Why Does My Toilet Smell like Urine?

Why Does My Toilet Smell like Urine?

Toilets are one of the parts of the home where you can relax and be comfortable. But not when it smells foul. Are you one of those people who are asking, “Why does my toilet smell like urine?” – Don’t worry. We’ll help you out. Aside from finding out the root cause, we’ll also give you some tips on how to fix it.

By doing that, you will be able to use the toilet anytime you want and not wait until it is disinfected. Such practice isn’t healthy. If you always have to clean the toilet before using it, you may develop a urinary tract infection or worse, kidney stones!

Nobody likes a toilet that smells. If anything, we all want an inviting scent to our toilets. But sometimes, that unpleasant odor can linger, regardless of how many candles, deodorizers, or air fresheners you use. If you’re down to your wits looking for solutions, try to calm down.

Here are some of the things that you can check in your bathroom that may be causing the issue. Included along each reason are some steps that you can take to rectify the problem. Some solutions may require a plumber so have their number handy in case you need assistance.


1. P-Trap Water Issue

P-Trap Water Issue

If there’s a foul odor coming from a bathroom that you rarely use, the most common reason is that the water from the P-trap has evaporated. This trap is a special p-shaped pipe placed under or behind the toilet, thus the name.

The purpose of this trap is to block the sewer gas coming from the sewage system from entering your home through the toilet. Everybody knows that sewage smell isn’t too welcoming. If it finds its way to your bathroom, it’s doomed!

For p-traps to work, they must be filled to the rim with water. If the toilet is not used for a long time, the water in the p-trap could have gone down or evaporated. When that happens, the sewer gas will start to seep through. To fix the problem, simply flush the toilet a few times. Doing so will refresh the water in the p-trap and block the gases again.

2. Bacteria

Bacteria can cause a foul smell in your toilet

Bacteria can cause a foul smell in your toilet as well. It may not smell like urine though, but more like rotten eggs. If this is the kind of smell you’re getting, then it’s likely because of bacteria. The sulfuric sewer smell may come from the drain or the water line itself.

Most plumbers will recommend a water test to know where exactly the problem is coming from. The water from the pipes and drain leading to your bathroom will have to be tested to pinpoint the source of the problem and address it as necessary.

To solve this problem, you’ll need the help of professional plumbers. Once they know where exactly the problem is, they will have to dig out the pipe or check the drains to change them as needed. There is also the need to treat the water from the tank. Problems with bacteria in the toilet are very common in hot and humid places as this is where these microorganisms thrive.

In the meantime, you can clean your bathroom with bleach to remove all traces of bacteria. It is also possible to use enzyme cleaners to break down those compounds that cause the bad smell. Be sure to clean not just the toilet but all around it. You never know where those urine spots are so better leave no area uncovered.

This includes the cabinets, walls, floors, tank, and rim. If you go for natural cleaning solutions, consider using white vinegar to clean your bathroom floor and everything else. You may also use natural cleaning compounds that can disinfect and sanitize at the same time.

Bacteria issues are also rampant in an RV toilet, especially if it is parked for a long period of time. Bacteria growth may have started inside the toilet tank, and you don’t even know that it is happening. If this is the case, start sanitizing the toilet area, including the black tank to eliminate all the bacteria present.

Find a plumber who is an expert in maintaining an RV toilet if you need help finding where the black tank is and how to disinfect it. The plumber will know what to do with RV toilets so if you hire them, you can just sit back and relax and let them do the job. It always pays to have some experts around.

3. Urine under, around, or on the Toilet Seat

Urine under, around, or on the Toilet Seat

Well, if your bathroom smells of urine, it may be caused by urine! Kids may have unintentionally peed on the toilet seat and some seeped through underneath. You may have cleaned the outer seat but missed what’s under it entirely. So, be sure that when you clean, you don’t leave anything behind.

Additionally, if you have pets inside the house, they might be using the bathroom too. While that’s a welcoming idea, cats and dogs don’t use the bathroom in the same way as humans do. So, don’t forget to watch out for dog or cat urine in some unlikely parts of your bathroom as well.

Droplets of urine are enough to give your toilet that uncharacteristic pee smell. Try to inspect the seats and all places around the toilet bowl to see if there are yellow specks or any possible indications of a urine stain. These are the tell-tale signs of the obvious problem.

The solution for this problem is the same as above. It would be best if spend extra time cleaning the bathroom using hot water and a toilet brush to eliminate that stinky pee smell. Try to clean the bathroom as often as you can until you find exactly where the issue is.

4. Clogged Pipe or Drain

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Clogs can cause a lot of problems and a bad bathroom smell is just one of them. To prevent clogs, never flush anything that doesn’t break naturally in the toilet bowl, including tissues, toilet paper, and wipes. These things will clog up the pipes and cause problems, maybe not immediately but very soon enough.

To check for clogs, you can flush some water into the toilet bowl. If the water goes down smoothly, then you’re all good. If not, check the toilet tank’s water level. Maybe the flush is no longer strong enough or there’s not much water in the tank for flushing. Either way, these have to be corrected accordingly before assuming it’s the clog.

If the water level and flush have been checked and they turned out good, then the problem could really be caused by a clog and you’ll need a plumber to correct it. The plumber may use a sewer camera to find the clog and a hydro jet disentangle it. Doing that should get rid of the unpleasant smell in your toilet.

5. Broken Toilet Wax Ring

Broken Toilet Wax Ring

The toilet wax ring is located on top of the toilet flange, which connects the toilet bowl to the floor. While these seals are strong and sturdy, they may break due to unforeseen reasons. A broken toilet wax seal may be the reason why you have a strong urine smell in your bathroom.

The foul smelling urine odor from the sewer could escape from the broken wax seal. Additionally, any crack on the wall, the bowl, or the toilet base may cause this problem. You can replace the seal yourself, but that means you’ll have to remove the entire toilet seat to do that. Replacing the broken wax ring is the only solution to this problem.

6. Faulty Vent Pipe

4 ways to vent a toilet

If there’s a problem with the vent pipe, then high are the chances that the urine smell will stay in your bathroom. The function of a vent pipe is to eliminate sewer gas and allow air to enter. Doing this will let the waste product and water flow seamlessly through the pipes all the way to the sewer line.

If the vent is not designed properly or it isn’t clear, then the gases won’t escape. That’s one reason you have that smelly urine odor in your bathroom lingering all around. To solve it, check if there’s anything that’s blocking the vent pipe. Those little blockages may be doing a lot of damage and you don’t know it.

Some vent pipes go through the roof. If that’s the case with your toilet, check for any blockage such as leaves or a bird’s nest inside the pipe. Clear the pipes if you see any blockage to prevent your bathroom from smelling. If that’s what’s causing the problem, then the bad smell should go away soon enough.

7. Problems with the Toilet Bowl

Inspect the Toilet Bowl

Sometimes, the problem with a smelly bathroom doesn’t lie with external factors but with the bowl itself. If this is the case, inspect the toilet bowl for any imperfections like cracks or chips. If there’s something wrong with the bowl, consider replacing it as soon as possible.

Bad smelling urine may be seeping out of these cracks whenever the toilet bowl is used. Furthermore, a faulty toilet bowl is accident prone because it is bound to break at any time. Don’t let that happen to you. Replace the toilet bowl immediately as soon as you see those cracks, no matter how faint. 

Fixing Toilets to Get Rid of Urine Smell

These are the most common reasons why toilets have a stenchy urine odor to them. As promised, the corresponding solutions are listed alongside them. If you still have problems with your bathroom or if you find any of the solutions suggested difficult to follow, don’t hesitate to contact a plumbing expert.

Plumbers are your go-to guys for these issues as they have the knowledge and the tools to fix anything wrong with your bathroom. Getting rid of smelly urine in toilets is just one of the many things they fix daily. Toilet odor is something they can correct easily. With their help, you no longer need to ask, “Why does my toilet smell like urine?”

Remember that you don’t deserve a smelly toilet. What you really want is a sweet-smelling toilet where you can spend on the tub to relax for hours. Many people treat bathrooms as their place for refuge. After all, it’s the only place at home where you can be alone and not be bugged by other family members. Well, at least that’s how it should be.

You should get smelly toilets get in the way of that simple pleasure in life. It shouldn’t be too difficult to eliminate those bad smells, once you know what to do. Let the steps listed above be your guide. Some steps are simple enough to follow, no handyman experience required!

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