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schnitz411 05-26-2010 06:33 PM

About to lose it w/toilet seal
Hi all:
Brand new Kohler Wellworth toilet. Moderateyl rusty 4" cast iron drain line and flange in a 3rd story condo.
Several installation attempts with new toilet resulted in leaking in the back of the base; definetly not sweating or tank seal leak.
Went out and bought a Ferno Wax Free Seal....cleaned horn and everything.
a) the !#*!)(#! seal wont stick to the bottom of the toilet. Clean, dry, etc...push it in...falls off in a few seconds....doesn't matter what I do...absolutely will not hold on its side or when I upright toilet to put it in.
b) for the heck of it, tried to put the seal in the drainline doesn't fit....its like the drain line or the flange is really out 3 7/8" wide or 15/16". Absolutely cannot shove it in there.

At wits end with what should be the easy part of my bathroom project. All advice welcome.

bartnc37 05-26-2010 08:29 PM

are you absolutely sure the leak is coming from underneath? Unless you are butchering the wax it really shouldn't leak. And throw that other contraption you got in the trash unless you want to buy your downstairs neighbor a new ceiling. Check that you don't have a pinhole in the china on the bowl or even the fill valve spraying a bit out under the lid thats leaking down.

Alan 05-26-2010 08:36 PM

I'm disturbed about the part of your post where you're trying to shove the seal into the drain line. It doesn't go inside.... :huh::huh::huh::huh::huh:

I think you might need to call a pro...

schnitz411 05-26-2010 08:37 PM

99.5% sure the leak is from underneath...the underside of the tank and the tank/bowl connections stay bone dry. Nothing dripping or leaking from that area. the only water is on the floor.
And from what I've read the fluidmaster and fernco no-wax things are pretty well-regarded. Unclear to me though if its me, the toilet, or the seal when it wont even stick to the bottom of the toilet.

O'Leaky 05-26-2010 08:39 PM

If you bothered to stop and read the instructions on the fernco wax free, it states that the toilet has to be perfectly clean, there can be NO DIRT, NO WAX, ABSOLUTELY CLEAN.
As mention by Alan, how do you know that there is not another issue?

schnitz411 05-26-2010 08:39 PM

To clarify: I've done the drill with a regular wax-ring seal several times and gotten leaks.
Today I decided to try one of these: As you can see, it does (partly) go INSIDE the drain line. I'm not an expert, but I do know where a wax ring goes!

Definetly read the directions and cleaned it very well w/Fantastik. Let it dry. Did it again. Let it dry again. Thoroughly wiped down and absolutely no residue of anything. It was completely clean around the horn.

Alan 05-26-2010 10:29 PM

How high is the surface of your closet flange with relationship to the finished floor?

JakAHearts 05-27-2010 07:48 AM

I have a fernco waxless on my toilet and that thing is amazing. I have access to underneath it as the plumbing is directly into my furnace room in the basement. It have never leaked or shown signs of leaking. I once even broke the flange trying to remove a trash can that somehow squeezed behind the toilet and didnt fix it for several weeks. The toilet would spin back and forth with little effort. A wax ring would have been trashed for sure but there wasnt a drop on the basement floor.

Anyway, make sure you removed the 4 inch adapter thingy from the fernco. If youre nto sure what Im talking about, look at the directions again. There is an adapter to use if you have 4 inch pipes and the thing will definately not fit in a 3 inch pipe. Hope that helps!


schnitz411 05-27-2010 05:27 PM

Hi Shane: Not clear we have the same product as the one I have is one piece, designed for a 4" drain line:
They make a similar item for a 3" line, but both are one piece.

The top of the flange is is between 1/4" and 3/8" from a layer of self-levelling cement that comes to within about an inch of the edges of teh flange. Immediately around the flange (picture a ring with a diameter of about 1" more than the flange) the floor is slightly lower as I had to block off the flow of the SLC to keep slightly off the drain pipe. There will be tile on cement in another month or so but its on backorder. With the tile I might need a thick wax ring/two rings/or the fernco which allegedly works in such cases.

Jim F 05-27-2010 05:47 PM

It sounds like a no go in either case for the Fernco. 1. It does not stick to your toilet horn which is how it is designed to work and 2. the adapter does not fit ddown into the flange pipe. The wax rings don't stop the leak either so it is time to look at a source other than your flange seal choices.

I would be looking at the bottom of the toilet for leaks in the china as suggested and the moderately rusty cast iron flange (height and level). They do make products that enable you to replace the flange from above once you have cut off a flange that has failed.

schnitz411 05-27-2010 06:03 PM

Thanks Jim!
The place I bought a bunch of my fixtures from (Fergusons) seems totally happy to exchange it and deliver a new one, so I'm going that route. In the meantime I'll use a stiff brush to scrub the top of the flange and see if I can get a cleaner surface. The flange is actually almost perfectly level as-is. Its just a bit rusty (reasonably so after 40 years after construction), more on the inner surfaces than the top though.
Just did do a very close look at the bottom and I cant see or feel a pinhole, but who knows...
At this point I guess new toilet+re-cleaned flange+most careful ever wax ring use will do the trick.

JakAHearts 05-27-2010 06:56 PM

Oops, youre right. I used a fluidmaster. They can be found at Home Depot and Lowes.

These, in my mind, would be better than the Fernco one as they rely on a rubber "flange" to hold onto the toilet flange. If you get one, ive read several places saying its easier to put the seal onto the toilet and then just lower the thing into the flange in the floor. Thats the method I used and it was so easy I thought I had done something wrong!


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