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Emergency Plumber: Sydney’s Old Houses Followed by a Bad Bathroon Smell


A bad stench infiltrating you personal space? Can you fix it yourself or will you need a plumber?Solving Sydney’s smelly situations

Why Does My Bathroom Smell So Bad?

If you’ve ever walked into your bathroom and wondered why it smells like you’ve stepped into an underground sewer, don’t be too alarmed – this is normal. It’s not good, but it’s relatively normal. It may not be an issue that you need to call your local plumber for though – here are a few reasons for unsavoury smells in the bathroom:

Dry floor waste: If you have a bathroom that is infrequently used or you’ve recently bought a house where the bathroom hasn’t been used for a while, you should check to see that there is a water seal in the floor waste. To do this, shine a torch down the grate – if you can see water, the floor waste is sealed. If you can see down the pipe, the floor waste is dry and allowing the main sewer gases to escape through the drain. In order to create a water seal, you will need to run the shower, basin or bath that is connected to the drain so that the floor waste fills with water. If the floor waste is in an unused bathroom (or one that is used for storage), fill a bucket with water and pour it down the grate.

Blocked basin trap: Occasionally basin traps can get blocked up over time, from toothpaste and hair. Bacteria that form from the blockage can cause an odour in the bathroom. In order to fix this, you will either need to clean the basin trap (including the plug and waste) or replace the trap with a new one.

Perished rubber seal on toilet waste: An unconcealed toilet trap has a rubber seal on the toilet waste, otherwise known as a pan collar – occasionally the rubber seal perishes over time, which allows sewer gases to escape into the air. In this case, you should call your plumber to fix it, as they will need to replace the seal, which is not something you should attempt on your own, as you will need to take out the toilet pan.

Lack of ventilation: A steamy, closed up bathroom creates the ideal environment for mould and mildew to form. Thus, in order to avoid this you should have a window opening while showering, or turn on the exhaust fan to suck up the steam. A water leak within the bathroom walls can also form mould – in this case you will need to get a plumber to locate the source of the leak and fix it to prevent further mould issues

Partially blocked toilet: I guess this is the most obvious deduction – a toilet with the contents still partially contained in the toilet bowl and left to fester will end up making a nasty smell. You can plunge the toilet yourself to unblock it, but if that doesn’t work you will need to call a plumber to use a jett rodder or drain cleaning machine to blast the effluent away.

Does your bathroom constantly smell bad or are you suffering through a case of bad toilet odour? You’re not alone. Sydney’s older homes tend to suffer as ventilation ages, mould builds and pipes deteriorate. Have you had to retrofit your bathroom? If you have, comment below. What did you do? And did it solve the problem?

Geoff James
Written By:

Geoff grew up in Berala near Lidcombe in Sydney and attended Birrong Boys High School where he finished his Year 10 school certificate. Geoff was encouraged by his uncle to consider plumbing as he had done a bit of plumbing work on weekends during his school years. DJ Childs Plumbing in Canterbury offered him a plumbing apprenticeship and he spent most of his time working on plumbing maintenance and new roofs on commercial sites. Geoff on Google+.