Answering the Question: Why Does it Smell When I Flush the Toilet?

Person reaching out to flush a toiletIs there anything worse than the smell of a stinky toilet? No one wants to go into the bathroom in fear of the stench that awaits upon flushing. If your home bathroom is smelling more like a dirty public restroom and you can’t figure out why, we are here to help you solve the mystery.

4 potential reasons for the smell

  1. The wax seal is broken. A broken wax seal can be the source of a rancid sewer smell when you flush your toilet. It can also lead to very big problems in your plumbing if it isn’t fixed quickly and properly. The wax seal helps to keep in water from the base of your toilet, as well as any odors. When the seal is broken, sewer smell from the drain pipe can come out when you flush. If the wax seal is broken badly, you run the risk of water damage.
  2. There is an issue with the P-trap. The P-trap is a pipe inside the base of your toilet that holds a small amount of water in it at all times. This prevents sewer gases from rising from your toilet and into the air. If you are noticing a sewer smell, it could be because the p-trap has a leak or broken seal. In the event of a faulty p-trap, you’ll likely want to call in the pros to fix it.
  3. There’s a blockage in the drain pipe. Sometimes blocked drains can exist without creating a fully clogged toilet. If you are smelling foul odors when you flush, it can be caused by blockages that have built up over time within your drain pipe. You should clean and inspect your plumbing regularly to prevent said blockages from occurring.
  4. The toilet isn’t used frequently. We see this issue often in basement bathrooms or spare bathrooms that are only used when houseguests are around. If you aren’t using your toilet regularly, it can potentially run dry. To fix this, keep water in the bowl at all times and try to flush each toilet in your home at least once each week to prevent the problem from recurring.

When to call a professional plumber

Of course, there could be other issues at play if you are dealing with a smelly toilet. If you are concerned that your drain pipes are clogged beyond repair or think that you might need some help in the sewage department, we’re here to help. For any of your toilet troubles, call Reichelt Plumbing at (219) 322-4906.

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