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bills_diy 11-18-2013 12:27 PM

Intermittent Toilet Mystery Leak
I have a second floor toilet that leaks occasionally from around the drain pipe area. No water ever appears on the bathroom floor. Below the toilet we have cut a hole in the kitchen ceiling and can see the subfloor, drain pipe and trap. The leak appears to be around the drain and makes the plywood subfloor wet where the drain pipe comes through. I've never actually seen it leak, just the result of it.

The leak is so intermittent that the sheetrock and subfloor have time to completely dry out between leaks even though this bathroom gets used every day. Several times I have tested running each of these bathroom fixtures by themselves and at the same time and I'm not able to make it leak when I want it to. We poured water on the floor to see if there was a crack in the tile or grout but that didn't cause it to leak.

In the bathroom there are 2 sinks, a toilet and a tub/shower. There are no A/C drain lines near by. There is a window close by but it doesn't appear to be connected to rainfall. The drain pipe is pvc.

We had a plumber come out and he wasn't sure where the leak was coming from so, he suggested we replace the wax ring to try to fix it.

Does anyone know what would cause the leak to be so intermittent and how to reproduce it?

djlandkpl 11-18-2013 12:32 PM

A pic of the drain might help.

If I had to guess, I would start with the wax ring. Could be a crack in the pipe, toilet flange or the toilet itself.

You could try filling a 5 gallon bucket with water and dump it into the toilet. Pour it quickly but don't overflow the bowl. The large volume of water might make the leak show up.

joecaption 11-18-2013 03:42 PM

Unsure why you would not have changed the $2.00 wax ring first instead of letting the moisture do more damage.
A simple DIY 101 job.

Ghostmaker 11-18-2013 06:13 PM

Does your toilet form condensation when one uses the tub or shower?

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