Musty Toilet Tank Smell

nanjean68April 30, 2008

What could be causing the very pungent must odor coming from the tank of my 4 year old Toto? I see no mold and I have put bleach into the tank and sprayed the other stuff with bleach water to no avail. Now what?

Thanks from the lady of the house.

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Are you on well water or city water?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 3:13PM
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We have city water. This is the second toilet installed by the builder 3 years ago on wood floor. There is no dampness on the wood floor but there also is no caulking around the bottom which he said they didn't do on wood. Builder's plumber also replaced the wax seal. This smell just started recently. The tank looks clean. DH thot it might be the vent???

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 3:21PM
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The vent is not part of the toilet, rather it connects to the sewer pipe and runs in the wall. If the water in the tank smells, it could be stagnate water, is this a toilet which is rarely used like a guest bath? Does the water at the kitchen sink smell similar? Could it be coming from the bathroom sink drain? If so you can clean it with a "Zipp strip".

Need more info

Dan Martyn

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 4:07PM
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Dan, it's used at least 15 times a day. It's a half bath - one of 3. The other two are fine. We live in Houston where mold grows readily but this is different. I did the bleach thing in the tank and as far as I'm concerned, everything is clean. We may try draining and replacing the innerds (woman talking). Putting my nose in there, it does smell like it's coming from that white little pipe which I think is for overflow? I have an engineer living with me who doesn't know plumbing but after the last disaster which ruined the wood floor and was thankfully under warranty, I think I might have to break down and call the plumber. First we'll try cleaning it out and replacing what's in there. Does that sound right?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 4:52PM
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The overflow is a direct path to the rim of the toilet. Maybe something got into the tank or was placed in the tank, got flushed and is stuck in the rim of the toilet causing the odor. Maybe mold is in the rim (Inner walls of the toilet). You could try pouring straight bleach directly into the overflow, do not use toilet, then flush after an hour or so. See if smell goes away. If a mouse got into the tank and is stuck in the rim, that would be hard to clear. If you decide to replace the overflow/flapper assembly, look into the opening leading to the overflow, could be something there.

Hope that helps,

Dan Martyn

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 11:47AM
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I, too, have a musty/moldy smelling 1 year old Toto toilet tank. The plumber came out and replaced all the insides of the toilet but the odor still came back. We contacted Toto and the representative came out with a new toilet tank. We are waiting for the plumber to come back to install it. I'm hoping this solves the problem. We have 3 other Toto Drake toilets that DO NOT have this problem. The troublesome toilet is used all the time and we, too, have city water.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 2:55PM
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sounds as if the manufacture is aware there is a problem

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 4:04PM
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The new toilet tank was installed and all musty/moldy odor is gone (so far).

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 8:48AM
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Deanna6363 - Did your Toto guy say it was a manufacturer's defect?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 5:39PM
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No, he wouldn't admit the tank was faulty and he didn't want the old tank back. He acted like it was unusual even when I told him I read online that I wasn't the only person experiencing this and the fact remained that we had 3 other Toto Drake toilets that weren't smelling musty/moldy. I think it was in the ceramic (or whatever it is made from) and possibly made in a different factory than the other 3 toilets. I wish I could help you more, but that's all I know. Our house is barely 1 year old so we just called the plumbing store where we ordered the toilets and they handled getting us the replacement...which was free, of course. Our plumber charged us $75 to switch out the tanks. My husband (or even I) could have done it but I was afraid if he overtightened it, it could crack so we decided to just let a professional do it. But, I'm pretty sure we could have done it ourselves. Good luck. I hope you get yours replaced, too. What a difference going into our bathroom and NOT smelling that bad odor. Now I can smell our scented candle instead.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2009 at 8:29AM
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I have a 3 yr old Aquia Dual Flush that has started smelling horrible (septic). Our plumber replaced the wax seal, but it still smells a bit. May have him come back and install a thicker one. Per Toto, 1/2" is std, but they go all the way to 1 1/2". Supposed to be better to use 1 thick one than 2.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 12:26PM
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So the problem with deanna's toilet smell was in the tank and not the bowl or seal? And there was no leak? Did the tank look funky?

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 12:33PM
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