Plumbing

Plumbing Questions? Ask a Plumber and Get Answers ASAP.

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Plumbing
This answer was rated:

Hello, we are having a problem with sewer smell coming from

the toilet bowl. Sometimes...
Hello, we are having a problem with sewer smell coming from the toilet bowl. Sometimes it is so bad, it drifts out into the hallway. After cleaning the toilet bowl, the smell goes away but then comes back after about 4 days. After cleaning again, the cycle repeats itself. What can we do? Help!
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Plumbing Question
Answered in 17 minutes by:
12/6/2009
BigDave
BigDave, Licensed Service Professional
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 113
Experience: With Over 22 YEARS of knocking on doors and solving problems.
Verified
If your toilet is loose and rocking, you probably have a bad seal under the toilet at the wax ring. Drain tank by flushing after turn off water valve, force water through trap with plunger, disconnect water supply and take up the toilet to replace the wax seal. The flange should be at finished floor level to provide the best seal. If the flange is lower than the finished floor, we will need to talk some more.

Edited by BigDave on 12/6/2009 at 4:47 PM EST
Ask Your Own Plumbing Question
Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Hi "Bid Dave"...toilet is not loose or rocking
The wax ring seal can still be faulty. In most cases, this is the cause of sewer gas invading the home. Have you had any sewer backups recently?
Ask Your Own Plumbing Question
Customer reply replied 8 years ago
No recent sewer backup recently...had one almost a year ago. We moved into this house in February 2007 and replaced the toilet shortly thereafter. I've heard something somewhere about the "trap" being dry...does that make any sense?

Yes, this makes sense! How much water is in the bowl after the flush cycle and the tank stops filling? If the water level in the bowl goes down after a long period of time, you could have a crack in the trap that is letting the water in the trap to leak out. Once the level of water drops, the "seal" of the trap is no longer stopping the sewer gas from coming back through the toilet & into the room.

Ask Your Own Plumbing Question
Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Ok, my husband verifies that the water level does not drop (he's the first to use it in the morning). Why would the smell go away for a few days after I clean it and then come back until it's cleaned again? Other than re-installing the toilet, do you have any other thoughts or other things to do?

At this time, I would have the toilet re-installed on a new wax ring. During this process, verify that the flange is resting on top of the finished floor (proper height) & has no cracks or breaks, you may have to clean up the old wax for a good look. Sometimes the flange will end up with an almost invisible crack, that when the toilet is remounted, the tension of the bolts cause it to expand, thus letting gas escape into the room. As far as cleaning goes, it is possible some solid waste has gotten up under the rim, but this is rare and has a different smell compared to methane (sewer) gas. If no solution is forthcoming, a professional smoke test (performed by a plumber) of your sewer and vent system would give defined answers as to where the gas is coming from. Just curious, is your house foundation Pier&Beam or concrete slab?

The diagnosis of bad smells is without a doubt the hardest service call there is!

Ask Your Own Plumbing Question
Customer reply replied 8 years ago
What is pier & beam? our foundation is concrete block
pier and beam foundation will have a crawl space under the floor for access to your plumbing. piers (cylindrical columns) of concrete would support beams of wood. Your sub floor would rest on the beams. OR you might have a basement...

Edited by BigDave on 12/6/2009 at 6:22 PM EST
Ask Your Own Plumbing Question
Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I have one last question....how could the seal and flange be a problem now after almost 3 years from the initial installation? Thank you very much for your assistance, and hope you have a Merry Christmas! Diane

Your sewer pipes are not attached to your house. After long periods of time the house moves (settles) and plumbing gets loose, comes under stress, corrodes & generally starts wearing out from day one. I could write a book about the many causes of pipe & connection failures I've seen in 22 years on the job. Merry Christmas to you and yours as well & good luck.

 

P.S. have the wax seal replaced first, then if the problem persists, have the smoke test done.

BigDave
BigDave, Licensed Service Professional
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 113
Experience: With Over 22 YEARS of knocking on doors and solving problems.
Verified
BigDave and 87 other Plumbing Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask BigDave Your Own Question
BigDave
BigDave
BigDave, Licensed Service Professional
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 113
113 Satisfied Customers
Experience: With Over 22 YEARS of knocking on doors and solving problems.

BigDave is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future.

JimmyBagley, IA

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Marc

Marc

Plumber

1,127 satisfied customers

Plumbing heating & home maintenance contractor

Jerry

Jerry

Plumber

784 satisfied customers

over 20 years residential plumbing experience.

Theplumber717

Theplumber717

Plumber, Hvac Tech

656 satisfied customers

Lic Plumbing contractor, 28/yrs res,com,repair,Universal HVAC Tech

Phil

Phil

Mechanical Engineer.

610 satisfied customers

Retired mech. contractor, shop owner, 51 yrs experience.

Mario

Mario

Master Plumber

604 satisfied customers

Master Plumber, Fire Sprinkler, and Jobbing Spec.

Bud

Bud

Plumber

538 satisfied customers

22 Years Field Experience - 17 Years Business Ownership - Residential or Light Commercial

Rick Mather

Rick Mather

Building Inspector

498 satisfied customers

Assistant Building Official, HVAC Tech

< Previous | Next >

Related Plumbing Questions
Toilet model CST 934SF keeps running. The flapper has been
toilet model CST 934SF keeps running. The flapper has been changed numerous times. Thank you … read more
David Bowden
David Bowden
Owner
466 satisfied customers
Toilet flushes on its own. It has been happening for several
It has been happening for several months. I tried to fix it about three weeks ago, but it didn't work … read more
Rick the plumber
Rick the plumber
Owner
9,857 satisfied customers
Toilet tank is empty and toilet bowl is filled to nearly the
Toilet tank is empty and toilet bowl is filled to nearly the top. Supply line to toilet is shuf off as is the well pump. When I bail out the toilet bowl and into a nearby sink, the toilet bowl level r… read more
Rick the plumber
Rick the plumber
Owner
9,857 satisfied customers
There is a toilet in my house that will not stop running. It
There is a toilet in my house that will not stop running. It has enough water to do full flushes, but you can always hear the sound of it filling up a little. When I removed the lid to the tank, I pul… read more
WCohn
WCohn
Journeyman Plumber
Journeyman License
1,329 satisfied customers
Working on replacing my third toilet in the house. Removed
Working on replacing my third toilet in the house. Removed the 25 year old toilet to see this:https://imgur.com/a/hKpJQObviously the ring is cracked off. Best way to repair/replace it?… read more
Rick the plumber
Rick the plumber
Owner
9,857 satisfied customers
A paper towel went flushing down the toilet when it was too
A paper towel went flushing down the toilet when it was too late to stop it. It seemed to pass and everything was fine until a few flushes later when there was a clog so I did the plunger thing that I… read more
WCohn
WCohn
Journeyman Plumber
Journeyman License
1,329 satisfied customers
What causes a toilet to sound like it's constantly putting
what causes a toilet to sound like it's constantly putting out air … read more
WCohn
WCohn
Journeyman Plumber
Journeyman License
1,329 satisfied customers
May toilets are cloudy with sediments and tap water cloudy.
May toilets are cloudy with sediments and tap water cloudy. We are on a well. Have lived here for 30 years without this problem. What could it be? Has been below freezing temps for several days...coul… read more
Dr Stan
Dr Stan
DO
2,547 satisfied customers
I have a toilet that seems to be having a problem. While it
I have a toilet that seems to be having a problem. While it is flushing it is not filling to the normal height (Bowl ) … read more
Rick the plumber
Rick the plumber
Owner
9,857 satisfied customers
My toilet outlet was fixed with silicone. My toilet flushes,
My toilet outlet was fixed with silicone. My toilet flushes, no leaks but the water inside the bowl rises very high and doesn't empty all waste for at least another 3 flushes. All other taps in my hou… read more
Brian Weeks
Brian Weeks
67 satisfied customers
Plumbing question. I bought a new toilet to replace my
plumbing question. I bought a new toilet to replace my standard height round bowl toilet. The NEW toilet is elongated and Comfort height. I wasnt mindful of any sizing I may have had to be aware of. I… read more
Brian Weeks
Brian Weeks
67 satisfied customers
My upstairs toilet is overflowing my basement toilet. is it
my upstairs toilet is overflowing my basement toilet. is it the main drain … read more
WCohn
WCohn
Journeyman Plumber
Journeyman License
1,329 satisfied customers
Changed batteries to toilet and sensor light NOT coming
Changed batteries to toilet and sensor light NOT coming on...please help … read more
Cole
Cole
Sales/Purchasing/Support Manager
High School or GED
22 satisfied customers
A few weeks ago toilet stopped flushing completely. Then a
a few weeks ago toilet stopped flushing completely. Then a few days ago, it flushed completely the first time. The house started to smell like poo & I initially thought it was catpan. last night I che… read more
WCohn
WCohn
Journeyman Plumber
Journeyman License
1,329 satisfied customers
I have one toilet in my house that smells weird. The rest of
I have one toilet in my house that smells weird. The rest of my toilets, showers and sinks smell good. I've cleaned this toilet with bleach. Flused bleach down, vinegar, baking soda and Drano Max remo… read more
WCohn
WCohn
Journeyman Plumber
Journeyman License
1,329 satisfied customers
I've got an odd looking toilet mechanism... Kohler Toilet,
I've got an odd looking toilet mechanism... Kohler Toilet, but it doesn't look like the one with a red cap. Instead it has a 1-2 inch mechanism at the bottom that has a screw on the top. … read more
WCohn
WCohn
Journeyman Plumber
Journeyman License
1,329 satisfied customers
My double sink in the kitchen was emitting a sewer gas odor.
My double sink in the kitchen was emitting a sewer gas odor. Upon inspection we noticed that the sink on the left was not set up to a trap. Only the sink on the right had a trap. Upon further inspecti… read more
Rick the plumber
Rick the plumber
Owner
9,857 satisfied customers
I have a shower where (When running) we smell sewer gas.
I have a shower where (When running) we smell sewer gas. I've noticed the pipe(s) being used are i would assume is a standard 1.5" going into a 2" J (I THINK) this is where i issue is should all the p… read more
WCohn
WCohn
Journeyman Plumber
Journeyman License
1,329 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x