13 posts / 0 new
Last post
elbowgrease
Bathroom Odor

I've read through the previous posts on this topic and haven't found anything that quite matches my situation. Here are the details...

Period in question: 8/5-8/12/2012
Weather during period in question: hot and humid, some rain, some sun,light breezes or still
Bathroom: powder room with sink, located on middle floor. We have a basement below, second story above.
House: built in mid-1970s
Sewer/Septic: Sewer
History: We've lived here 24 years, replaced all toilets 1 year ago, everything OK until this past week.

The odor smells like a chemical toilet, rather than sulfur or raw sewage. Seems to wax and wane: at its strongest, I could smell it from the top floor of the house; at its weakest, it was barely detectable.

I'm baffled because the toilet and sink are used daily, so the trap should have water in it. The toilets were replaced a year ago, so I'd expect any issues (such as a punctured sewer line) to manifest themselves before this.

I'd appreciate any help.

bp21901
Re: Bathroom Odor

I'd guess a wax seal issue on the toilet. From being used over the past year it could have shifted enough to allow for a less than "gas tight" seal.

Maybe the base wasn't tightened enough or if the floor is out of level a little bit and the toilet has a little bit of rocking action to it that could also contribute to a bad seal.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Bathroom Odor

The terlit seals are the usual culprits. If this is a recurring problem, then I'd suggest not using a wax seal, but instead using a SaniSeal. They are a lot more forgiving to movement and excessive plunger-ing. Especially if you have children who want to know if Barbie can swim.

dj1
Re: Bathroom Odor

Step one: do what suggested and look at the wax ring. You can:
- add a ring, fasten the hold down screws, but don't crack the bowl. But if the double ring is too thick,
- replace with a saniseal.

See if this helps - if not, write back. If yes, let us know please.

elbowgrease
Re: Bathroom Odor

Thanks to all who've responded. As far as I can tell, the toilet isn't rocking, it hasn't been plunged, and Barbie hasn't been swimming in the bowl. My husband has (reluctantly) agreed to check the ring. I'll post an update once we've taken that step.

bp21901
Re: Bathroom Odor

I hope he means "replace" it when you say "check" it. After all it's only a $3 trial and error step! And once you pull up the toilet I wouldn't trust the seal on trying to re-set the toilet with the old one on it!

dj1
Re: Bathroom Odor
bp21901 wrote:

I hope he means "replace" it when you say "check" it. After all it's only a $3 trial and error step! And once you pull up the toilet I wouldn't trust the seal on trying to re-set the toilet with the old one on it!

Good point: most wax rings break off when the toilet is raised, so they are basically for 1 time use. Once the toilet is out, it will be your choice which ring to use. Obviously, buy them before you remove the toilet !

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Bathroom Odor

What to look for when you remove the terlit you ask?

1- Black/brown clay/fuzzy looking material on top of the wax ring.

2- Black/brown clay/fuzzy looking material on the bottom of the terlit.

3- Black/brown clay/fuzzy looking material on top of the floor.

4- Anything moving on its own, no matter how slowly.

Myong Krois
Re: Bathroom Odor

I'd suggest not using a wax seal, but instead using a SaniSeal.

johnjh2o
Re: Bathroom Odor
Myong Krois wrote:

I'd suggest not using a wax seal, but instead using a SaniSeal.

Wax seals have been working for many years. I see no reason to change if it's not broken don't fix it.

John

farmer52
Re: Bathroom Odor

Dump some water in all basement floor drains while you're at it. If it's only when you use the one powder room, you may be pushing gas out only when this room is used. If the basement traps are dry you could get the smell upstairs.

Another place to look for strainge intermittent smells is the sink trap. If it's used for makeup or if it collects hair, you'll need to take it apart and clean it once in a while. The first shot of water in there after it stands will push the smell right up in your face. The complaint for this one is often smelly water, when it's actually a dirty drain.

Pages

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.