Tenant is very clean and I do not believe it is a hygiene \ cleanliness issue. Apartment is 12 y.o. Renter reports a strong urine odor eminating from the toilet and the a strong bleaching will temporarily help the problem. A brief visual inspection revealed no obvious problems?

What is the most likely sources of the odor and how can this be corrected? If you have successfully faced and corrected this problem please state this in a response along with lesson-learned. Thank you


Toilet is caulked to the floor and the plan is to leave it in place and recaulk to see if that resolves the problem. Toilet is on the second floor.

A correct assessment of the root cause of the issue is very important: I would like to get it done right the first time and avoid re-work. I would speculate that the seal is the problem, however, I hate to take everything apart to replace the seal only to find that the assessment is incorrect / incomplete. Any guidance to diagnose and arrive at the correct assessment is highly appreciated.

Update: caulking the toilet to the floor did not resolve the issue

  • Is the toilet caulked to the floor? What's directly underneath-finished or unfinished space? Uncaulked can allow seepage, it doesn't take much. Unfinished space won't tell all, but if you spot signs of moisture you probably have a bad seal. Yes, I've had this problem. – Tyson Sep 17 '17 at 13:22
  • Hmmm, being clean doesn't help bad aim. One missed spray can go under a two piece seal or in the seat bolt area e.g., under the caps. Is the floor a linoleum? Does the linoleum have a strong urine smell directly? If it can't be inspected below as it sounds like it can't, pull a chunk of caulk, if you get odor which is very likely you will) then pull out all caulk remove toilet, Inspect and re seal. Check your local code, full seal of caulk is typically not allowed or advised. – noybman Sep 17 '17 at 14:15

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