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Old 08-06-2008, 07:52 AM   #1
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Leaking waste pipe

Hi, I have a leaking pipe from the toilet which is above the kitchen. I will need to cut a whole in the kitchen ceiling to get at the pipe. How bad can a pipe be in a 4 year old house and approximately how much could a plumber charge me for this work?

I'm sort of a sitting duck for tradespeopke because I'm a single parent and don't know much about DIY.


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Old 08-06-2008, 08:58 AM   #2
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Wait! Before you cut a hole make sure it is not leaking from either above the floor or from the wax ring. If your house is only 4 years old this is most likely. Check closely around the toilet upstairs to see if you can see any water. Feel of the supply piping to see if it is wet.

If not, answer these questions. Is there water dripping from the ceiling or just a wet spot? Does it leak constantly or only after the toilet is flushed?

A constant leak is an indication of a supply line leak. If it only leaks after flushing it could be as simple as a bad wax seal under the toilet. This is a pretty simple repair. In a nutshell:

turn the water off to the toilet,

flush the toilet while holding the handle down to drain the tank as much as possible,

use a sponge to get the rest of the water out of the tank,

disconnect the supply line at the bottom of the tank,

plunge as much water as possible from the bowl and use the sponge to get the rest,

remove the china caps (bolt covers) on each side of the toilet bowl at the floor,

pull the toilet up,

remove the old wax using a putty knife and rag,

check the piping for cracks or damage- if it looks OK then proceed,

install new wax ring on floor flange,

replace the toilet- make sure the bolts are lined up and then twist the toilet a little until it contacts the floor,

put the nuts back on and tighten carefully until snug and reconnect the water line.

If there was nothing broken that's all there is to it. Total cost under $5. If you do find something broken, post back and I'll try to help.

If you decide to call a plumber expect to pay at least a couple of hundred bucks for this depending on where you are.



Check out my goofy video for my new toilet repair book.
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:19 AM   #3
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Thanks a million for your advice. I feel a little better prepared and at least have the language I need to discuss this with the plumber. I don't think I'll go undoing the toilet myself, however. I think you have to 'build' to that confidence! Thanks again.
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