Wax seal on toilet

vanman23August 4, 2014

This is the 2nd or 3rd time this toilet has leaked. I have change the wax ring on this toilet about a year ago. It looks to me that the wax ring was compressed around the whole flange there was still seepage against the wax and the floor flange. The toilet did not rock. It only took me one turn of a wrench to loosen the flange nuts.

Also of note, the toilet sometimes does not drain even if it is just liquid. The 2 toilets downstairs below this one does that also.

Before I re install, any advise?

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vanman23

picture of the floor flange. It is even with the subfloor and just below the tile.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:13PM
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SparklingWater

"Also of note, the toilet sometimes does not drain even if it is just liquid. The 2 toilets downstairs below this one does that also."

I am no plumber, rather a homeowner. Does your observation suggest a problem with the vent stack? Doesn't it take a portion of air for toilets to drain correctly. Shoot, somewhere I saw an image showing this.

Of course, your drainage line might need to be snaked for blockage too?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 5:43PM
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bob_cville

I'm not a plumber either but I know that the wax ring is not really designed to withstand any pressure, so the repeated leaks and slow draining might indicate that the drain below is partially blocked, which would cause water to back up against the wax seal. A possible test might be to pour a bucket down the open drain as fast as you can, it should disappear as fast as you can pour.

However the slow drain might also indicate a problem with the toilet itself: something caught in the trap, or plugged holes in the rim, or even just a poorly designed toilet.

And the repeated leaks could be because the bottom of the toilet flange is supposed to be flush with the top of the tile floor.

Hopefully a real plumber will weigh in

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 12:38AM
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weedmeister

as I understand, there are different thicknesses of wax ring. With the flange below the tile level, you may need to look for a thicker wax ring.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 4:07AM
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kirkhall

Or, use 2 of them, stacked.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 2:07AM
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saltidawg

"And the repeated leaks could be because the bottom of the toilet flange is supposed to be flush with the top of the tile floor."

I don't think so!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 3:10PM
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bob_cville

saltidawg,
Which part of my statement is incorrect?

The part about "the bottom of the toilet flange is supposed to be flush with the top of the tile floor" or the the first part about if the flange is too low, there could be some lateral pressure on the wax ring which could eventually lead to the wax ring leaking.

I agree that the usual causes of a wax ring failure is movement of the toilet or a partial blockage in the drain line, but if neither of these is the case (which remains to be determined) then the too-low flange could be the culprit.

Everything I read when I was redoing a bathroom said that "the bottom of the toilet flange is supposed to be flush with the top of the finished floor" which surprised me since that meant every flange I had seen in real life previously was installed wrong.

I know it is common to use a larger ring or use two rings when the flange is too low (like two of the posters here suggest), but won't that just make time to failure proportionately larger?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 5:02PM
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PRO
Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

1. Make sure drain is clog free.
2. Test for adequate venting.
3. Install a closet flange extender to raise flange above floor.
4. Install one reinforced wax ring with horn attached.
5. Tightly toilet bolts evenly with enough torque to spread wax evenly.

Using stacked wax rings or extra thick wax rings will not solve the problem you're having. You have better things to do than work on a toilet flange again. :)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 7:19AM
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spielbass

There are a couple of rubber and rubber/wax combo seals available that look like they are less finicky. I bought one to use in a bathroom project where the pot will be removed and replaced a few times as I work around it. Anybody used these yet? Mine is called Perfect Seal. It claims to be re-positionable and even comes with a 10 year warranty!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 1:32AM
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bob_cville

I purchased a rubbery seal of the brand Sani Seal for a bathroom I was remodeling, because I knew I'd have to pull and reset the toilet at least once during the process, to be able to paint behind the toilet. The flange was set with its base flush with the floor, as it should be, and the seal wouldn't compress enough to allow the toilet to sit flat on the floor. It needed at least 1/8" of shimming all the way around, which ain't right.

I called the company and the guy I talked to seemed puzzled by my assertion that the base of the flange should be flush with the floor. Eventually he offered a full refund through the local retailer.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 11:58AM
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