Why Does My Toilet Smell When It’s Flushed?

 In Home Plumbing

Today we’re going to give you the low-down on smelly toilets.

Honestly, toilets are designed to handle bad smells but they’re supposed to make those bad smells go away. So when your toilet stinks all the time, something is clearly wrong. We’ve been there, it’s not nice.

almost all smelly toilets are caused by too little water in the toilet

Here are the main culprits:

  1. Water Evaporation: Nasty Organisms and Sewer Gas
  2. Pets: They Love Your Toilet Water
  3. Sewer Organisms: Teeny, Tiny (and Smelly) Uninvited Guests
  4. Clogged Drain: Giving A Home to Smelly Bacteria
  5. Cracked Toilet: Another Secret Home For Stinky Bacteria

Almost Always A Low Water Problem

There are a number of reasons why your toilet smells – but almost all smelly toilets are caused by too little water in the toilet causing sewer gas to seep up and into your home (pretty gross!).  Read on to discover the cause and fix for these issues.

 

1. Water Evaporation: Nasty Organisms and Sewer Gas

This problem only really happens if you haven’t used your toilet in a long time.

Perhaps if you have a spare bathroom that doesn’t see much use you might experience this issue. What can happen is the water in the lower portion of your toilet actually evaporates. This water is intended to block the interior of your home from the sewer below, so without this water everything is seeping up into your home.

Additionally, when this water evaporates it can allow micro-organisms to grow – gross.

flush your toilet

Solution: The way to solve this problem is really simple, just flush your toilet every couple of weeks. This will replace the evaporated water and once again your home will be protected from unpleasant sewer gas.

 

2. Pets: They Love Your Toilet Water

Dogs (and cats) love toilet water.

It’s clean (sort of), cold, and has the illusion of running water. Plus, for bigger dogs, it’s simply more comfortable to drink from the toilet than a water dish on the floor.

The problem is their drinking of your toilet water can empty the bowl, and that’s an issue.

give it a flush

Solution: Put the toilet seat down to stop your pooch (or kitty) from drinking the toilet dry. Or, if you don’t mind your dog having toilet breath, make sure to give it a flush if you notice the bowl is empty.

 

3. Sewer Organisms: Teeny, Tiny (and Smelly) Uninvited Guests

You definitely don’t want these guys in your home.

These creepy crawlies (well, microscopic bacteria) can seep up into your toilet and hang out in hard-to-clean spots. They give off a smell that’s frighteningly similar to sewer gas, which isn’t a pleasant smell.

Getting right of them is definitely a good idea.

kill them all

Solution: Give your toilet a thorough cleaning, scrub every nook and cranny. Also, pour some bleach into the overflow pipe of the flush valve. This will kill them all.

 

4. Clogged Drain: Giving A Home to Smelly Bacteria

You might have a clogged drain giving a comfortable home to smelly bacteria.

Your toilet and other bathroom appliances all have vents and drains that siphon off used water and, with it, smells. But these can get clogged or blocked by any number of things, causing backlog and providing a nice place for bacteria to move in.

get your drain unclogged

Solution: Call a plumber to inspect your plumbing and get your drain unclogged. They can take apart fixtures even and find where the problem is located. Often, it’s not even in the bathroom itself, but elsewhere in your plumbing system.

 

5. Cracked Toilet: Another Secret Home For Stinky Bacteria

Even the tiniest of toilet cracks can be a cozy breeding ground for stinky bacteria.

All toilets have a shelf life. If you have a stinky toilet, inspect it front and back for any signs of cracks.

replace your toilet

Solution: This one is easy – replace your toilet. We recommend you have it installed by a professional, to make sure the problem was the just the crack.

 

Smelly toilets are frustrating, but there are plenty of solutions. If in doubt, always call a pro to inspect your bathroom plumbing.

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