New toilet leaking?

alan_s_thefirstNovember 28, 2012

Thought my project was finished, but now I see marks on the floor next to the toilet that suggest it's leaking.

I had problems fitting it, the flange was broken, and also crooked. I used a repair ring over it, and it sat nice and firm, but this leak is just the last straw...

With the repair ring, it's now quite high, especially on the high side of the flange. I thought I was okay since the toilet seated on the floor all right, but this mark (a pee mark off to the side of the toilet, people living in the house didn't mention it, but I saw it.)

So I'm not going to feel comfortable until I remove the thing and see what's what.

Flange sits above a concrete basement floor, more or less without gap on one side, a fair amount of gap under the flange on the other. I did put silicone under the repair ring but it didn't sit all that well on the flange, but it was as good as I could get it to sit - didn't have a lot of time to choose repair flanges, I literally got into Home Depot a few minutes before closing on a Sunday night.

I assume the only way to be sure is to replace the flange?

Would an extra height wax ring help? Bear in mind the top of the flange sticks up a fair bit, quite a bit on the high side. I assume the taller wax ring just squishes more wax around the thing, hopefully sealing it.

Am I going to have to replace the flange, and if so, how can I be sure it's going to sit any flatter? I assume the elbow within the floor is crooked, so is there some sort of shallow repair flange that's going to nestle in there with some wiggle room, and, presumably, some sort of seal?

Presumably you use a dremel-type inside pipe cutter, and hammer drill away some concrete? Bathroom is all nice and new, so I'd like to avoid messing things up. Flooring is vinyl.

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If you can get the flange and flange bolts secure so the toilet sits proper with no rocking...

Then look for a Fernco Waxless Toilet Seal. They have a 3" and 4" model.

When you have to stack wax rings, you increase the likelihood of a side load blowout or the wax ring if the toilet is ever plunged or if there is a backup in the waste line. The other nice thing about the FTS-4 (or the FTS-3) is that once it's set on the bottom of the toilet porcelain (with adhesive), you can set and pull the toilet repeatedly. Unlike wax rings, the FTS is reusable.

Plus, most of my construction has radiant floor heat, so this takes away the problem of the floor heat softening the wax ring.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 5:23PM
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That looks interesting..thanks for those. I think that would HAVE to fix it.

I guess I have to clean the wax off the toilet really well, for the adhesive to work.

The drain in the floor seems quite shallow to me; how much straight vertical penetration do these adapters need? By the look of the barbs/seals on the side, it looks like there's a little wiggle room, which I guess I need, since the pipe's a little crooked.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 8:40PM
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Now I just have to find where I can get them in Canada...

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 8:48PM
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There is wiggle room with the Fernco, they generally extend a couple of inches down into the waste pipe.

If your flange is set far down, Saniseal makes a waxless ring, it's sort of like a big oversized polyurethane donut. The problem I've heard with that one is that it's a compression seal, and if it's a real tight fit between the horn of the toilet and the toilet flange, the saniseal ring can't compress enough and the toilet sort of "floats" on the saniseal ring and you need to shim the toilet to keep it from wobbling.

With your flange being set deep, the Saniseal might also be be worth taking a look at.

I use the Fernco quite often. I've never used the Saniseal or the Fluidmaster. The Fluidmaster sort of looks like the Fernco but it's a more rigid material with "O" rings instead of flexible like the Fernco with built-in barbs.

Good luck with it. Wonky toilet flanges are such a pain to remediate.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 9:10PM
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I want to hear more about these Fernco seals! (I love to learn...)

When you say you attach it to the toilet with adhesive--what kind?

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 10:33PM
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They appear to be self-adhesive, I'm guessing some sort of double sided rubber gasket type of thing.

Here's a link:

Here is a link that might be useful: Wax free toilet seal

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 11:23PM
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Yes, it's a "peel and stick" adhesive. Peel the release paper off the Fernco, then stick the Fernco to the horn on the toilet.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 9:48AM
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Sounds good to me. What a pain though, I've got to remove the tank and go through all that again.

Provided my flange plate holds, I guess the beauty of that gadget means there won't be any issues with it leaking, since the water/waste is directly run into the drain.

Can those tailpieces be trimmed? The drain is pretty shallow....I'm assuming it's a flexible product, by the look of those barbed seals.

I suspect I will have to order one in, unless my wholesaler actually carries them. Problem is, I have to remove toilet to find size...which means it may be out of commission again for a while. Sigh, rinse, repeat.

This post was edited by alan_s_thefirst on Thu, Nov 29, 12 at 14:03

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 2:01PM
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The Fernco fitting is great. I'm a convert. If I'd known about them, I would have used one on my upstairs toilet.

Cost me around $6. I realised they'd used an offset flange, even though there was enough room to get the toilet in without it.

The Fernco waxless seal doesn't work with an I cut away the highest part of the flange, and put one of those repair metal pieces on that straddles the flange.

The toilet wouldn't sit flat then...part of the underside was sitting on the flange, I could hear it grinding.

As an 11th hour thing, I used a diamond tile blade in an angle grinder to grind the ridge down - it's not glazed, and I assume the glazing on the inside of the toilet takes care of the waterproofing.

It sits better now, but rocks slightly. I'm also worried how well the seal is working because it's been detached and reattached from the toilet a few times, with me removing it. I don't know if you can replace the adhesive, or if it's designed to do that, but it grips the drain really well and parted from the toilet before it came out.

It's back in place and I caulked it to help steady it.

I'm probably a fool but am considering redoing it yet again when the people living in my house are away.

Since the offset flange isn't necessary (to my relief, the tank still fits when the toilet's back directly over the drain) I am thinking, remove old flange, put new, conventional flange in with same or new Fernco, sleep well knowing it's perfect.

How hard is re-doing a flange in concrete? I don't want to break up concrete etc, I need to save the floor! I'm assuming you put some mortar around the new flange.

I don't see a lot of flanges screwed down or ANYTHING barring the ABS cement, which seems a bad idea.

If you're cementing a new one down, can you set bolts or screws into it? I'm thinking screws, since I don't want ANYTHING sticking up that might make the thing rock.

Should I shim the toilet and leave it? I can cut away the silicone to do so.

I've probably bent the repair plate trying to torque it down, I bottomed the toilet screws so the caps stick up a bit.

I suppose the fernco seal itself might be what's holding it high....I pressed it down as much as I could.

Thoughts? I don't think I can afford a plumber right now....and I think I can make it work, after Xmas I can stay in the house and work at my own pace.

Ironically, I don't know if it was leaking or not. Turns out the guy living there has incredibly bad aim.

That being said, the concrete around the thing seemed quite damp.

This post was edited by alan_s_thefirst on Wed, Dec 5, 12 at 14:54

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 2:36PM
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I think I want one of these:

I don't even mind the price...Mine is ABS, though. I don't know how much difference that would make. Both ABS and PVC "three inch" pipe is ~3 1/2" O.D, are they not?

Here is a link that might be useful: Flange-Off

This post was edited by alan_s_thefirst on Wed, Dec 5, 12 at 15:05

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 2:49PM
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