Inspired to decorate for an upcoming family party, you hire painters to apply a fresh coat of paint to your bathroom walls. You update your mirrors and install new lighting fixtures. You purchase a full complement of luxurious guest towels and instruct the kids to keep their hands off. After three hours of intense scrubbing and deep cleaning, you stand back to admire your “new” bathroom. There’s only one problem. A day later, you can’t help but notice that darn sewer smell coming from the toilet again. Yet, you’re certain the toilet and surrounding area are spotless. You ask yourself, “Where is that smell coming from?”
You Can Clean All You Want, That Smell Is Not Going Away
One of the more vexing problems for many of our customers is the persistence of faint, foul odors coming from either the toilet or drains in otherwise pristine bathrooms. Particularly frustrating is the subtle nature of these odors. There’s no obvious reason for the bad smell, such as a clogged drain or backed-up toilet. Homeowners do their best to scrub and clean with strong disinfectants, but it only solves the problem temporarily. Inevitably, the sewage smell returns.
Here is a list of some major causes for foul bathroom odors that just won’t go away:
Damaged or Worn-Down Wax Sealing Ring
Depending on how old your toilet is and how heavily it has been used over its lifetime, your toilet may have a loose wax sealing ring. A properly installed toilet does not wobble or move. If your toilet moves from side to side, it’s possible you need to replace the wax sealing ring. The wax sealing ring provides an airtight seal from the base of the toilet to the sewage drain line. When the seal is broken, sewer gas can escape and cause unwanted odors in your bathroom. Replacing the wax seal is not a job for do-it-yourselfers. We recommend you call in professionals.
Problem with the P-Trap
Have you ever noticed the “U” shaped dip in the drainpipe beneath your kitchen or bathroom sinks? This is known as the P-Trap and every drain (and toilet) has one. The bottom of the “U” is always filled with water and prevents odors and gases from wafting up from the drain. Occasionally, the P-Trap may dry out or, due to a leak, lose its water. When that happens, you’ll notice that darn sewer smells. This doesn’t happen very often but may occur if a toilet has not gotten much use or if a drainpipe is leaking or faulty. Sometimes the water simply evaporates. Flushing the toilet four or five times will generally solve the problem.
Clogged or Faulty Vent Pipe
All home plumbing systems have a vent pipe that is hidden behind the walls and extends up through the roof. The purpose of the vent pipe is to allow an outlet for sewer gases and to provide air so wastewater from your toilet and drains can flow freely out to the sewer lines or septic tank. If the vent pipe becomes blocked or clogged, you may notice the sewer smell (which isn’t pleasant.) Over the years, we’ve seen vent pipes blocked by bird’s nests, leaves, and debris or furry critters.
Cool Blew Takes Care of Your Plumbing Problems Too
Many Phoenix residents know us for the outstanding air conditioning services we provide. We also have some of the best plumbers in the Valley. Our friendly, experienced plumbers will be happy to find the source of your bathroom odors, clean your sewer and drain lines, install a new wax sealing ring and more. If you’ve got questions about unwanted sewage smell in your home – we’ve got answers. Give us a call today.