Published on February 17th, 2017 | by Henri


Wax seal most likely cause of bathroom odor

Q.  My husband and I have enjoyed your column in our local paper since we live in an old house and have found your advice to be helpful. However, we have a problem in our powder room that stumps us.

There is a dreadful odor that seems to be stronger on days that are very cloudy with a threat of rain –low-pressure days. My husband scrubbed the inside of the toilet tank with a Clorox solution and we have put baking soda in the sink drain. It seemed to help temporarily, but now it is back again.
Do you know of anything we could try?

A.  The most likely cause of this odor is the failure of the toilet’s wax seal. Over time, the seal may be compressed to the point that it no longer offers a tight seal.

Unless you have good DIY skills, I suggest you have a licensed plumbing contractor check it out, and if is the seal, he or she should replace it with the newer type, which is waxless.

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