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Foul Smells Coming From Your Toilet?

We've all been there before. You walk into your bathroom, and the first thing you notice is a foul smell coming from your toilet. But why does this happen? And more importantly, how can you fix it?

Several culprits, from sewage odours to mould and mildew, can cause your bathroom to smell less than fresh. But don't worry, you can get rid of that stink for good. In this article, we'll explore the reasons why your toilet might stink and some simple ways to fix the problem.

Reasons Your Toilet Stinks

Clogged toilet drain or pipe

The unpleasant smell emanating from your toilet could result from a clogged toilet drain or pipe. You can quickly notice how fast it drains if your toilet is clogged. The main reason it might be blocked is flushing non-flushable things such as tampons, wipes, etc.

Also, a faulty toilet flapper or float can cause a smell. A toilet requires a large amount of water to flush the waste effectively. If the amount of water in the tank water is not sufficient, it will cause the toilet to begin to get blocked.

Solution

Be cautious about flushing your toilet when you suspect a blockage as it could result in an overflow. Drain cleaning can help. Consider plunging your toilet to clear the blockage. Sometimes turning on your water heater and pouring hot water down the drain might not help. If you don't have enough water, change the floating by following the steps below:

  • Make sure you know what kind of float you own.
  • If there is a giant rubber ball in the tank, alter the float ball's arms to the upward direction so that more water can be able to enter the tank.
  • If a floating adjustment screw is placed on top of your fill valve, turn the screw clockwise to raise the float.
  • If none of these methods are successful, you'll need expert sewer line repair services.

Evaporated water in p-trap

If the foul odour comes from a less frequented toilet or you started noticing the smell after returning from a lengthy vacation, then it's because your p-trap does not have enough water. A p-trap is a pipe behind your toilet, which dips down and then returns in the form of a "p" shape. It stops gases from entering your home. It can only work correctly if it is filled with water.

Suppose your family doesn't use toilets often enough. In that case, water inside the p-trap evaporates and creates the possibility for the gas emitted by sewage and its unpleasant stink to penetrate the toilet.

Solution

This is the simplest one to solve. Clean and flush your toilet several times to fill your trap with water so it can continue to hold water gases and stop them from wafting into your house.

Faulty toilet flapper

If you examine the hole inside the tank for the toilet, you'll find a tiny rubber seal. This seal is known as the flapper. When your toilet is flushed, the chain raises the flapper and lets the water flow into the toilet's bowl. The flapper will close the hole when the toilet isn't being used, preventing water from exiting the tank.

If the chain inside the flapper is too long, the water will spill out of the tank, decreasing how much water you require to flush the toilet correctly. If you continue to flush your toilet without enough water, it could cause it to become clogged.

Solution

To alter the flapper's chain is just a matter of unhooking it and connecting it back to the hole closest to the flush level. Be sure that there's enough space within the chain that allows it to open when it's time to flush the toilet thoroughly. Don't be afraid to replace worn-out or damaged flappers. To do this, you might require the help of an expert.

Bacteria in the sewer line system

This is a typical problem in regions with humid and hot climates. To determine if the issue stems from the growth of microorganisms in the tank, lift the lid and observe if the smell worsens. Sometimes live bacteria from the sewer line could be transported to your toilet.

To live within this toilet, microorganisms tend to cling to the toilet bowl's edge for the duration of their life. When bacteria begin reproducing and multiplying within your toilet, it can cause an unpleasant smell that persists even after you have cleaned your toilet.

Solution

Lift the lid from the toilet and put one cup of bleach into the toilet bowl. Allow it to sit for a few minutes to decontaminate and flush. The bleachy water will run through the toilet bowl. Leave it there for several hours before flushing it again.

If you've tried the DIY techniques described here and they don't work, it might be time to get an expert plumber to repair your sewer line.

Vent pipe problem

Vent pipes can connect the toilet with the roofing, which helps remove and ventilate the smell of sewage. Vent pipes also allow air to get into the toilet and let the smooth flow of wastewater via the pipe.

The most obvious sign of problems with the vent pipe is a toilet that appears and operates well but still emits an unpleasant smell that covers the bathroom space regardless of how much you scrub. A poorly-designed vent pipe can easily block and cause the sewer gas to get trapped.

Solution

An accumulation of leaf litter could block the vent pipe. You'll need to consult a professional plumber to remove it and examine the vent pipe design. The vent pipe must have a downward slope so that solids and liquids do not get trapped.

If the slope isn't pointing down, your toilet water may stop flowing once it gets into the clog flush. In that case, emergency plumbing professionals should change your vent pipe.

Damaged sealing ring

A sealing ring at the toilet's base stops water and other waste from getting into the system, causing bacteria to grow in tiny crevices or cracks. This seal holds your bathroom in its place and stops the sewage gas that smells foul from leaking from under the toilet. A loose or damaged seal could cause water from the toilet to flow through cracks creating an unpleasant stink or smell of sewage.

Solution

Inspect the sealing ring thoroughly for cracks. Then apply caulk if you notice cracks to seal the exposed area. If there isn't any apparent damage, examine if your toilet wobbles. You can also call an expert to repair the seal.

Dirty toilet tank

Even if you wash your toilet bowl with extreme care, it doesn't mean that your toilet tank is clean. In some instances, the tank may absorb the odour of sewage and urine and release those odours after cleaning the bowl. Cleaning a dirty toilet tank is not as complicated as cleaning a dirty toilet bowl.

Solution

Pour a generous volume of white vinegar into the tank. Use a toilet brush to clean the inside of the tank and the sump pump with vinegar. The vinegar should sit for a couple of minutes before flushing the toilet several times to clear it from the toilet tank. The unpleasant toilet smell should disappear quickly.

Cracked toilet

A crack in the bowl may cause a slow water leak. This means that water in the toilet bowl may be less than it should be, allowing foul-smelling sewer gas to enter the sewer pipe.

Solution

Repair is possible in the event of a crack over the waterline. However, if the damage is much more, you'll likely require a new toilet installation to eliminate the sewer gas smell.

Mould build up

A musty, sour smell can be caused by mould growth within the toilet. Mould growth can occur even if you often have a clean toilet. The reason is that mould forms underneath the rim, an area that many people aren't able to clean thoroughly.

Solution

Clean the underside of the rim using an old toothbrush and either white vinegar or bleach. Also, this will remove any faeces that might have splattered onto the surface. Make sure to wash the inside of your toilet too!

A Damaged Toilet May Require Replacement

There are several potential causes of a smelly toilet, some of which are easy to fix while others require the help of a professional. If the source of the odour is related to the vent pipe, bolts, flanges, or seal, it may be possible to fix the problem yourself. However, if you cannot pinpoint the problem, it is best to contact a professional plumber.

Need an Experienced Plumber?

Tropical Coast Plumbing's team of experienced plumbers are here to offer you the best in residential and commercial plumbing solutions. Whether it be gas plumbing, emergency plumbing, blocked toilets, hot water installation or general plumbing, our plumbers know how to get the job done right.

Choose Tropical Coast Plumbing for the best:

Plumbers in Mackay

Plumbers in Rockhampton

Plumbers in Townsville

Plumbers in Yeppoon

"With over 20 years of experience Tropical Coast Plumbing provide the best plumbing service and expert advice in QLD. Your local Plumber for Mackay, Townsville, Rockhampton and Yeppoon"
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