Landlord Removed Toilet/Smell from Open Pipe


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Old 05-19-07, 11:34 PM
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Landlord Removed Toilet/Smell from Open Pipe

Our beloved landlords, true to character, sent workers into our house a week ago to fix the shower, and for some reason they found it necessary to (temporarily) completely remove the toilet, leaving an empty hole in the floor. (Then, of course, they took off for the weekend.) Tonight we heard gurgling in the hole when another toilet was flushed, and there's a b-a-a-a-d smell that's getting worse. This is in the basement near the low point in the house. Am I right that there's no trap when the toilet's missing? Is this a health issue? And are we at risk of sewage backing up into that bathroom? Thanks!
 
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Old 05-20-07, 02:59 AM
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Are you in danger of a backup? well....yeah...but no more so then if the toilet was installed.

Is the smell a health risk? Yeah..technically.

Take yourself a wad of about 4 or 5 paper towels and bundle em up into a ball. gently push them just a couple inches into the hole in the floor. This will keep the smell from coming out. Or stuff a large towel or rag into the hole. Use anythign you want really. Just don't push it in so far that it can't be gotten back out.

As for why they removed a toilet to work on a shower? no clue. Only reason i can think of is they needed to get into the line to unclog the shower? Was it backed up?

Personally, you should be ticked. They should of re-installed the toilet. Whats done is done though.
 
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Old 05-20-07, 07:15 AM
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What you're smelling is sewer gas. Probably harmless in a vented space. I wonder who's doing the work. A plumber will stuff a rag into the drain if it's going to be open for a short while. Most plumbers will install a flange cover or plug if the toilet is going to be out for a while. My guess is that the guys doing the work aren't plumbers.
 
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Old 05-20-07, 07:54 AM
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You guessed right...

Thanks for the info; it helps.
 
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Old 05-20-07, 09:27 AM
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definately plug the hole. Since this is in the basement and presumably a confined space, in a worst case scenario, it could actually be deadly.

from wikipedia:

Health effects
Sewer gas often has a “rotten eggs” smell, which comes from the hydrogen sulfide it contains. Exposure to low levels of this toxic chemical can irritate the eyes, cause a cough or sore throat, shortness of breath, and fluid accumulation in the lungs. Prolonged low-level exposure may cause fatigue, loss of appetite, headaches, irritability, poor memory and dizziness. High concentrations of hydrogen sulfide can interfere with the sense of smell so that you don’t sense the “rotten eggs” smell that warns of its presence; this effect is called olfactory fatigue. At very high concentrations, hydrogen sulfide can cause loss of consciousness and death.
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It is a simple process to prevent all this by simply plugging the hole. I would suggest a proper cap for this or a wetted towel across the flange with a board or such on top of that.
 
 

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