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cibula11 11-08-2007 10:46 AM

Sewer Smell
I have a sewer smell coming from my toilet. I have had some rocking of the toilet so it might be the wax ring. If I remember, the flange was partially broken which caused the securing the toilet with the bolt a difficult thing to do. I would hate to take the toilet up if this is not the problem.

My other issue and possible cause is that the toilet is not vented properly. the venting ends in the basement. There is a cover on the pipe. When I remove the cover, I smell the odor. If I vent, will that take care of the problem?

travelover 11-08-2007 11:13 AM

If it is not vented, it definitely should be, for several reasons, one of which is how well it flushes. Also if it is rocking, then the wax ring is not sealing, which will cause it to leak sewer gas.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you'll need to fix the flange, or the wax ring won't seal. if you take a picture of the broken flange, perhaps we can suggest a repair method.

cibula11 11-08-2007 12:09 PM

I can't take a picture of it, but I remember exactly what the problem was. The place on the flange where the bolt attaches to is cracked. Other than one bolt being diffult to tighten, the flange was fine.

My floor is not extremely level so we did have to shim the toilet about 1/8". If I use a flange extender and one wax ring instead of a double ring ( the newer tile floor raised it too high just to use one ring), would that help? I also thought that the flange extender would solve the problem with the cracked flange.

glennjanie 11-08-2007 12:47 PM

Hello Cibula:
The toilet will never stay in place until you replace the flange or run bolts all the way through the floor. Shimming is good; takes all the rocking out of it. There is also a closed cell foam ring on the market now which remains resilient; whereas the wax ring seal is broken with one movement. After the toilet is set and shimmed like you want it, use silicone caulk to make a seal around the bowl. Most professionals do that now and it eliminates lots of call backs.
I'm suspecting the capped pipe in the basement is a clean-out. Make sure there is not a vent going through the roof. I can't imagine anyone installing a plumbing job without a vent.
Caution: The sewer gas you smell is also known as methane gas (same thing as natural gas) which is deadly. Be sure there is a vent somewhere.
Please let us know how it goes.

cibula11 11-08-2007 01:07 PM

2 questions:

1. Should I take the toilet off, repair flange (I was thinking of using a kit so that I have something to secure the toilet), add extender flange and then the closed cell foam that you refered to?

2. Honestly, there is no vent that exits the roof. One for the kitchen sink, but nothing else. I know that the sink and toilet are connected on the main waste vent. I can't go through the roof, but I could exit through the side of my house. Is that possible?

glennjanie 11-08-2007 04:07 PM

Hello Cibula:
Yes to number one.
Question #2. Yes you can go up the side of your house with 3" pipe (PVC or ABS) and through the overhang to 1' above the roof. If you can't go through the overhang, you may use 2 45* ells to off set and go around the overhang. I would want to paint the pipe to match the house upon completion. A 3" pipe can look a little out of place on the outside of the house.

travelover 11-08-2007 06:33 PM


Originally Posted by glennjanie (Post 12447)
.......... A 3" pipe can look a little out of place on the outside of the house.

Yea, it would look like England.

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