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Old 01-03-2009, 05:57 PM   #1
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Leaky toilet flange?


When we moved into our home 7 years ago I discovered 3 days after settlement that my bathroom floor was rotted from water damage. I assumed back then that it was because the wax ring had been in need of change and was neglected. It was also peculiar that the toilet rocked a little when sat on.

I ripped up the ceramic tiles and subfloor and installed all new. I was, however, the unfortunate victim of bad advice regarding the subfloor. I went with 5/8" plywood and a self-leveling compound/floor prep rather than cement board, and ceramic tiles on top. The toilet still rocked ever so slightly, but not as much as before the renovation.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I started noticing water on the floor in the bathroom beneath the above-mentioned bathroom. It turns out it was dripping from above and through the vent fan and only happens when we sit on it to give my daughter a bath. The toilet has still always rocked and it appears that rocking is what triggers the leaking. Not flushing, not gently sitting straight down and standing straight up, but rocking.

We replaced the wax ring and that didn't stop it. We replaced the toilet and that didn't stop it. So last night I removed the new toilet, took out the vanity, and ripped up the tiles. The subfloor is water-damaged but not nearly as bad as it was when I renovated the first time. It's also worth mentioning that the floor has never been perfectly level and I have a feeling that contributed to the rocking as well.

I'm planning to rip up the subfloor so I can get a better look at the toilet flange and the rest of the plumbing. I'm not sure, however, exactly what I'm looking for or how to tell if the flange is actually leaking.

Thoughts?

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Old 01-03-2009, 07:59 PM   #2
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Leaky toilet flange?


Well, sometimes the hole in the subfloor is too large and the screws holding down the floor flange are only grabbling the underlayment on top of the subfloor. If you come across that situation, you can use a galvanized closet support kit as shown here:

http://www.oatey.com/Plumber/Shared/...pport+Kit.html

Rather than replace the wood or underlayment, you simply remove the screws holding the floor flange down and slip the galvanized steel plates under the existing floor flange. Then you screw the galvanized plates down to the wood floor and predrill holes through the galvanized plates to hold the floor flange down with flat head screws.

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Old 01-03-2009, 10:57 PM   #3
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Leaky toilet flange?


Clean off all the old wax and then scrub the flange. Check very carefully for cracks in the flange and the pipe it connects to. If everything is okay, use a new wax seal and purchase some plastic toilet shims to level out the toilet. I am guessing that if it was rocking, something broke.
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:14 AM   #4
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Leaky toilet flange?


I'm embarassed to admit the leak was a result of the lack of plumber's putty beneath the flange in the bathtub drain. What I thought was a leak from "rocking" was really a result of time.

I'm still going to remove the bolts that fasten the flange to the sub-floor and re-fasten them. I'm also going to fix leuan (sp?) to the sub-floor before I install vinyl flooring.
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:16 AM   #5
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Leaky toilet flange?


Quote:
Originally Posted by majakdragon View Post
Clean off all the old wax and then scrub the flange. Check very carefully for cracks in the flange and the pipe it connects to. If everything is okay, use a new wax seal and purchase some plastic toilet shims to level out the toilet. I am guessing that if it was rocking, something broke.

I'm still going to follow these directions to be sure. I also think the shimming is going to be necessary because there's a gap between the flange and the sub-floor.
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:57 AM   #6
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Leaky toilet flange?


You really should be putting cement board down under tile because tile or the grout will probably crack from being placed directly onto expanding and shrinking wood, including luan paneling.
The toilet flange should be installed on top of the finished tile floor level with only the thickness of the flange above finished floor level.
The toilet should be lebveled with beveled plastic shims made for the purpose.
The toilet base should be bolted securely to the floor with no movement whatsoever of it will eventually leak.
Good Luck!
Mike

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