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Old 09-22-2010, 12:15 PM   #1
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Leaking toilet/bidet- big problem


Hello everbody, I'm new to the forums and was hoping someone out there might have an idea for an urgent problem I have:



Our upstairs (top level of 3-story home) washroom has a toilet and a bidet right next to it.


Several years ago we disconnected the bidet from the tap in order to renovate the washroom. We never used it, so never re-connected it. We shut off the valve and all was good.

Recently, every time we flush the toilet, there is a loud "hum" noise and vibrations in the wall where the bidet connects to the main water pipe inside the wall. Opening the bidet valve before flushing the toilet eliminates this hum sound/vibration. Re-closing the valve causes the hum and vibration again.

So tonight, in the kitchen, directly beneath the upstairs washroom, is a leak from the ceiling.

I poked a hole in the ceiling with a nail, and now when I flush the toilet upstairs, the water comes gushing through this hole quite significantly. There is a serious leak there.


A few feet beyond where I poked the hole, I can hear the "drip-drip" in the ceiling and I can pin-point it within a few inches.

My theory:


The vibration after flushing the toilet has caused some kind of part in the pipe or water line to break and now when I flush, the water is pouring out through this breakage. Does this sound feasible? As for the vibration, would that have anything to do with the bidet being disconnected for so long or is it something else, like a blockage or something?


Also, the bathtub and shower don't seem to be causing any leaks. The pipes for these don't seem to be running on the same pipe as the toilet, or they connect further downstairs somewhere, therefore bypassing the leakage point.



Again, if we don't flush upstairs, there seems to be no problem. I haven't seen a problem using the upstairs shower, tub or sinks. It seems to just be the toilet that is causing this leak.


Any advice?

Is it safe to assume that a part has come loose around the toilet/bidet area just inside the wall? I can't see a leak in the pipe causing this much water flow (it's a huge amount leaking into the kitchen when flushing- over a cup full)

If so, do I need to cut out the drywall in the suspected area and investigate?

Could it be either the pipe that's leaking or maybe the water supply that's leaking when the toilet re-fills? The toilet doesn't flush very well; sometimes it's very weak and not everything goes down.




Thank-you so much for any help. This is so urgent and any advice would be awesome.

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Old 09-22-2010, 04:57 PM   #2
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Leaking toilet/bidet- big problem


I think you have two different problems---the water feed pipe vibrating indicates a defective fill valve in the toilet--along with a loose pipe in the wall--(most likely)

The leak when you flush is most likely a failed wax ring---less likely,drain pipe failure---

Pull the toilet---carefully pour water down the drain----see what happens---if that causes a drip down below---open the ceiling---Mike---

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Old 09-22-2010, 05:26 PM   #3
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Leaking toilet/bidet- big problem


thank you so much Mike.

I had a friend come over and suggest the very same scenarios.

We've just noticed the toilet is actually loose on the floor- meaning you can slide it from side to side along the floor. So most definitely it's the ring.


My bigger fear is mold- do I have any concerns over how much water has leaked into the celing below and how much mold may be hiding in there?

If so, do I have an option of destroying the mold without ripping out drywall (poking a hole in the celing, feeding a hose up there and spraying something in) ?

thanks again I appreciate it
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Old 09-22-2010, 05:59 PM   #4
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Leaking toilet/bidet- big problem


My vote is to open up enough of the ceiling to get a good look and address the water damage. Once the leak has been dealt with and everything dried up, you should be good to go. Any mold should be obvious once you've opened up the area and can be treated.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:22 PM   #5
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Leaking toilet/bidet- big problem


There is a lot of air space in a joist pocket--The water will usually evaporate quickly enough that mold is seldom a problem there---you had a sudden leak--and then time to dry--

Water in an insulated wall or a long time small leak --those situations almost always make a moldy mess.

You may want to have a flange repair ring handy when you pull that toilet---Toilets don't just fall off the floor---the bolts came loose for a reason--9 time out of 10 the gave up because the toilet flange gave way.---Mike---
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:16 AM   #6
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Leaking toilet/bidet- big problem


Thanks Mike. I'm actually more worried now about mold than I am about the repair. The repair I can handle; it may be less serious than I first thought.

But after researching mold, I'm finding out all kinds of bad things. Right now the downstairs bathroom smells musty, but this is probably because it's still wet above? As soon as it dries I expect it to clear up. Is a musty smell a definite 100% indication of mold, or is it musty because there is a recent leak and it will disappear when everything dries up? Also, if mold is trapped in a confined space (behind walls for example) and is no longer growing (moisture was taken care of) is it still a threat? My thinking is that so long as the mold is trapped in a tight space with no ventilation and no more moisture, it dies and the spores can't get out into the main living area anyways, does this sound right? I have two kids now and all of a sudden I find myself worried about this issue whereas before I never thought about it once. Every time my son coughs or seems to have allergies I start to wonder about all this now. Thanks again guys this is very helpful.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:01 PM   #7
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Leaking toilet/bidet- big problem


I'll just close this thread out by thanking you guys again for the help.

All the advice was correct- it was indeed the wax ring under the toilet which had been shifted loose as a result of the toilet not being bolted down to the ring properly. There was lots of black goo all under the toilet, but no loose tiles or anything, so even though the floor was wet and black, it wasn't loose or too damaged, so I won't have to do anything there with the floor.

I had a plumber come in for a free estimate - and when they say free estimate - they mean just that - he was in and out in less than 5 minutes and wouldn't accept any questions or discuss the situation at all. He somehow knew immediately of the problem and quoted $253 to replace the wax ring.

So I went and got a ring for $6 at the hardware store and fixed it myself - the leak has totally been repaired. No more leakage into the kitchen.

My last step here is to open up the drywall and look for mold now.
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Old 09-25-2010, 12:14 AM   #8
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Leaking toilet/bidet- big problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailman View Post
Thanks Mike. I'm actually more worried now about mold than I am about the repair. The repair I can handle; it may be less serious than I first thought.

But after researching mold, I'm finding out all kinds of bad things. Right now the downstairs bathroom smells musty, but this is probably because it's still wet above? As soon as it dries I expect it to clear up. Is a musty smell a definite 100% indication of mold, or is it musty because there is a recent leak and it will disappear when everything dries up? Also, if mold is trapped in a confined space (behind walls for example) and is no longer growing (moisture was taken care of) is it still a threat? My thinking is that so long as the mold is trapped in a tight space with no ventilation and no more moisture, it dies and the spores can't get out into the main living area anyways, does this sound right? I have two kids now and all of a sudden I find myself worried about this issue whereas before I never thought about it once. Every time my son coughs or seems to have allergies I start to wonder about all this now. Thanks again guys this is very helpful.
Trailman, I'm not a plumber or a very good DIYer but I had the stench of mold in various areas of my house and paid a bloody fortune for mold remediation and basement beaver drains I didn't need. I read the mold info online like you did and worried. Forget it. It's all BS. Especially the part of worrying about spores getting out and causing mold in your home. It only pertains to someone with repeated flooding. Someone that ignores a leak. Extreme and ongoing moisture. This does sound like you.

For me, after all that bother, the mold finally went away when I cleaned the weep holes in my storm windows.

When I smell mold now, I feel I'm blessed. Means I can look for the problem causing moisture. Re seal your toilet instead of just tightening and you're fine. If smells musty after it dries, I would look all around the bathroom before worring about up in the ceiling. Look at shower caulk and maintenance type of stuff. I would only go up in ceiling if you think there is still a leak later on. Good luck and don't focus on mold anymore-you'd be well aware if you have it.
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Old 09-25-2010, 11:16 PM   #9
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Leaking toilet/bidet- big problem


thank you rosemonster, it's nice to hear a relieving point of view for a change. Close to 95% of what I've read on the internet is all 'alarmist' type material, and causing me worry. On another forum, someone even urged me to remove all my kitchen drywall and that mould is responsible for illneses and deaths- did that ever scare me when I first read it. I believe it, but I also believe those are ultra-isolated cases, just like winning the lottery is an ultra-isolated case.

I'll keep my eyes open for mold- and get rid of it if I see any. There is a bit on my shower tiles upstairs, but that's normal and easy to fix.
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:49 AM   #10
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Leaking toilet/bidet- big problem


Glad to hear it. See how mold shows you what needs to be done. Sounds like it's time for new caulk and more ventilation after showering.

Mold doesn't scare me anymore, but "musty" does 'cause it means there is moisture or a leak that will cost me time and money. Just make sure the musty smell goes away so you know you are leak free.

Good luck to ya!
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:30 AM   #11
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Leaking toilet/bidet- big problem


Wouldn't worry about the mold, basically another scare tactic to freak people out.

Mold, in one form or another, is everywhere.

Lots of money to be made in mold remediation, though.
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:41 AM   #12
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Leaking toilet/bidet- big problem


Here's some info on mold:

http://www.cdc.gov/mold/dampness_facts.htm

Gotta love this part..
Mold and Your Home

Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, bags, and pets can and be carried indoors.
Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.

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