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Sewage Smell When Flushing Toilet

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Are you noticing an unpleasant sewer smell when flushing your toilet? When flushing the toilet, sewer gas smell is a common plumbing issue that requires professional attention. If your bathroom smells like sewage, it may cause embarrassment or awkwardness if you have guests visiting. You may also face similar problems in your kitchen if your sink smells like sewer.

Do you know what's causing that sewage smell every time you flush your toilet? It could be a sign that your plumbing fixtures need to be checked and repaired. A foul odor emanating from your toilet can be unpleasant and dangerous.

If left untreated, the sewer gas can easily contaminate the air you breathe and make your family sick. It can also put your bathroom at risk for troublesome issues like flooding, so you need to identify the cause and have a professional plumber fix it.

Here are the reasons your toilet smell like sewage when you flush it:

A Broken or Damaged Wax Sealing Ring

Your toilet wax ring is between your toilet seat and the floor, connecting it to the drainpipe. A leaking or broken wax seal ring can cause a sewage smell when you flush your toilet. This is because the seal that keeps gases and water from entering your bathroom breaks with time and causes leaks in the pipelines. Every toilet base contains this wax seal that helps seal water and odors.

A Broken or Damaged Wax Sealing Ring
Image credit: https://toiletseek.com/

A loose or damaged seal will allow sewer odors within the toilet and the drainpipe to get pushed out each time you flush the toilet. If the wax seal is badly damaged, you run the risk of water damage. You can tell the wax is broken if the toilet rocks whenever you sit on it.

The seal can also suffer from a plunger's hydraulic pressure. You can replace the wax ring by purchasing a new one from your local hardware store. Let the professionals replace it for you because they know how to fix toilet seal the right way.

A Cracked Toilet Bowl

The bowl of your toilet can also develop cracks over time. These are usually small and hard to see, but they'll grow larger if not fixed. Your toilet seat is susceptible to cracking when they meet heavy external force, is dropped or when carrying excessive weight.

A Cracked Toilet Bowl
Image credit: https://piperepair.co.uk/

A cracked toilet bowl will allow water and odors to escape each time you flush the toilet. The crack might be difficult to find, but you can look for it by running your hand along the surface of the bowl.

If you find a crack, it's important to replace the toilet as soon as possible. Not only will this prevent water and sewage odors from escaping, but it will also reduce your risk of flooding. Try to invest in some of the best flushing toilets to avoid future damages.

Problem With the Vent Pipe

A clogged vent pipe can also cause your toilet to smell like sewage. The vent pipe helps remove odors and gases from your home, so those odors will be trapped inside when it's clogged. The vent pipe ventilates and removes sewer gas and allows air to enter the system so the wastewater can flow quickly through pipes and into the main sewer line.

A malfunctioning vent can also cause your toilet to vent through the tub instead of venting outside. When this happens, you'll hear a gurgling sound in your tub when you flush the toilet. A bird nest or pile of leaves can also clog the vent pipe. If this happens, contact a professional plumber to clear it and inspect the shape of the vent pipe.

Drainpipe to get pushed out each time you flush the toilet. If the wax seal is badly damaged, you run the risk of water damage. You can tell the wax is broken if the toilet rocks whenever you sit on it.

The seal can also suffer from a plunger's hydraulic pressure. You can replace the wax ring by purchasing a new one from your local hardware store.

A Blocked Toilet Trap or Drain Pipe

If water is backing up into your tub or shower each time you flush the toilet, it's likely that your main drain pipe is blocked. This can be caused by a buildup of hair, grease, or soap scum. At times, you can smell odors from these blocked substances when you flush the toilet.

To unclog the blockage, try using a plunger or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. If this doesn't work, consider getting a professional plumber to inspect the pipes and remove all blockages to prevent recurring clogs or overflowing toilets.

A small, narrow drainpipe may also make it difficult for water to enter the sewer line. This will make it easier for the toilet to clog up with sewer gases and wastes since they can't flow into the sewer line, making the toilet flush slowly. This also pulls the foul odors back into the toilet, releasing them into your home.

Your Toilet May Smell Like a Sewage Because You Rarely Use It

If you have a basement toilet that you rarely use, you might notice a foul smell when you get to flush it after a long period of disuse. Under normal circumstances, the p trap retains some water after flushing, which acts as a seal, preventing sewer smells from entering your bathroom.

Your Toilet May Smell Like a Sewage Because You Rarely Use It
Image credit: https://www.buellinspections.com/

If you're not using your toilet regularly, the water in the p trap could evaporate, causing odors from the drainpipe to escape out of the toilet. A faulty p trap can also lead to the same problem. To eliminate the bad smell, try pouring some water down the drain. Also, try to flush the toilet as this will fill up the p trap.

FAQs on Sewer Smell When Flushing the Toilet

Why does my toilet smell after flushing?

There are several potential causes of a sewer smell when flushing the toilet. One possibility is that the p trap in your toilet has become clogged or is not functioning properly, preventing water from sealing off the drainpipe and allowing foul odors to escape.

Another possible cause could be an issue with the plumbing in your bathroom, such as a vent stack that is not properly vented or a blocked vent pipe. If you have checked the p trap and plumbing and are still experiencing sewer smells, it is possible that there is a break in the sewer line itself.

The septic smell outside when flushing the toilet. Why?

The septic tank for your home is located outside of your home, and it can become clogged or damaged due to certain factors, such as frozen ground or high water tables.

How do I identify and remove gas smell in my house?

If you want to know how to identify and remove the sewer gas smell in your house, make sure you check your water traps when you have a dry or plumbing problem. Check at your p traps and s traps. When they look faulty, then you have a sewer gas smell.

Final Thought on Bad Smell When Flushing the Toilet

Your toilet is one of the most vital parts of your home, so it can be a real headache when something goes wrong. If you are experiencing a bad smell when flushing your toilet, there are several potential causes to investigate. 

Some common issues include plumbing problems, clogged vents or pipes, and damage to the septic tank. To solve the problem, you will need to address each of these possible causes and work toward finding the root of the issue or leave it to experienced plumbers to fix it.

 

 

Ryan Copley

Ryan Copley

Having spent years participating in bathroom, kitchen, and home renovations, Ryan uses this experience to write informative blog posts on a wide variety of home renovation and kitchen topics.

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