All 3 Toilets Smell Only in the Morning


Old 10-26-16, 02:44 PM
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All 3 Toilets Smell Only in the Morning

My 3 level slab townhouse was built in 1981. The first (main) level is built on a cement slab and there are 2 additional levels for a total of 3 levels. There is a half bath on the main level and a full bath on both upper levels.

The house is hooked up to public water. There have been no changes to the plumbing recently. For the past three weeks, only in the morning, all three toilets smell. There is no smell from the sinks, showers, washing machine, around the hot water heater or from the dishwasher.

All three toilets are used daily. There are no clogs in the toilets, evidenced by the water draining and refilling very quickly. There is no residue left after a flush. I don't see any leaks around the toilets. The wax rings for all 3 toilets were changed in July 2016, so they should not be the culprit.

I am not aware of any vent to the roof other than the exhaust fan for the 3rd floor bathroom and a attic vent.

Any idea why all three toilets started smelling bad about 3 weeks ago?

Many thanks!
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Old 10-26-16, 04:50 PM
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What is the smell? Sewer gas or musty/moldy?
Old 10-27-16, 03:55 AM
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I can't imagine a townhouse built in '81 not having plumbing vent pipes. If you aren't comfortable getting on the roof to look you could get in the attic and look for them.
Old 10-27-16, 05:45 AM
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Vent plugging would be my first area of checking. Town houses are several units connected by a common wall, am I not correct? Check with neighbors if they have a similar problem.
Old 10-27-16, 08:15 PM
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Thanks, all, for your responses.

Pilot Dane: The house is actually a rental and the tenant is complaining. They say the toilets smell as if someone went to the bathroom. I'll most likely go over this weekend in the morning and find out for myself.

Norm201 / marksr: Good suggestion about contacting a neighbor to see if there are similar problems. I've gone to the HOA meetings, but didn't hear any complaints in general about piping in the neighborhood. Yes, the townhouses have common walls. I have to go on the roof to remove an illegally installed satellite dish from the prior tenant and will look for clogged vents at the same time.
Old 11-25-16, 05:27 PM
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Due to weather, wind and scheduling, I was unable to get on the roof until today. The roof vent is not clogged. I can hear the toilets flushing and immediately smell a toilet odor. This leads me to believe that there is no clogging of the roof vent.

I did check with a neighbor and he has not noticed any unusual odors with his toilets.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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