Do You Get a Bad Smell When Flushing the Toilet?

When you flush the toilet, do you find the smell to be a very strong foul odor that you cannot explain? We’re not talking about the usual unpleasant odors that we all experience from time to time. No, this is a deeper bad smell that has a strong odor of sewage. This is not normal, and it could be a warning sign that your toilet or plumbing system has a problem that needs fixing. Let’s take a look at three things that a local certified plumber will need to check when they arrive.

  1. A Broken Seal

Around the base of your toilet, there is a wax ring that’s used to prevent water leaks and to seal in any unpleasant smells. If this seal is compromised, air can escape, and this will carry any odors from the toilet and drain pipe that should be pushed out of the home after each flush. If the seal is badly damaged, it will allow water to escape leading to water damage that you may not notice for months. Eventually, the toilet itself will become unstable as the floorboards around it become rotten and start to sag or break. If you gently rock your toilet from side to side and it moves it’s likely that the seal is broken and this is the source of the foul smell.

  1. The Toilet is Not Used Often

If you have a toilet in another part of your home that you don’t use very often or in a vacation home that you infrequently visit, it can smell bad. If you don’t flush a toilet for a few weeks, the water contained in the bowl will begin to evaporate. If there is no water in the toilet bowl, the foul sewage odors from the drain pipe can travel up and out of the toilet. If it’s possible at home, you can prevent the proliferation of these foul gases by flushing the toilet at least once per week. If you have someone watching a vacation home for you, ask them to do the same for each toilet there, and you won’t get a nasty smelling surprise when you visit.

  1. Drain Pipe Blockages

Let’s face it, most toilets have a hard life, between the waste we should flush, and other items that we shouldn’t, it isn’t surprising that blockages can form in the drain pipe. These blockages could be a single item, or they could develop over a longer period of time. When there is a blockage in the drainpipe, the odors that are contained there will be more noticeable when you flush the toilet. It’s a good idea to get your drain pipes inspected and get the blockage manually removed. If a drain blockage is ignored, it will only get worse; removed clogs may return, and eventually, the toilet may overflow with waste backing up into the room.

If you have a problem with your toilet, contact a local certified plumber for expert help and advice.

By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.