Do Saniflo Toilets Smell? (How to Stop)

Saniflo toilets are often installed in places like offices, hotels, or restaurants where users might need a neutral-smelling bathroom. You wouldn’t want your office, guests, or customers to have an unpleasant experience from the smells coming from the restroom. So it can be alarming – and embarrassing – if the toilet smells bad.

Saniflo toilets don’t smell bad, but sometimes, improper maintenance can cause the emission of bad smells. This is probably due to the presence of sewer gases or clogged drainage pipes. Toilet odor is hard to ignore and can cause discomfort in your home. Luckily, it’s not impossible to get rid of.

Indeed, the design of these toilets has been engineered with odor control features for that reason. However, there can be some instances where you come across a problem with odors in your Saniflo toilet. This article will help you understand why Saniflo toilets smell and how to stop Saniflo from smelling again.

squeamish woman cleaning toilet with brush

Do Saniflo Toilets Smell?

Saniflo toilets normally don’t smell because they use an upflush waste pumping system. This means that waste can be pumped out of the unit without relying on gravity, like in regular toilets. As a result, there shouldn’t be foul odors coming from your Saniflo toilets.

The unique pump system also removes the need to dig up your floors to install a bulky drainage system. With Saniflo toilets, all you have to do is create a small opening through the wall where the waste pipe will exit through. 

Saniflo toilets rely solely on electricity to run the macerator, which is basically a powerful sewage pump that helps run the upflush system. They, therefore, need to be installed in places with an uninterrupted power supply.

Here’s a brief summary of how a Saniflo toilet works:

  • When flushed, waste in the bowl goes to the Saniflo macerator, which is automatically turned on. 
  • The macerator, which is made up of rotating blades, begins to rotate. The motor grinds the waste into a slurry mixture while rotating at around 3600 revolutions per minute. 
  • The liquid waste is then pushed into a container below the macerator and then pumped out through the pipes.
  • The macerator deactivates as the waste drains from the container.

As long as your Saniflo toilet’s mechanisms work well, there should be no problem with foul odors.

Why Does My Saniflo Smell?

Your Saniflo toilet smells bad, probably because the toilet hasn’t been cleaned in a long time, and the bacteria that break down human waste in the tank continue to breed, creating a putrid stench. Other reasons could be sewer gas leaks or clogging.

If your Saniflo toilet has been used for several years, you may need to clean it thoroughly to eliminate the unpleasant smells. You can also clean your toilet routinely using paper towels.

Here are two significant causes of foul odor in a Saniflo toilet:

1. Sewer Gas

Sewer gas is a mixture of gases, including ammonia and hydrogen sulfide resulting from the breakdown of human waste. Sewer gas build-up and leakage can lead to a foul odor from your Saniflo toilet. 

Improperly sealed toilet bases could allow sewage gas and, sometimes, sewer water to leak into your bathroom. 

The P-trap part of the sewer system contains water and a wax ring seal that keeps sewer gas odors out of your bathroom. However, if the toilet base isn’t properly secured, it will most definitely leak and allow sewer gases to escape into your house.

plumber at work in a bathroom

A wax ring is installed between the flange and drain outlet to keep the flange both air and watertight. On the other hand, the lack of a wax ring causes sewer gases to escape into your house. Sometimes, your wax ring could have been installed incorrectly and caused sewer gas leaks. 

2. A Clogged Toilet

Clogs are one of the leading causes of smelly Saniflo toilets. Saniflo toilets are prone to clogging when materials such as sanitary napkins and baby wipes are flushed down the unit. The Saniflo macerator can sometimes be connected to other bathroom fixtures, such as your bath. These fixtures should also be checked if the Saniflo toilet is clogged.

A toilet that does not flush well can easily let sewer gases through. This clogging hinders the free flow of sewage down the septic tank. This can cause water or gas to build up and flow back up into the toilet. 

How Do I Stop My Saniflo From Smelling?

You can stop your Saniflo from smelling by addressing the underlying causes or sources of the foul odor, such as sewer gas leaks or clogging. You can clean your toilet, install a new wax ring, seal the base with silicon caulk, or unclog your toilet.

Fixing a Saniflo toilet may well not be on your to-do list. However, you can get away with a bit of DIY fixing if you have some background experience. But first, you must know the root cause of the Saniflo toilet odor because this will provide some insights into how to tackle the problem. 

That said, you can fix the Saniflo toilet odor by:

1. Installing a New Wax Ring

Installing a new wax ring should prevent sewer gases from leaking into your home. To install a wax ring:

  • Drain the toilet tank and toilet bowl.
  • Remove the Saniflo to install the wax ring. 
  • Once the ring is correctly installed, replace the Saniflo on the toilet.

A new wax ring should ideally be replaced once in a while, but it’s not always necessary if you have a perfect fit with no cracks or gaps. You may continue using it in the future as well, provided you have removed all old wax first. 

2. Applying Silicon Caulk Around the Toilet Base

One of the details you may be overlooking when trying to figure out why Saniflo smells so bad is the caulking around your toilet base and other plumbing fixtures. 

Silicon caulk and sealant are water and chemical-resistant substances that can withstand both high and low temperatures – as long as it’s not older than 5 years. Applying a generous amount around the toilet base will ensure that no sewer gases escape past the wax ring.

To do that, you’ll need a caulk gun and airtight caulk sealant. Since the sealant is non-corrosive, you can smear the excess around the toilet base with a putty knife. After a couple of hours, it will dry into a rubber-like substance that will last for over 5 years.

man in rubber protective gloves cleaning and washing toilet and showing thumb up

3. Unclogging the Toilet

Clogging can occur in various parts of the toilet system, including the waste outlet pipe, the pump, or even the macerator. Find out where the blockage is, then find a way to unclog it. The best way to do this is with expert help. I strongly recommend seeking professional services to avoid costly mistakes.

No matter how you look at it, toilet odors are not uncommon. Whether you have an underground or ground-floor toilet, the risk of sanitary issues remains high if you don’t maintain it well. 

Fortunately, fixing Saniflo toilet odor is almost always easy. The causes of unpleasant smells are nearly always preventable and avoidable. You just need to know what they are so that you can neutralize them from reoccurring again anytime soon.

Final Thoughts

Toilet odor can be unpleasant. Determining how to stop a Saniflo from smelling starts with finding the root cause of the smell, which will help you find ways to eliminate the issue. Seek plumbing services to deal with Saniflo odor and avoid costly errors.