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Thread: Urine smell coming from toilet

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member justinweible's Avatar
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    Default Urine smell coming from toilet

    This may sound odd, but I have a urine smell coming from my toilet... Before you ask, yes it is clean. Each time that I clean the toilet it will go away for about a day, but then it is back, even if the toilet is not used. My father in law told me it could be the wax ring, but wanted to check and get some other opinions. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    If the wax ring has ever leaked, the liquids soak into the wood subfloor. Even after the wax ring is replaced, the smell is still in the subfloor.

    Usually when I smell urine, I suspect there is or has been a cat in the house.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    No, this doesn't sound odd at all - actually a common problem, which I and many others have had.

    A common problem is poor aim by males in the house, leading to small amts of urine going under the front of the toilet. If you a) have males in the house and b) have an uncaulked front of the toilet, I bet that's the problem.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Caulking around the toilet does a couple of things: helps to anchor it to the floor, and prevents stuff from wicking underneath where it is tough to impossible to clean. Most codes want to see the back side left open to assist in quickly identifying a seal leak.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Junior Member cwooden82's Avatar
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    Another culprit could be urine under the seat hinges. On my old toilet no matter how much I scrubbed there was always a smell. When I got my new Toto I bought an easy-off seat - even if the boys are being careful it seems urine always seem to wick up under those hinges - with this seat its easy to get the whole thing really clean.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member goldenpeak's Avatar
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    Question Urine under toilet - Subfloors

    HI! I have the same problem a urine odor but I do have boys with bad aim! I clean it and even though they do not use it the odor is back the next day! I found out that if you clean then mist with hydrogen peroxide it takes odor out significantly. Everyone says it is from the urine seeping into the sub floor. My toilet was not caulked and I am not handy but I am going to attempt to change the wax ring with this sites insight! wish me luck! I will probably drop and break my toilet and have to call a plumber anyway! but at least I tried! My question is "what do I do about the odor in the SUBFLOOR?" "How do you get the urine smell or the urine out?"

    Thanks

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member goldenpeak's Avatar
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    Question Urine under toilet - Subfloors

    HI! I have the same problem a urine odor behind my toilet, but I do have boys with bad aim! I clean it and even though they do not use it the odor is back the next day! I found out that if you clean, then mist with hydrogen peroxide it takes odor out significantly. Everyone says it is from the urine seeping into the sub floor. My toilet was not caulked and I am not handy, but I am going to attempt to change the wax ring with this sites insight! Wish me luck! I will probably drop and break my toilet and have to call a plumber anyway! At least I tried?! My question is "What do I do about the odor in the SUBFLOOR?" "How do you get the urine smell or the urine out?"

    Thanks

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Good for you! You will do just fine. There are some great hints on this site, like putting the wax ring on the flange (on the floor) instead of on the toilet.

    The hardest part about setting a toilet is lining up the bolts, in the flange, with the holes in the base of the toilet. Might want to practice without the wax ring a time or two - not impossible, just awkward since you are leaning over, holding a toilet, and trying to look through one of those little holes to aim it for the bolt. If you are reasonably strong you will do OK. Some people take the tank off, which makes the toilet a lot lighter, and then you will need to replace the rubber washers on the tank bolts.

    RE: the smell - I would suspect that your hydrogen peroxide mist would work here, too. You should still have whatever flooring material you have going under the toilet, so if you have tile, vinyl, etc. it'll be pretty easy to clean up. If you think urine has actually made it all the way to the wood around the flange, you might want to try a diluted bleach solution. You will also want to check the wood to make sure it's not rotted- just poke a screwdriver into it a few times to make sure it's not too soft.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Steve is correct about lining up the flange bolts, but there is a little trick that lots of us use to help with that. Get 2 nuts that will fit the bolts. Put the bolts in place under the flange then screw those nuts down the bolts and snug them up just a bit more than finger tight. This will hold the bolts in place and upright. There is plenty of room under the toilet to accommodate the nuts. Use a wax ring that does not have a plastic funnel. The funnels cause more problem than they solve. Put the ring on the flange, not on the toilet and use your body weight to compressor the toilet on the ring. The flange bolts are not intended to pull the toilet into the wax, just to hold the toilet in place. Of course you tighten the flange nuts with a wrench, but it does not require super muscle power. Do not caulk with silicone, use a latex caulk. Apply a thin bead then smooth it with a wet finger. Keep a cup of water handy to keep the finger wet.

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; Most codes want to see the back side left open to assist in quickly identifying a seal leak.

    Not true. The inspectors I have dealt with ALL look at the back of the toilet to be sure it was NOT left open at that point.
    Last edited by Terry; 06-27-2012 at 04:35 PM.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member bulldog plumbing's Avatar
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    i usually leave the back uncaulked, and have never met an inspector who has bothered to look.

  12. #12
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    quote; Most codes want to see the back side left open to assist in quickly identifying a seal leak.

    Not true. The inspectors I have dealt with ALL look at the back of the toilet to be sure it was NOT left open at that point.
    So HJ, why do the AZ inspectors want to see the toilet caulked all the way around?

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