can anyone relate to a similar issue and help me with their resolution, or does anyone have any ideas what could it be?
Have a plumber check your vent pipe system for cracks or plugging. The vent pipe is to carry all waste gas and smells outside and if compromised will vent back into the house at the highest point near the defect.
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