stinky toilet question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Columbia,SC., Jul 12, 2006.

  1. Columbia,SC.

    Columbia,SC. Thats MR. Redneck to you

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    Maybe that was the wrong way to state my trouble!
    We have a pair of toilets that no matter how much you clean them they smell like sewage. If you lift the back off and smell the water it is fine but the water in the bowl is embarassing (yes we flush after every use)! My wife says that sewage gasses are coming up and I say there is no way because of the built in P trap in the toilets design. These toilets are 7 years old with no leaks.
    Please help us out if you can,, if this is posted in the wrong forum please tell me to move it I will. I thought about shop talk but I thought this was the place.
    Thanks in advace, Columbia,SC
     
  2. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

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    Is there an exit pipe, for the gas, that goes all the way up to the roof?
     

  3. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    your right the gases cant come up becouse of the trap
    maybee you have a buildup under the rim of the toilet if you have one that has the little holes under the rim if so clean that with bleech and a brush unless the wax ring is broke wont allways leak water
     
  4. Columbia,SC.

    Columbia,SC. Thats MR. Redneck to you

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    Thanks both of y'all.
    The toilets are both vented all the way up and out, I pulled both toilets and replaced the seals a few months ago (just in case). We both have cleaned the toilets under the inside rim everytime we clean them (small son with bad aim) 1-2 times a week.
    We are on well water and we have some crud in the holding tanks on the back of the toilets. I am thinking about turning off the water supply and bleaching them out and letting them air dry as long as we can allow.
    I want to be carefull because of the septic system (2 1/2 years old). The septic is working fine (knock wood) no back ups or any smell in the shower/tubs, sinks ect.
    P.S. we have a water softener and whole house filters.
     
  5. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    maybee what you are smelling is from the bad aim do you have tile on the floor or carpet pee can get under vinal flooring or in tile grout
     
  6. Columbia,SC.

    Columbia,SC. Thats MR. Redneck to you

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    We have vinal tile down now, I pulled the carpet and replaced it, the smell is not urine it is like raw sewage... K says it smells the worst when the toilets get flushed and the water stands. After the toilets are cleaned it is fine all around but the bowl stinks after a flush.
    Thanks again, Columbia
     
  7. Cindy in NY

    Cindy in NY Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Like mtman said, it may just be bad aim! Clean all around the outside of the bowl and on the floor. Any rugs around or cloth shower curtain nearby? Wash them. We have an old toilet that always smelled no matter how much I cleaned it. I use one of the hanging deoderizer / cleaners in it now and don't smell it any more. Although that lemon freshness can be a bit much! :)
     
  8. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

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    Is the angle of the exit pipe too shallow? I have a stinky shower because of that...I swear that the sewer smell, and the sewer ingredients, comes all the way up, and out, of the shower basin.
     
  9. a1cowmilker

    a1cowmilker Well-Known Member

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    we had a problem with sewer gas and could not find the problem. Finally the third plummer noticed that the ring was set very low in the floor. He installed two wax rings instead of the usual one and it totally solved the problem. I hope that yours will be as easy to fix. It's cheap (if you do it yourself and you probably can) easy to try.
     
  10. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    Do you have sulfur in your water?
     
  11. Wendy

    Wendy Well-Known Member

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    This is going to sound really stupid, but are you sure it isn't coming from your actual septic? We kept smelling sewage & it would be worse after a flush or a shower. Septic is not far from the house. It was pretty grown up with weeds around & when hubby mowed we noticed the water coming up out of the septic tank lid. The guy that installed our septic did not bother to tell us that there was a filter in the outlet pipe that needs to be taken out & cleaned at least once a year. Check & make sure that isn't the problem. Ours has been in 3 years before it finally plugged where it wouldn't drain out the pipe. Cleaned the filter & it worked just fine.
     
  12. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Likewise, iron algae, or some other issue with the 'clean' water?

    --->Paul
     
  13. danb98577

    danb98577 Well-Known Member

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    Not meaning to insult your intelligence, but are you SURE the vent stack is open? This sounds like a plugged vent. You might try running a snake down the vent from roof-strange things CAN get lodged in there and hydrogen sulfide is not pleasant to smell. And yes, the gas can build to a point that it will bubble through the trap if it has no other recourse. If it were a wax ring I would think it would be present just about all the time.
    Are you on a hillside? There is a venturi effect at times that will hold gas fumes down around ground level depending on wind direction. Old trick was to lengthen the vent stack. And there are filters available for the stack, but these can be made far cheaper than the going price. Luck-Dan
     
  14. RedTartan

    RedTartan Icelandic Sheep Supporter

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    Hmmm... Never under-estimate the power of a boy with bad aim. I have four sons. It's part of my morning routine to windex (hey, it's got ammonia in it) the floor around the toilet. You can angle the bottle to shoot under the toilet along the floor.

    Compulsively cleaning the bathroom,

    :) RedTartan
     
  15. Columbia,SC.

    Columbia,SC. Thats MR. Redneck to you

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    I am leaning towards the iron we have in the well, there seems to be a build up of 'sludge' in the back or our toilet and heavy stains and a oily slick on the top of the water in both (ours and the kids).
    We have a well test kit on the kitchen counter and will send it in to the county in the next day or two. Last time it was tested a year ago eveything was fine but we have iron, 2.2ppm
    I am going to drain the backs of the toilets and bleach them clean and allow to dry before turning them back on.
    Any more ideas?
    Thanks for all of the ideas and help, Columbia,SC
     
  16. danb98577

    danb98577 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe this will be of help-we have heavy iron and manganese in this part of Washington. Sent sample to county back in 1993 and they said while not harmful per se it was recommended we treat the well once a year as follows. Annual ritual I know by rote now: Remove seal on well, pour a gallon of bleach in well WHILE running water into well. Continue running water for 8 minutes. Stop and go to house and individually open taps(farthest from well or upstairs first) until odor of bleach is present. Repeat all over the house. Yes, you are going to lose a tank of hot water. Now flush the toilets until you smell the bleach. Let the whole system set in this condition for approx 1/2 hour. You can reseal well while waiting. Open the outside hose bibs and run until the bleach smell is gone. Do the same in the house, at least for drinking and bathing water-toilets don't matter. I know it sounds a little odd, but it works and I have done this for elderly in the area whose water was borderline skunk smelling from lack of attention. Has always done a good job and does seem to last roughly a year for this area. You probably will have to clean the aerators on faucets as this tends to loosen some crud in the lines. Luck-Dan
     
  17. Boleyz

    Boleyz Prognosticator, Artist

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    It definitely sounds like the seal to me...Someone already suggested double-sealing it. That's the cheapest and easiest thing to try. Try it on the stinkiest one first. Seals can leak air without leaking large amounts of water. Your floor may be dry and still you get a whiff of the septic tank.

    The reason it stinks more the longer it stands is because when you flush, the water temporarily blocks the air as it washes through the line.
     
  18. BeeFree

    BeeFree Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I drop in those bleach tablets that you can get at a Dollar general. It bleaches out the tank and the stool. Works for about 2 months. Then it is time to drop in another one.
     
  19. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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    Shygal, Rambler, and danb98577 are all on the right track. It's iron bacteria and my water will do the same thing if left untreated. The bacteria really goes to town when exposed to oxygen. That's why you don't smell it in the tank, but you do in the bowl. As a test, leave the lid off the tank for awhile with water standing in it and see what happens. It will start smelling like the bowl does. It's all but impossible to get rid of it, but you can control it by chlorinating your well, which you ought to be doing anyway. I do mine about twice a year. If it's been awhile, or you've never done it be advised that the chlorine will dislodge a LOT of iron from the well casing and piping and your water will get real rusty-brown looking. You have to flush all your lines really good. If you treat it regularly it won't be nearly as bad. I always keep a little drinking water on hand prior to starting.
     
  20. insanity

    insanity Well-Known Member

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    Thats was my first thought.How old is your house? Last week i heard a plumber tell a building contractor he would go up on the roof in the next day or two and cut the caps off the roof vents.The roof was way to hot at the time.
    But i thought to myself,i wonder how often they don't get cut off.Didn't even no they caped those.
    Anyway if its plugged id think it would smell as you flush.Ya no when the last drop of water goes down and you get that sound as the air goes in.Wondering if air is coming out.

    Ive also heard iron smells.But like sewage? :shrug: