Published on February 4th, 2018 | by Henri


Bathroom stinks in spring and fall

Q.  Nine years ago we remodeled a mid-1800s cape farmhouse. The former laundry area/bathroom was changed to only a bathroom with a replacement pedestal sink, new wall and floor tiles. The original stool was used.

Since we moved into the house, every spring and fall there has been an unbelievable smell (similar to a dead animal) that emanates from that area. The smell is also noticeable as you descend the stairs from the second floor. After a few weeks, the smell goes away.

Could it possibly be coming from the old stool, but if so, why only in spring and fall? Could it have something to do with the higher water table during those months? We have tried everything — except replace the stool. Do you have any suggestions?

A.  The most probable cause of this odor is a failing or failed toilet seal. When the bathroom was remodeled, it may be that the wax seal was not replaced and the toilet was simply reset with the old seal.

Have a licensed plumber check to make sure this is the problem and, if so, replace the seal with one of the new permanent waxless seals.

The reason the odor is only smelled at certain seasons and times is because of the difference between the indoor and outdoor atmospheric pressures.

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