Public and commercial restrooms have a reputation for smelling bad. To keep customers from viewing your restrooms the same, you might follow a thorough cleaning routine. However, smelly restrooms can sneak up on you in areas you haven’t thought of cleaning. Or, if you regularly clean those hidden areas, bad smells might sneak up with damaged plumbing equipment that needs commercial plumbing services.
Here are a few common reasons why your restroom might smell bad:
The floor-waste drain is dry
If your restroom has a floor drain, typically a round or rectangular grate flush against the tiles, it could be dry. These drains are designed with a wet seal to trap the smell of sewage from wafting into the restroom. If you shine a flashlight into the grate, you should see the reflection of water. This is the wet seal. If the restroom is used consistently, the wet seal should remain.
If there is no water and your restroom hasn’t been used in a while, run the sink and flush the toilet. See if that refreshes the water seal. If that doesn’t work, you might contact a commercial plumbing services provider to check it out with rooter service. And if your restroom is used frequently but the water seal doesn’t appear, call a plumber. You could have a problem with your p-trap, which is responsible for holding the water seal.
Damaged caulking or toilet collar
Your toilet has a caulk seal between its base and the floor to prevent waste from seeping out. If the seal is damaged, you’ll smell the bacteria that escapes. You also might notice waste leaking outward. If your toilet is new or recently repaired, the seal could have been installed improperly. Apply a new layer of caulk around the toilet base to seal it off, or contact a commercial plumber for help. They also might remove your toilet to check for other underlying problems.
Another toilet area that could be damaged is the toilet collar, the rubber seal connecting the toilet bowl to the waste pipe. Over time, the seal wears out from constant use. In commercial bathrooms, the seal might undergo more pressure than those in residential houses due to high traffic. A professional plumber can reseal the collar and confirm if the damage is to be expected from constant use, or if there’s another issue.
Sink overflow has buildup
Nasty restroom smells are often associated with toilets and waste systems, but your sink could be the real culprit. If the smell seems to be emanating from your sink, it’s likely coming from your overflow hole. Every sink has a small hole that prevents water from overflowing. Even if it isn’t likely that a customer or visitor filled the sink past the overflow hole, water can splash inside. Over time, water waste can build up to create a stench.
A simple fix for smelly overflow holes is to pour one cup baking soda, then one cup white vinegar into the hole via a funnel. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then very carefully flush the hole with boiling water. Progress slowly to avoid burning yourself with the water or steam. If this doesn’t work, commercial plumbing services can identify the problem.
Commercial Plumbing Services — Ehret Co. Plumbing & Heating
Ehret Co. Plumbing & Heating can investigate your smelly restroom and provide quick service. Contact us through our online contact form or call us at 510-528-4292 for 24/7 commercial plumbing services.