Toto toilet sewer gas smell

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by slimpickens, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. slimpickens

    slimpickens New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Virginia
    I have an 8 year old Toto Carolina installed in a powder room. About six month's ago I started noticing intermittent sewer gas smells. I pulled the toilet and the unifit adapter, installed a new wax ring and added some wax to the unifit adapter gasket hoping to improve the toilet/gasket seal.

    A few days ago I noticed the sewer gas smell again and used a combustible gas detector to try to identify the source. First I checked around the base of the toilet and the unifit gasket connection and didn't get a reading. Then I opened the seat lid and started getting "beeps" indicating sewer gas. I then took the tank lid off and put the probe into the overflow and it really started beeping.

    I'm confident the floor flange and unifit gasket are not the source, which leaves the unifit adaper or the toilet itself. I would appreciate any advice how to proceed from here.

    Thanks in advance for your response(s).
  2. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet New Member

    Messages:
    371
    Location:
    Seattle. WA
    It would appear that the source of whatever gasses are causing your instrument to beep is the water itself. Where does your water come from? Have you
    checked any other toilets in your house? Has anyone tossed one of those silly deodorizing pucks in the toilet tank, or added any other foreign substance?
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,006
    Location:
    New England
    It's possible that there's some growth in the internals of the toilet. If your water tends to grow things, that may be a possibility.
  4. slimpickens

    slimpickens New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Virginia
    UPDATE: I called Toto and they suggested replacing the unifit, which I did. Unfortunately the problem persists. I have well water, but this is the only toilet in the house that has this problem (I have two other Toto Carolina toilets). The smell is definitely sewer gas. I'm thinking about switching the smelly toilet with another one to try to isolate the problem. Has anyone ever heard of a toilet leaking sewer gas from any place except the wax ring/unifit adapter, or a dry trap?
  5. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet New Member

    Messages:
    371
    Location:
    Seattle. WA
    The trap seal in a toilet consists of the water in the bowl, so pretty easy to see if that has gone dry. Perhaps something's causing air to bubble up from the drain
    piping into the bowl: blocked drain? clogged septic tank? plugged vent?
  6. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

    Messages:
    1,852
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Yeah. If you're getting a reading out the overflow tube, remember that the overflow just connects to the tank-to-bowl connection and then into the internals of the toilet and down to the bowl and siphon jet the same way flushing water would go. There is no direct connection between the overflow tube and anyplace that sewer gas would be emitted. That's probably why folks were suggesting that the water itself might be the problem or that gas was present in sufficient pressure to bubble back up and into the bowl. Even then, it's hard to see how it would find its way to the overflow. Mold or other growth in the internals of the toilet between the flush valve and the bowl is a possibility, I suppose, if your untreated well water contains organics...

    You might try pouring some household bleach down the overflow tube (not in the tank b/c it will corrode the flapper), let it sit for a while, flush, and see if that doesn't clear the problem. It would kill whatever organics might live in the innards of the toilet.
  7. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,246
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    It should also be noted that your leak detector can be triggered by many common household cleaners and it not a valid test for determining where sewer gas is coming from. You could have a cracked vent in the wall, a improperly joined fitting, etc.
  8. Jerome2877

    Jerome2877 In the Trades

    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    BC
    A smoke test is what should be done. This forces smoke into the sewer and it will come out wherever sewer gas can escape.
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