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Thread: New Toilet Install - Sewer Gas - Need Advice

  1. #1

    Default New Toilet Install - Sewer Gas - Need Advice

    I bought a toilet from Lowe's (An Eljer Titan) and paid for the install (if only so they would haul away the old one)...

    ...anyway, a plumber (not from Lowe's - third party) came and did the install and everything seemed fine. But when I got home from work yesterday evening, my whole house smelled like sewage (not incredibly strong, but VERY noticeable).

    I noticed he didn't put any caulk around the toilet...I was wondering if this could be the cause (in which case, I'll just go buy some and do it myself)...but I read Terry's advice on the forum not to caulk the back of a toilet, so I don't think I should be able to smell sewer gas at all, even without caulk on it...

    I'm thinking I should call Lowe's and make them get a plumber back out here...any thoughts? Is it possible the "wrong" type of wax seal was used?

    I'm at a bit of a loss as to what the heck happened?! I bought the toilet to replace one that hardly flushed...$400 later, this problem is worse!

    Also Lowe's (I'm just now educating myself on toilets) only sold me the one wax ring with the plastic insert...again, having checked this site, I'm thinking they would have served me better by having me go with a double-seal?

    Thanks in advance for the responses.

    Last edited by Terry; 12-08-2008 at 10:50 AM.

  2. #2
    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    I mabey you are noticing the gasses that were left behind while he had the
    old off,they can be very strong.

  3. #3

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    Well, that's what I was hoping, so I scrubbed the floor and tub (the plumber pumped the excess water in the old toilet into the tub...I rinsed the tub right away) this morning because I still smelled it when I woke up.

    I went and worked a half day and, when I got back, I admit that I couldn't really smell it when I walked in my door (unlike yesterday evening)...but as soon as I started going up the stairs, it hit me...and it was pretty strong.

    ...what would an acceptable level of time be for it to dissipate?

    Also, I didn't notice anything when he did the install...I would think I would have smelled it as soon as he pulled the old toilet up, no?

  4. #4
    Plumber Winslow's Avatar
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    sounds like there is a bad seal between the flange and the toilet. If the seal is good then sewer gas cannot penetrate.

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Big Box store hire installers, they don't install anything. Caulking does not seal the drain. I would be willing to bet the wax ring seal is not sealing for some reason. It could be the flange is too low, it could be the toilet was not completed pressed into the wax, it could be the toilet was shifted after setting. but there seal is not doing it's job. You paid for the job to be done, you should insist that it be completed properly. Installing a toilet is really not a difficult job, but like many other "simple" things, sometimes things happen.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You should not have any sewer smell from the toilet. Ventillating the room should have cleared any out within minutes. Does the toilet sit flat, or can you rock it when sitting on it? If it rocks, the seal will break and that can let gas up. Caulk helps keep room crud from getting under the toilet, it is not there for a sewer seal. Sealing all around could hide a bigger problem. Call them back and tell them there's a problem.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the advice...I will give them a call tomorrow and have them send someone out pronto (I'm going to have them bring a second ring as well for a double seal).

    But the toilet itself is solidly on the floor...there definitely isn't any rocking.
    Last edited by IronTek; 02-01-2008 at 05:25 AM.

  8. #8

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    Well, to update...the plumber came came and installed a wax ring "with 40% more wax."

    This has helped immensely, but there's still a little bit of odor...

    Are there any small, do-it-yourself type things I might be able to do to eliminate any remaining small leak?

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member MG's Avatar
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    I am betting that if the new toilet flushes better it could be sucking the trap dry in the tub.
    Note: I am a DIY'er and not a professional. My posts here are observations / opinions and may or may not be in accordance with your local ordinances.

  10. #10
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Sewer(age) smells can take a very long time to completely dissipate.

    When we had our bathroom remodelled, I bought a (flushable, completely sealed, no leaks) camping toilet which we put in the spare room to keep us covered for one week while the old toilet was out and the floor tiled (after which I fitted the new toilet).

    Even after the camping toilet was removed from the room, a smell lingered for many weeks.

    It sounds like your small odor is just this.

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