toilet still leaking at floor seal

jvanJanuary 2, 2009


One of the toilets in my house has a leak again as the hardwood floor around the base where the water runs is dark in color and moist and rotten. i have changed the wax ring with in the last year after a similar problem. when i inspected the toilet then it appeared fine, i don't see how it can be leaking really the way these things are constructed. there's no visible water around the toilet anywhere... any one have any other suggestions? thanks!

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Check the outside of the toilet after a good hot, steamy shower. Could be soaking wet.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 11:20PM
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When you replaced the wax ring the last time, did you carfully inspect the condition of the existing one, i.e. was it squashed all around? If any portion of the ring was only "barely squashed" or not compressed at all, that's your problem. Try a jumbo size ring (extra thick wax).

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 7:40AM
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The toilet is in a 1/2 bath, so no shower.

When I replaced this ring I did it 2x as the first time i cracked the plastic flange/ring at the bottom when tightening the bolts to hold the toilet to the floor. the ring was in good shape at that time and i think it was when i did the second one.. but i can't think of anything else it could be so I'll just replace the wax ring again. and this time i will use a jumbo ring or two normal size ones. no cracks appear in the bowl - it seems they'd be easy to spot.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 10:59AM
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From experience I had a toilet that would leak, changed wax rings, still leaked. The toilet were new. Turns out there was a real fine crack in the toilet. Replaced the toilet and the leak went away.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 1:45PM
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What plastic thing did you crack the first time?? The flange itself? If so, that would be the problem and would have to be repaired/replaced.

Careful tightening those hold-down bolts - they need to be snug, but that's it. You don't want to crack the toilet itself.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 4:33PM
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Yes, the plastic toilet flange that sits flush on the floor was cracked as the first time i tightened the bolts to much. i found this was attached to the pipe itself so have no idea how to correct that. is that something i can do or must enlist professional help for? seems like a big job. at the time, i bought a metal flange by itself and placed that on top of the platic flange and used that to secure the bowl. i didn't tighten it to much so the bowl rocked some for the first 3 mos. i finally tightened it some more but now it's leaking some based off of the rotten wood. i think perhaps due to the rocking the seal became compromised. so, i'll try replacing the seal.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 10:04AM
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You need to get the flange repaired before you reset the toilet. (If you think about it, bolting a toilet down to a broken flange can pull it apart even more, making the problem worse.) Hire a plumber so you can be sure it's set to the proper height, etc.

BTW, if the floor needs repair (eg. some boards replaced), now is the time to do that, too. Might help (cost less) to do that before the plumbing work.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 1:10PM
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"i bought a metal flange by itself and placed that on top of the platic flange and used that to secure the bowl."

What is sealing between the flanges?
That is one possible place it could be leaking.

" the bowl rocked some for the first 3 mos..."

This is another possible cause of the leaking.
Once the wax gets compressed it does not 'spring back' and fill any gap.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 1:56PM
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you need to fix the flange...or its gonna keep leaking
and if it keeps leaking, rotten qwood floor, mold
all that good junk that comes with neglect...
pull the toilet
cut the flange off, and replace it.i can tell you how to do it. that is if you want to diy. or you can call a plumber
let me know whitch whitch is whitch frodo

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 6:14PM
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This is eerily similar to a problem I had at my house :-)

I did not have a cracked flange; however the toilet would NOT stop leaking. I tried an extra big wax seal; two wax seals...finally I scraped all that crap up, tossed it, and bought one of those gaskets that does NOT use wax.

I believe my toilet was leaking due to an uneven floor. The gaskets they sell these days seal tightly to your toilet, and then empty into your sewer well below the level of the floor, completely bypassing all problems due to flanges, uneven floors, etc. I'd repair the flange so you have a good solid connection, they sell kits for that too, easy as pie, and then use a gasket kit without wax.
Of course I'm a hardcore DIY'er, you should just call a plumber if you're in over your head!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 9:28PM
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