Bad smell coming from bathroom and toilet

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  #1  
Old 09-29-20, 05:36 PM
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Bad smell coming from bathroom and toilet

Recently we noticed a bad smell coming from our downstairs bathroom. When we investigated it further it seem that there was some leakage from base of the toilet. So had a plumber come out, took out the toilet, and informed us that the wax ring had failed. So he replaced new wax ring and reinstalled the toilet. The smell never went away and it actually got very bad. The smell gets especially bad when the temperature outside gets very hot. The smell is like a sewer like smell and its very bad. The whole bathroom smells bad and we can pinpoint it coming from base of toilet since we are unable to smell it from sink or bathtub. This bathroom does not have a fan, just a HVAC vent and window. What could the issue be here? Is it some sort of blocked pipe? blocked vent?
 
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Old 09-29-20, 05:56 PM
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If the wax seal was bad, you can imagine what was leaking out with EVERY flush. And that's the source of the odor... it doesn't go away just because the leak was fixed. You didn't say what the floor is... concrete, plywood, vinyl or whatever, but no matter how long it was leaking, your floor has been soaked with it. You would pretty much need to remediate all the building materials to get rid of the smell.
 
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Old 09-29-20, 09:15 PM
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It is on the 1st floor on ceramic tile on concrete foundation. We brought in a few water restoration damage companies to check out the area (leak only affected a few ceramic tiles by the toilet..no drywall damage behind toilet, etc.) and they pretty much recommended there is not much to do since it is so small and localized and underneath is concrete. It was caught soon and did not spread far from toilet base.
 
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Old 09-29-20, 09:39 PM
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If your able to go without its use, pull the toilet yourself, set it outside (maybe needs cleaning under the base?), completely block off the waste pipe. See if the stink stays or goes away with the toilet. Your goal obviously would be to isolate the smell source.

As was stated though, the wetness can/will soak into the concrete. If the stink remains, you might have to pull the tiles and soak the concrete in bleach or some product.

My uneducated guess would be that warm days heats up the concrete foundation which increases the off-gassing of the smell out of the concrete.
 
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Old 09-30-20, 01:18 PM
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So when the plumber that installed the new wax ring and toilet again did not caulk the base of the toilet all the way. He left a small region in the back of the base uncaulked. After a few days the smell was present day and night as you walked passed the bathroom. So the last few days we tested something and put tape over the small region that was left uncaulked to see if that would make a difference. So right now it is 1pm here on west coast and no smell is present outside or inside the bathroom (and it is already at 100 degrees outside).

Yesterday there was no smell too, until late in the afternoon when it was present again. One other thing that I can think about is so far today that toilet has not been used or flushed yet. Yesterday there was no smell until the toilet was used and flushed. So I don't know if that makes a difference or not.
 
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Old 09-30-20, 01:26 PM
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They leave a spot at the back uncaulked so that if there is a leak, water will leak out that hole. If it's caulked up completely and it leaks you would have a Lake of Feces under the toilet and you would never know it.

Up to you if you caulk it shut but IMO it's not a good idea. If it's the only way to contain the odor so be it.
 
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Old 09-30-20, 11:50 PM
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Another thing that we experimented today was that all day today we did not use the downstairs toilet or sink. The weather got pretty hot too around 104 degrees and there was no bad odor up to 9pm when we got back home. The bathroom window as open as normal. Then around 1030pm we used the kitchen sink to wash dishes and used the garbage disposal. Then about 30 minutes after we were done I went to the bathroom to check and I could smell the bad odor again before even entering the bathroom. And when I opened the door sure enough the odor was back. So I don't know what is going on now. Just trying to isolate the issue to one source if I can.
 
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Old 10-01-20, 01:24 AM
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Lake of Feces under the toilet
Gee, thanks, @XSleeper. Now how am I going to get that vision out of my head?
 
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Old 10-03-20, 03:33 PM
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So we tested another theory the last few days. So we sealed the small opening at the base of the toilet with tape for now. The first few days we did not use that bathroom at all and there was no smell. The next day we used it a few times and the sink too and still no smell. So yesterday there was no smell at all day (toilet was flushed few times) until late night. My wife washed the dishes in the kitchen with hot water running for a good while. After she was done she went by the bathroom and noticed the smell was present (even outside the bathroom). When she opened the door sure enough the smell as back. What could this suggest to us on where the smell is coming from? Both the window and HVAC vent were open.

One other thing I might add is that the bath/shower combo in this bathroom has not been used in quite some time (possibly a few years or more). Maybe the water was run a few times in that time frame, but no one has actually used it for a full shower/bath. Could the smell be emitting from this drain by any chance due to lack of use?
 
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Old 10-03-20, 03:44 PM
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If you have a trap that is dry, (unused) sewer gas is definitely escaping out the drain. Could be sink or shower. Improper plumbing or slow drains can also sometimes cause traps to be siphoned, when water is running down the sewer elsewhere, causing the same result. Hot water (dishwasher or hot showers) may seem to make the smell worse, since warm air rises (chimney effect).
 
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Old 10-03-20, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by XSleeper View Post
If you have a trap that is dry, (unused) sewer gas is definitely escaping out the drain. Could be sink or shower. Improper plumbing or slow drains can also sometimes cause traps to be siphoned, when water is running down the sewer elsewhere, causing the same result. Hot water (dishwasher or hot showers) may seem to make the smell worse, since warm air rises (chimney effect).
So today we ran that shower/tub combo for a while to let the water go down the drain for a while. Then tonight we did the dishes again using hot water in the kitchen and when we checked for the smell in the bathroom it was not present. So was this smell all due to the trap under the tub had dried out and once we ran the water for a bit it fill it up again and no sewer gases coming up from that drain? So if the trap had dried up all this time (and drain was open plug was open too) how come the smell is not present all the time. Why does the smell occur when we are using the kitchen sink especially running the hot water in the sinks there?
 
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Old 10-04-20, 03:58 AM
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Youre welcome. ...............
 
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