Toilet stinks!

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  #1  
Old 08-18-05, 08:02 AM
Stewie Griffin
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Toilet stinks!

Hello,

I recently replaced the wax ring on the toilet in our main bathroom, and now the toilet smells really bad. It literally stinks up the whole bathroom.

It never smelled before I replaced the wax ring. I'm fairly certian that I did the job right, as there are no leaks whatsoever. There doesn't appear to be any clogging. It flushes fine. The water is crystal clear in the bowl as well as the tank. None of our other toilets are like this.

Our water supply was tested and is fine. Nowhere else in the house has this smell.

Could I have done something wrong in replacing the wax ring? I can with certainty say that the odor problem started right around when I did that.

Anyway, it's really bad, and my wife is very concerned since we have a three year old who uses that bathroom.


Thanks in advance.
 
  #2  
Old 08-19-05, 08:39 AM
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The only thing I can think of is that the wax seal slid when you installed the toilet and it has a crack that is not leaking (yet) but is allowing sewer gas to enter the house. Only way to check is to pull the toilet and install a new wax seal. If you do this, try to pull the toilet straight up when removing it and you MAY be able to see what happened. Good luck.
 
  #3  
Old 08-19-05, 08:48 AM
Stewie Griffin
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Thanks for the reply.

Last night I pulled the toilet up, and the wax ring was stuck to the floor, but the toilet came up pretty easily, as if it weren't even making contact with the ring!

So I went out and bought the fattest ring I could find and re-installed the toilet. It seemed to go well, and the odor seems to have gone away.

Now I'm dealing with the tank leaking everywhere! One of the bolts that holds the tank to the bowl broke. I went and got a new set of bolts, but it took me all night to figure out that you have to put a bushing under the tank BEFORE the bowl. Only problem now is that the bottom bushing is too thick, and it's keeping the tank from making a good seal on the bowl. Now when you flush, water just pours out the back of the toilet onto the floor! I can't win!

I think when I get home I'll remove the tank again and tighten up the bolts to compress the bushings a little more. I am just afraid I'll crakc the porcelain. Maybe I'll also get a new tank to bowl flange, since that might have deteriorated some, and perhaps a new one will compensate a bit for the thickness of the bushings.

Well...at least I'm learning something!
 
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Old 08-19-05, 09:14 AM
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I am a little confused with the terms you used. You said you needed a "bushing" under the tank before the bowl. I assume you meant the large rubber gasket that slips over the threaded outlet on the tank. The new bolts should have rubber washers that go on first and then the bolts are slipped through the holes in the tank and set onto the bowl. Then metal washers are put on the bolts and then the nuts. The nuts must be tightened evenly to prevent leaks and cocking the tank. The bolts should be tightened until the tank "just" makes contact with the bowl and does not wiggle.
I have included a link which shows what I am talking about. Go to section 5 for tank installation. Just click the link to view it.

http://www.doityourself.com/toilet/h2replacetoilet.htm
 
  #5  
Old 01-30-09, 10:23 PM
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I had the same problem when I installed a new toilet. Well, should I say the second new toilet. First one went great. The second I took the tank off several times and could not figure out what I was doing wrong. I was ready to throw it out in the yard! Then I took the sleeve that goes between tank and bowl to Home Depot where I had bought the complete kit. I told the sales clerk that it was defected, it didn't have enough sealant around the sponge and letting water pour. He took one off another
toilet kit and you could tell the difference. Went home put it all together and it worked like a champ. Hope this helps someone in the future-- didn't realize this was an old post..
 
  #6  
Old 05-07-09, 11:45 AM
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Similar events here

Similar problem here.

I had replaced whole toilet months ago with a new Kohler, all was running fine for over 6 months, then the smell came.

When I pulled up the old toilet last year, the flange had rusted at the holes for the bowl bolts. I hit Home Depot, talked with the sales specialist, we settled on a flange repair kit; IIRC, I got a "Superflange". To be certain the new flange thing would stay put, I used all 6 of the mounting holes around the outside edge, meaning I had to drill through ceramic floor tiles. I installed the repair flange using 6 wood screws that were so large that they barely went through the mounting holes; I did this to be sure it stayed put. The Superflange ring was placed as instructed.

I completed the new toilet installation using a wax seal with a flange: I repeatedly rocked the bowl and twisted as I tightened the bowl bolts; I frequently checked the bowl over the next week, and retightened the bolts as soon as they felt the slightest bit of looseness, first test was only 3/4 turn loosened, remaining tightenings were essentially 1/4 turn or less. After 3 retightenings, the bolts never again came loose, even to this day. The flooring (1/2" ply) and sub flooring (5/8" ply) was then, and still is, solid and dry (as far as I can tell from looking up at the drain from the basement below).

All was sealed and working rather nicely for over 6 months, but last week, as I said in the first sentence, I started noticing a foul odor in the bathroom, to one side of the bowl. At first, I assumed that my lazy son hadn't properly cleaned the bathroom according to his assigned chore task list, meaning to me that the floor was probably soiled. I cleaned the area thoroughly 5 days ago. 3 days ago, the smell is still present, but considerably reduced and I noticed the floor was now wet; I wiped it up, cleaned it with bleach, dried the floor, sprayed Odor Ban and blamed the cats. 2 days ago, I see the floor around the perimeter of the whole base of the bowl is again wet and I'm beginning to think it isn't soiling that is causing the odor. As I wiped it, I saw more water flow out from under the bowl base, and that's when I knew what I had to do.

Got a new wax seal ring (with flange) that night and today (I'm sick, but this is important stuff) I pulled the bowl straight up.

When I originally installed the Kohler, I had used a new wax seal (with flange) from what I thought was a good name, Fluidmaster. I get the bowl set aside, I see the top of the seal was flattened very nicely, never less than 1" across the flat face of the impression where the bowl had contacted the seal. The wax seal never adhered to the bottom of the bowl, for some reason. Flattened, but never adhered. hmmmm.

Wait a minute! Why did the wax seal not adhere to the unglazed porcelain? I'd personally expect that the wax seal SHOULD adhere to the porcelain bowl. Yes, I had removed the plastic protection sheet from the Fluidmaster wax seal.

This is a new Kohler toilet, a comfort height, elongated bowl, 1.6 GPF toilet and tank kit, was sold through Home Depot. The new bowl base is 1/8" wider each side than the original bowl was, and the base is several inches longer each end than the original bowl. I have removed the old grout that had been pushed into the gap of the old toilet when it was installed, so it sits solidly on the ceramic floor tiles, and sitting on the new bowl was never a rocking sensation (well, not after the initial seal compression was completed in the first moments of the new installation). Common instructions say to rock and twist the bowl when installing a new seal, and that is what I did for that first seal.

If possible, I'd appreciate any help, but I'm in the overhaul process right now, 1:30 PM eastern time, so I'm simply planning on cleaning the porcelain on the bottom of the bowl (not much to clean, really, more like drying than cleaning) and then pulling up the old seal, cleaning that area and simply installing the new seal on the horn and reassembling the whole thing. I plan to soften the bowl surface of the wax seal by gently using a propane torch, but that's about it from my brain.

Other than a little bit of well placed heating, I have no idea how to force the wax to adhere to the bowl, so I'm kinda flying blind.

Beer 4U2
 
  #7  
Old 05-07-09, 12:09 PM
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No need for the torch...have a blow dryer handy?

I know of several people that put the seal on the horn first to make sure it seals well.
Also, MOST times theres no need for the flange in the wax seal. Is it the type with the "funnel" built in, or just the piece embedded in the wax. Just look at the box...No 1, No 2, No 3?

As to any other issues, I'll let the pro's step in.
 
  #8  
Old 05-07-09, 01:08 PM
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I think I found the problem...

gunguy: the new seal is a SolderSeal/Gunk "KANT-LEAK Standard Wax Ring", model G237D. It doesn't say number 1, 2, or 3 (I think the Fluidmaster was 2 or 3, but that box is long gone). This seal also has the flange just as the Fluidmaster had a flange, but possible I did not need a flanged ring: the bowl horn should have worked, but I erred on the side of what I told (by the HD guy) was the safer bet. Made sense to me at the time, and still makes sense. FWIW, the instructions on the box for the new Gunk wax seal tells us to place the seal over the bowl horn. Before I forget, thanks for the hair dryer tip, maybe next time!

Anyways, as I cleaned the old wax off the current floor flange, I think I found why it leaked. When I installed the new toilet, the Superflange repair kit required silicone rubber to be added between the repair flange and the top of the existing floor flange. I know that when I installed it, I had dried everything and thoroughly cleaned everything: no dust, no dirt, nothing loose aside from the outside corner of the old flange which I had scraped loose rust from. The rest of that original floor flange was still tight to the floor back then, I really only lost the outer edge of the original flange where the bowl bolt was to be retained. Pretty much "cleaned up". I remember that I washed it with water, then dried it; I liberally applied the silicone, tightened those 6 massive screws and proceeded to install the new bowl. The rest is history, and it all seemed to work.

Today, I may have found the problem. I think that the silicone rubber was the problem: on the wettest side of the bowl, the silicone rubber had flowed out from under the repair flange, and was between that first wax seal and the PVC of the original flange, so rubber formed a layer where the wax did not contact the PVC. When I ran the knife to remove the now useless Fluidmaster wax seal, wax stuck to silicone literally popped off that area like it was never in contact with the PVC in the first place. When I lifted the remains of the old seal, it easily pulled the silicone rubber off the PVC. So, as of now, I assume I had a layer where the splashing effluent was able to seep between the PVC and the silicone rubber because neither the rubber nor the wax seal had adhered to the PVC and ultimately ruined the wax bond in that area (as I discovered when I used the knife to remove the Fluidmaster wax seal which had never adhered to the PVC).

So, today, I removed the excess silicone rubber. Before I finished there, I checked the 6 screws of the Superflange, 2 of them were about 1/3 turn or so loose (and naturally were along the side where the silicone rubber went over the PVC), so I snugged those down.

This time around, as I said, I removed the excess silicone, heavily scrubbed the area with rough paper towels, making sure every part of the inner surface of the Superflange was free of loose silicone rubber and was clean of old wax, made sure the PVC was exposed so the new wax ring could seal to the PVC and not to some loose rubber, then I then reassembled the whole thing with the new Gunk seal. I believe the proper seal is this: the wax must adhere to the PVC portion of the original floor flange.

As I hinted I would, I repeatedly warmed the surfaces of the new seal with a propane torch (my wife would kill me for touching her hairdryer after manipulating that bowl!), the wax stuck rather well to the porcelain this time. I made sure there was no water in the area before I set the bowl, hopefully nothing came out of the bowl trap.

I tightened everything with the required twisting and rocking motion, but rocking seemed to be non-existent (a warm wax seal is a soft wax seal, so it probably compressed rather quickly from the weight of the bowl... about 50 lbs, give or take). I've reassembled the tank, checked for leaks and am now waiting to see what joy I'll have from this episode! If anything, this seal seems to be thinner from what I remember of the former Fluidmaster when I took it out of the box, so I worry that I'll be getting ANOTHER seal real soon. Time will tell. Giving the new assembly time to settle and cool and bond before I flush it. Writing and editing this post took almost 20 minutes, so that should be enough time, yes?
 

Last edited by dunbar; 05-07-09 at 01:41 PM. Reason: clarification
  #9  
Old 05-07-09, 06:16 PM
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your problem is the "rocking and twisting of the bowl" as you tightened it to the flange. wax seals are good for one use and if the toilet rocks or twists that seal is broken and the tiolet needs to be pulled and reset with a new seal.

you need to set the bowl on the wax and not move it. snug the bolts then shim the bowl if it rocks.
 
  #10  
Old 05-08-09, 12:11 PM
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Umm, maybe I could have been clearer...

I'll quote the installation instructions from the boxes of 2 wax seals (the "Gunk KANT-LEAK Standard Wax Ring" and my next installation ring, Fluidmaster 35B):
Originally Posted by Gunk seal part number G237D
4. Use body weight to compress wax gasket while twisting slightly to spread wax.
5. Tighten bolts carefully and evenly to prevent possible breakage of bowl
and

Originally Posted by Fluidmaster Wax Extender Kit 35B
3. Set bowl in place and use body weight to compress wax. Twist bowl slightly to spread wax.
4. Place washer and nut on bolt. Tighten bolts carefully to prevent breaking bowl.
The twisting portion of my post was stated because I read the installation instructions and wanted anyone that read this thread to understand I followed instructions

Originally Posted by dunbar
I tightened everything with the required twisting and rocking motion, but rocking seemed to be non-existent (a warm wax seal is a soft wax seal, so it probably compressed rather quickly
I shouldn't have used the word rocking when I mentioned the second seal, sorry. I admit, the rocking part was part of the first installation, but the bowl immediately went flush to the floor on the second wax ring, so maybe the word "rocking" wasn't a good choice when I discussed installing the second seal, because there really wasn't any rocking on the second seal. Which I tried to convey.

I know the second seal was probably too thin since the floor is still getting wet today. In fact, I'm assuming the second wax ring is/was too thin.

I now have a (hopefully) better solution with the Fluidmaster 35B. It is thicker AND is reinforced. "Reinforced Wax Extender Kit 35B has five times more powerful seal than plain wax. Springs with bowl or building movement. Extends wax 1/4" to 1". I chose this 35B since the original installation used a Fluidmaster #3, and that is the original seal which failed over the weekend (6 months after installation of the new toilet) and this 35B model is intended "For problem areas that need the extra power of reinforced EXTRA THICK wax!".

No, the floor is not moving, is not flexing; if it was, the ceramic tiles which extend right to the floor flange would be loose and/or falling apart (if the floor was rocking or flexing), that is just not happening here: tiles are stuck fast, grout is intact. From below, the floor flange is rock solid, and it should be tight: I used lots of urethane construction adhesive when I built that area. No, the bowl is not now and never was unsteady at any time (on the second wax seal). No, I don't think the bowl horn was damaged before I set the second seal yesterday.

The first seal on the first install was rocking a tiny bit in the first few hours, but as the bowl settled onto the floor, I kept tightening the bolts, which is what I had wanted my earlier posts to convey. That rocking MAY have caused the first seal to fail, sure, definitely possible. The second seal was, I believe, totally inadequate.

I never meant to mislead anyone.
 
  #11  
Old 05-08-09, 12:28 PM
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Shouldn't be a problem as long as the twisting wasn't 90 degrees back and forth. I always just set the toilet in place, push down firmly at the balance point near the rear of the bowl, then sit on the toilet and squish it down firmly with a little butt wiggle. Heard of a couple of people that tried to pull the bowl down flush using JUST the bolts and wound up cracking the base.

Just the way I do it...no Pro.
 
  #12  
Old 05-08-09, 04:47 PM
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thats pretty much the way i do it
 
  #13  
Old 05-27-09, 11:39 AM
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Third times a charm, sort of.

Ok, this super duper reinforced Fluidmaster 35B has failed, it lasted just over a week. I haven't pulled it up yet, but I bet I know what is happening, something quite unexpected. I just realized something about the toilet that is probably working against me here.

Some background, if I may? On: "05-07-09 12:45 PM", I posted a sentence and I think it tells me the problem:
Originally Posted by dunbar
Wait a minute! Why did the wax seal not adhere to the unglazed porcelain? I'd personally expect that the wax seal SHOULD adhere to the porcelain bowl. Yes, I had removed the plastic protection sheet from the Fluidmaster wax seal.
When I've pulled up the Kohler bowl to replace the seals, NONE of the seals has 'stuck' to the bowl. Not in ANY manner, not in ANY way. I do not recall having to clean the old wax off the horn of the bowl. I pull up the bowl, the whole wax seal is on the floor, stuck tight to the floor but not stuck to the bowl at all. I'll bet that happened with seal #3.

So I think back to what I've seen, to figure out what may have caused this. I remember that I noticed that the bowl seems to have common PVC elbows in it: I can see the outline of a drain nut under the ... the ... umm ... 'porcelain'. That is odd. The drain nut outline is clear enough, yet it is not exposed. Also, the, umm, 'porcelain' underneath the bowl is faintly yellow (umm, no, not 'that' kind of yellow!!), compared to the bright white of the bowl outer surface of the bowl. Not all the same material? Ah! I got it! This bowl has been assembled of a porcelain shell and some common fittings and all that has been filled with a resin. My wax seals aren't able to adhere fully to the resin.

I'll have to call Kohler about this, but I'd bet that moderate sanding of the resin all around the bowl horn will make the difference.

Is this common?
 

Last edited by dunbar; 05-27-09 at 11:41 AM. Reason: tpying rorrors
  #14  
Old 05-27-09, 11:51 AM
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Never heard of such a thing...not that its not possible. As I understand, the bowl is cast in a mold using a kind of slurry, then the mold is removed after hardening, casting flash is removed and a porcelein glaze is applied. It then goes into a huge oven for firing.

At least thats how Modern Marvels and How It's Made showed it.
 
  #15  
Old 05-27-09, 12:02 PM
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Well, I thought the same thing, but seeing the drain nut just makes you scratch your head: PVC would melt and catch fire at the glaze firing temperatures. The different color of the underside also tells me that this is an assembly of more than just porcelain.
 

Last edited by dunbar; 05-27-09 at 12:02 PM. Reason: spellng
  #16  
Old 06-22-09, 07:49 PM
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Now using a gasket kit instead of wax.

I'm now using a gasket kit since the Fluidmaster 35B Wax seal failed. It appears that the wax adhered partially to the horn of the bowl, but not totally adhered since there was a portion where the seal remained attached to the floor and it pulled away from the horn area without adhering. The horn was cleaned prior to installing each wax seal.

I really feel that the problem has to do with the resin which is poured into the underside of the bowl at the factory. As I scraped the old wax from the areas around the horn, the places where it adhered enough to remain on the horn after I pulled up the bowl, those areas required very little effort to remove the wax. It was as if the wax had been smeared onto a cold milk jug - it stuck a bit, but neatly pulled off as a chunk with little smearing. You'd have to have been there, I guess. All in all, for the last 3 wax seal rings, there was just no great amount ot adhesion of the wax to the horn/bowl.

I'm now using a Fluidmaster wax-free gasket device, number 7500. Made of spongy closed cell rubber rings and a rubber membrane - no adhesion necessary. I sure hope this does the trick! Beer 4U2
 
  #17  
Old 06-23-09, 07:30 AM
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I'm coming in late here, and I'll admit that I did not read the whole thread, so just humor me if this has already been addressed.

A few things, is the closet flange screwed to the subfloor securely to that there is no movement? Does the closet flange sit, on the finished floor, or is it below floor height? If below floor height, how much below? Is the wax ring you are using thick enough that it makes good contact with the closet flange and the toilet?
 
  #18  
Old 08-16-09, 09:50 PM
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All answered in the above posts:
-Floor flange is VERY securely fastened.
-flange is either even with the surface of the tiles or maybe 1/8" above.
-several thicknesses of wax rings, several kinds of wax seal construction (normal seal, a newer normal seal, a different mfr normal, a thicker one, a reinforced thicker, and now a non-wax gasket). ALL wax seals would squish out quite a bit, but when pulling the bowl up, usually nothing was ever adhered to the bowl, the wax was usually adhered to the floor.

As of right now, I can't tell if the current rubber membrane/foam O-ring has really fixed my problem. I was very thorough about cleaning the area before reassembling the toilet with this new seal, from time to time it looks like it may be leaking from under the bowl, but then again, we have attitude riddled teenagers here, and despite reasonable bathroom cleaning, this might be their fault. I only rarely get aroma with this seal, and the wet area seems to grow only so big (I can't tell if it is wet, I'm not the one cleaning it all the time).

These blasted 'halfway, almost, not quite' fixed things are the worst.
 
  #19  
Old 12-08-09, 09:44 PM
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Well, the rubber membrane and foam o-ring method (Fluidmaster 7500) seems to have worked. 2 weeks ago, my wife caught the cat doing a puddle under the toilet tank, so that explains the few random puddles since I installed the rubber membrane. A bit of elbow grease and copious amounts of odo-ban, no more problems with kitty, the floor is dry, the smell is gone.
 
 

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