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mlenihan 03-24-2011 06:37 PM

Bathroom - Toilet too close to wall? No vent?!
I recently purchased an older home (1964). There is currently 1 bathroom upstairs and we will be adding another one down.

The first thing we noticed is that the bathroom has no ventillation, the second thing we noticed was a sewage odour coming into the room which was especially noticable in the cupboards.
After opening up the wall we found that the copper vent stack was corroded with holes so we've temporarily repaired it with foil tape.

The toilet (newer) was installed flush against the wall so we assume that the condensation from the back of the toilet was getting into the walls and causing the corrosion.

Does this sound like a possibility? Is there a certain distance from the wall that a toilet is required to be to prevent this? I'd just like to have a better idea of wheter installing the ventillation will have a great effect on removing condensation, or if we will need to relocate the toilet.

We are first time home owners and relatively new DIYers so any advice would be appreciated!

JamesWW 03-24-2011 06:49 PM


Originally Posted by mlenihan (Post 616360)
We are first time home owners and relatively new DIYers so any advice would be appreciated!

I'm new here also but my home was built in 1964. Something I thought of though upon reading your post was that all 3 of my toilets are flush with the wall, but all 3 bathrooms have vents. My advice would be that if the back of the toilet has a condensation issue I would move it out a bit so that it's at least not touching the wall, unless there is something you can do with the room temperature and as far as a vent goes, I believe one should be attached to your drain line. Make sure it's not clogged or corroded somewhere if your smelling odors. Just this past month, I have had to replace all the galvanized steel nipples in all bathrooms due to their age. Like I said, my home was built in 64, this is our first home also. Found out yesterday, that the galvanized drain line from the kitchen sink had rusted through leaking undetected water into our crawlspace and underneath our kitchen cabinets which have now been ripped out and a remodel will be underway once all the mold is gone and the space is dried out. Hope I helped a little bit. More knowledgeable folks on here will more than likely give you better advice.

oh'mike 03-24-2011 06:56 PM

First thing--The copper drains and vents----Change as much as you can with PVC---

Copper for drains was a poor idea---to corrosive--especially if Draino was used-----The junk copper will fetch close to $4.00 a pound---

Proper spacing for your toilet drain is 12 inches to the center--from the wall.----Mike---

oh'mike 03-24-2011 07:04 PM

Post pictures if you can----Add your location to your profile ,this way you will get plumbing code for your area.

Add more spaces to your post,please. I''m old and my eyes are weak.:laughing:

Your toilet sweating has nothing to do with the copper drains failing--they went bad from the inside.Copper for drains was a bad idea from the 1960s.


mlenihan 03-27-2011 05:52 PM

I took a few pictures this weekend... here you can see that the toilet back is flush against the wall

Here and here you can see that we've taken your advise and are replacing as much as we can with PVC and have also installed some PEX - ultimately we would like to replace everything!

We cut the copper vent stack and coupled it for now so there is no longer any corroded copper in there (that we have revealed).

There is no more odour smell in the bathroom, but we can smell it in the back yard... not sure if a filter on the roof portion of the vent stack will help or if there is some degredation in the septic field... however we have some issues with an addition that was built and the water table/drainage so an excavator should be here soon and will probably need to expose the underground pipes so we will see!

So much FUN

oh'mike 03-27-2011 07:20 PM

Excellent!----Welcome to the club---You will be glad that you fixed the problem once and for all.

Did you move the toilet flange? There is no real reason to if the toilet fit---a leaking vent caused the mold problem,I'm sure.---Mike---

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