Sewer smell unused toilet please help

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Niksin2019, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. Niksin2019

    Niksin2019 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2019
    Location:
    New York
    I apologize if this is a stupid question. I know nothing about plumbing. I have a bathroom with just a toilet and sink which has not been used in years. The water to the toilet is shut off at the valve which is rusted so we can't turn it back on. The toilet is old and has a push button flush. The button is rusted and can't be pushed in. There was a sewer gas smell coming from the toilet today. There was no water in the bowl or tank. I put water in the bowl and some in the tank. I lifted up the chain to try to flush it but nothing happened. Will putting water in the bowl be enough to stop the smell or does the toilet need to actually flush? Thanks.
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Unless you are into the antique aspects, I suggest that you don't invest much time or money into the old toilet. The new toilets today flush better despite using less water. Replace the stop valve at the wall while you are replacing the toilet.

    But to an answer your question, after filling the bowl and the tank, lifting the chain should lift the flapper or stopper. The toilet should then flush.
     
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  4. Niksin2019

    Niksin2019 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2019
    Location:
    New York
    Thanks for your reply. The toilet is not flushing. The toilet flapper is worn and not creating a seal so maybe that is why?We don't plan on replacing the toilet. The previous homeowners installed the bathroom in a closet and it is like 3' x 4' if that. The sink is actually installed on the wall over the toilet. Stupidest thing I've ever seen. When we save the money we want to just take out the toilet and sink and make it a closet again. So do you think without being able to flush just putting water in the toilet bowl will be enough to stop the sewer gas smell?
     
  5. JerryR

    JerryR Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    If you put a few gallons f water in the bowl the sewer smell should go away as it should fill the trap.
    https://terrylove.com/forums/index.php?attachments/toilet-cross-section-jpg.33176/
     
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Just filling the bowl with water prevents the sewer gas from coming up. You don't need water in the tank for that.

    For people that have garden tubs, you know, those big tubs in master bathrooms that I sometimes find plants set inside instead of being used as a tub. It's a good idea to run some water every so often to keep the tub p-trap from evaporating.
     
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Pour a little bit of vegetable oil in the bowl so it sits on top of the water to stop it from evaporating.
     
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    You should also run some water into the sink. If its P-trap has dried out, it presents a direct line to the sewer.

    Over time, vegetable oil can turn rancid, and create its own issues! You could buy a gallon of RV antifreeze, and pour some in both, and it lasts much longer than just water, and won't smell as it won't become rancid. The RV antifreeze is not toxic, and can be flushed safely. A tablespoon of regular automotive antifreeze can kill a dog or cat, should they decide to take a drink.
     
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