Have you noticed that your bathroom smells like sewage? Or more specifically, that your toilet smells like sewer? When the smell coming from your toilet is not the one expected with normal every-day use, it can be a bit concerning. You might be wondering: Why does my toilet bowl smell? And how to get rid of such toilet smells? Well, let the plumbing experts tell you.

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Why does my toilet stink?

You’ve started cleaning your toilet more often. You’ve tried different types of toilet bowl cleaners. Harsh ones. Natural ones. Good old-fashioned bleach.

You’ve even dismantled your toilet seat for a more thorough cleaning and gotten up close and personal with those harder-to-reach areas, equipped with rubber gloves and a heavy-duty scrubbing brush.

Yet, despite your valiant efforts, your toilet still smells like sewage. So, what’s the deal? Unfortunately, there are several things that could be causing your bathroom to smell like sewage.

Some are as simple to fix as flushing the toilet, while others will require the work of a professional plumber. Keep reading to learn from the best plumbing company in Tampa Bay why your toilet smells so bad.

5 Common Causes of a Smelly Toilet

If your toilet-cleaning efforts are proving fruitless and you’re stuck with a toilet that smells like sewer, here are a few possible reasons.

1. Water in the P-Trap Evaporated

This is by far the simplest problem to fix.

If the smell is coming from a toilet that doesn’t get much use, such as one in the guest room or pool house, or you begin experiencing the smell after a long vacation, simple science may be to blame.

So what is the P-trap? Well, if you look at the pipe behind your toilet, you’ll notice a part that dips down and comes back up. This is the P-trap and one of its purposes is to block sewage gasses from getting into your home by remaining filled with water.

If your toilet goes unused for a long period of time, the water may evaporate, clearing the way for sewage gas to come through.

Flush your toilet a few times to restore the water supply and the undesired toilet smell problem should disappear.

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2. Toilet Drain Is Clogged

Even if your toilet is flushing properly, there may be a small clog in the pipe. Naturally, this clog will make your toilet smell if not taken care of. You may need to snake the drain to remove the clog.

3. Bacteria From Sewer Seeping Into Toilet Bowl

If microorganisms from the sewer make their way into your toilet, one way or another, they may cling to the rim of your toilet bowl and begin to multiply. This issue is especially common during the summer when hot, humid conditions allow bacteria to thrive.

Fortunately, you can give these unwelcomed visitors the boot by pouring a few cups of bleach into the overflow pipe or flush valve, which is inside the toilet tank. Flushing the toilet will release the bleach, wiping out the bacteria and the smell coming from the toilet.

4. Vent Pipe Connected to Plumbing System Is Clogged

There is a pipe connected to your plumbing system that extends through the roof to remove or ventilate sewer gasses and allow air to enter the system so wastewater can flow freely.

If this vent becomes clogged, the sewer gas won’t be able to escape and could cause your bathroom to smell.

Check the vent to see if anything is blocking it (this could be anything from a pile of leaves to a bird’s nest). If there appears to be a blockage, we suggest you call a plumber to safely clear it away.

5. Wax Sealing Ring On the Toilet is Damaged

It’s fairly common for the wax sealing ring under your toilet become loose over time. When this happens, sewage gas may seep through the cracks and cause your toilet to smell.

You’ll know if your wax sealing ring is loose and needs to be replaced if your toilet wobbles or rocks. This problem should be handled by a plumbing professional.

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