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Getting a smelly toilet inspected by a plumber

If you have constant smells around your toilet it could be because your plumbing isn't vented correctly.

Summary

Sure, most people think their toilet smells because someone just dropped a big pile of number twos that have filled up the bowl. Although after that shocking disturbance in the air has been cleared maybe you can still smell a weird odour like mouldy water or sewage?

 

For some properties this could be due to a leak in the piping system or a blockage that is creating an overflow of raw sewage that fills the air with a stinky smell. You’ll visibility see this in a lot of cases as water will be pooling or the toilet won’t flush at all.

 

The more discrete reason for weird smells around your toilet, laundry or bathroom can be due to poor venting of the pipes. Everything works on pressure so if that isn’t set up right then water can’t flow the way it should, this includes waste that has to leave the property.


If you hear gurgling noises in your sinks what does it mean?

Nu-Trend is a licensed plumber in Sydney and one of the most common services we get called out for is to help people repair a blocked drain either in the toilet, kitchen, laundry or bathroom. In lots of cases it is because something has been lodged in the waste pipes like food or hair that a plunge or high pressure jet blast can fix. 

 

Most people will realise they have a blocked drain because their sink doesn’t empty quickly or they see water pooling around the external overflow drains. Sometimes though you may have a very slow draining sink that begins to gurgle and this can also be a sign that the correct venting hasn’t been installed in the plumbing system. 

 

The gurgling sound is caused by air being forced through water in your drain trap. It’s like pouring a drink too quickly. In many cases the gurgling sound will often come from a shower or bath tub, but depending on the situation it can also come from your vanity sink or toilet. Alternatively, you may be getting strange toilet or sewage smells even though there is no visible blockage in the toilet bowl, this could also relate to the venting of your plumbing system.

 

 

You might even hear a gurgling noise when you are using your washing machine and it is trying to empty the water during a drying cycle. Even in this situation it could mean a shared waste pipe is partially blocked. The blocked waste pipe does not allow the water from the washer to pump out fast enough. It could be because of lint and soap scum from the washing machine that is partially blocking the waste pipe or an incorrectly vented plumbing system that isn’t coping with the demands required.


Does incorrect plumbing venting lead to toilet smells?

Our plumber in Sydney attended this commercial retail butcher shop that had an upstairs rental unit because they wanted us to inspect the sewer smells and gurgling they were experiencing from the bathrooms on both levels. This building was actually about 10 years old and had been suffering from issues since it was built.

 

We realised fairly quickly that these situations are normally due to a blockage but potentially an incorrect plumbing ventilation set up. 

 

Plumbing problem #1 – on the first visit we found two obvious causes that needed immediate repair. The first issue we found was the grease trap and the boundary trap both had caps on the low level vents. Our plumber replaced these with micro flaps that will allow the sewer to have adequate atmospheric pressure when the fixtures inside are in use or being flushed with water. 

 

Plumbing problem #2 – Our plumber then inspected the roof in search of a high level vent which we couldn’t find. With further inspection inside the ceiling we found an open 50mm sewer vent.

 

 

We immediately began to rectify these plumbing problems by redirecting the venting up through the roof and sealing it with Decktite to prevent any water leak issues. The sewer now has air flow from top to bottom and there are no longer any smells or gurgling from the plumbing system.

 

In other words our plumbing team corrected a plumbing system that had been installed incorrectly.


Why was the plumbing causing bad smells in the bathrooms?

How to fix toilet smells? Well apart from maintaining healthy bowel movements with a balanced diet and exercise you can avoid smelly toilets by having the correct plumbing system set up at your property by a qualified plumber.

 

 

There should have always been a vent installed from the outset and this should have been included in the original scope of work when the building was constructed. Instead this plumbing problem has caused countless years of headaches plus an additional $500 in repairs. 

 

 

If it was done during construction it meant that there was no need to have plumbing call outs later on and everything could have been allowed for to provide a high quality bathroom plumbing to be handed over at lock up stage.


How can you fix a gurgling drain?

Nu-Trend’s licensed plumbers in Sydney can help diagnose and repair a gurgling drain. We would; 

– Check for problems in the Installation of the sink vent.

– Check the air admittance valve.

– Check for clogs or obstructions in the drainage pipes with a CCTV camera inspection.

– Check for external waste in the sink vents.

– Do a high pressure flush of the sink.

– Check for any other main vent issues.

Is fixing a smelly toilet a DIY job?

While some people might like to try changing a tap washer themselves, trying to identify the cause of plumbing issues can be quite difficult when it comes to understanding how the full system is working. Doing your own plunging to clear some big number two’s that have been deposited is fairly easy to do, but solving more complex issues are not.

 

So attempting to do your own repairs could lead to further issues down the track. You should always opt to use a fully certified and licensed plumber.

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Nu-Trend has been operating since 2009 as an independent bathroom renovation and plumbing contractor in Sydney. Rick and his team provide a wide range of services for home owners in houses, units, apartments or businesses.

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