After recently buying a new home, we decided to remove the old wallpaper in the master bathroom. While steaming the wallpaper off, I noticed a horrible sewage smell coming from the base of the toilet, not the bowl itself. A plumber explained it was the traps, and we flushed all the drains with Lysol and a gallon of cold water. However, the room still smells horribly and we can't seem to get rid of the odor. It is especially bad by the toilet basin. (Also, toilet was recently resealed.) No leakage evident. Any suggestions?? Please help!
As a plumbing professional, often you find that a "sewage odor" is often coming from another source. I would double check to be sure that there is no mildew or rot anywhere nearby. If you can get a look at the subfloor from beneath this bathroom I would check for signs of moisture. Plumbing code requires that the toilet be caulked to the floor, otherwise stray water can travel underneath the toilet where it collects and mildew can form. Also If the toilet has moved or was reset improperly you could have a poor wax seal and sewer gas could escape.
If you have ruled out all other sources of stink, I would pull the toilet off again, check for mold/mildew, install a new wax ring, and caulk the base of the toilet.
Another source of odor is the plumbing itself. For every gallon of water you put into the plumbing system you have to displace the air inside the system. This (smelly) air is usually diverted up to the roof and out the roof vent, but if the roof vents are clogged, then the pressure thats created will come out the traps on your sinks and tubs (if a toilet is flushed). Another problem is if your system is on septic. Since a septic tank is basicly a bottle in the ground, with a drain field, it resists the air flow blown across the roof from the wind (this is called wind effect). When the wind blows some of the air goes down your vent system, pressurizing the system and bubbling out the traps on the fixtures. This kind of problem is much more difficult to fix.
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