Have you ever had big problems with a toilet? Neither had I…until I did. The primary bathroom toilet began to smell foul even after it was cleaned AND NOT USED!
The toilet was clean, trust me. I replaced the seat. Still an odor. I suspected a dirty toilet tank. It can happen. I dropped in cleaner circles in the reserve tank…still the whiff of urine. So, I stepped up the cleaning…liberal amounts of white vinegar inside the tank and a brush scrub of the tank walls with the vinegar. Eventually, after the vinegar smell dissipated, the unwanted scent came creeping back.
Urine is notorious for getting other places and of course causing stains that won’t go away. I imagined the source was somewhere other than the toilet. Maybe in the grout, or on the wall or adjacent vanity? I scrubbed the grout ferociously. I sealed and repainted the wall and the vanity. Sure, all I could smell were chemicals and paint, but eventually the smell, reminiscent of a bus stop bathroom, returned.
I called a plumber and told him my woes. $350 later I have a new toilet and no smell.
The lifespan on a toilet is anywhere from 15-50 years. My toilet was about 14 years old. But it all it takes is a crack, a broken flange, corrosion of the wax seal, etc. and you could face this frustrating problem or worse…at any point in the lifecycle.
Painting the walls and the vanity was a lot of work. More than $350 of my time. So, consider this a public service. If you have had more than a flapper to replace or start having odor issues that cleaning alone does not resolve, then consider a new toilet.
Also, during my research I discovered that the round bowl was not ideal either. Besides being more comfortable, Consumer Reports suggests that elongated bowls stay cleaner and allows fewer odors to escape. The deeper and wider the water, the better solid waste odors will be trapped by the water. Round bowls do have a slightly smaller footprint, but if you have the room, consider making the switch to an elongated toilet.