DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (http://www.diychatroom.com/)
-   Plumbing (http://www.diychatroom.com/f7/)
-   -   Please help me with this nightmare on Christmas! (http://www.diychatroom.com/f7/please-help-me-nightmare-christmas-14734/)

ychousa 12-25-2007 01:09 PM

Please help me with this nightmare on Christmas!
 
1 Attachment(s)
Hi, everyone. I'm desperately seeking your opinions on my second-time toilet leaking problem. I live in an upstair condo(A201), and this incident involves ceiling & wall repair in downstair unit(A101).

The first incident happend less than 3 months ago, which was 4 months after I bought this condo. At that time, the plumber who was called in by an insurance company, reported this as an improper installation. The previous owner installed toilet AFTER she installed bathroom tiles and ON the tiles, so eventually the insurance company refused my claim. I had another plumber fix it, but he didn't remove the tiles, saying if he leveled the flange on the same height of the tiles, he didn't need to remove the tiles. So, he installed flange and wax gasket without removing the tiles. Needless to say, I also had to pay for the damage for A101.

It had been OK until leak happended again 3 days ago, wetting ceilings and wall in A101. I called the plumber who fixed it, but he refused to offer warranty for his work, saying the problem might be a different one. I opened the ceiling in A101, and found the water is leaking above the red marked part on the attached photo.

The plumber is trying to avoid my calls, saying if it's been around 3 months, he doesn't have any responsibility for it, WITHOUT even inspecting the toilet. Someone suggested me to report to CSLB(Contractors State License Board), but I'd like to find out if this could be the plumber's fault. I'm desperately seeking your opinions on this. Please save my Christmas! Thanks in advance!

ranman469 12-25-2007 01:21 PM

it looks like the wax gasket? the flange it self may be cracked? does the w/c rock or woble?
the w/c need to be reset. you can get from home depot http://www.fluidmaster.com/usa.html it stickes to the botom of the w/c then goes on the flange. this will help if the plastic flange is cracked. but it would need to be replaced

Rehabber 12-25-2007 01:22 PM

Toilets should always be installed on top of the floor tiles as yours is. Leaks are unusual unless the toilet moves (rocks side to side) or front to back, losing the wax seal.:furious:

ranman469 12-25-2007 01:26 PM

as far as reporting the plumber. you paid him to fix it and you paid him right? if he doesnt inspect it he mush have known there would be a problem. i would call your city inspector after you called the plumber and gave him the chance to make good on it.
if you call the inspector have your reciept in hand for what you paid for. they will contact the plumber to fix the problem. whell thats what would happen where i was from.

ychousa 12-25-2007 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ranman469 (Post 82884)
it looks like the wax gasket? the flange it self may be cracked? does the w/c rock or woble?

Thanks for your replies!
Dear ranman 469, I wish I knew technical stuff, but I really don't. My concern is whether this could be the plumber's mistake or a newly developed problem that the plumber could not recognize when he fixed it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ranman469 (Post 82887)
i would call your city inspector after you called the plumber and gave him the chance to make good on it..

The thing is, he doesn't want to do anything about this problem. He has been avoiding my phone calls for 3 days after I first reported this problem.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ranman469 (Post 82887)
if you call the inspector have your reciept in hand for what you paid for.

Unfortunately, he didn't give me the receipt, but I have some supporting evidences such as insurance company's refusal letter, phone call records, neighbor's statement, etc..

ranman469 12-25-2007 01:58 PM

i would report the company to the city and tell the inspector what happen.so they can have a record of it. i doubt anything would happen.
most insurance co. hire the cheepest people they can find. if you cant handle it hire a licensed plumber. tell them you want a writen est,decribing the problem and the repair and what warranty.
we warranty for 1 year. get it in writeing.

AtlanticWBConst. 12-25-2007 02:15 PM

I'd be careful about reporting anyone. You would need to prove that the leak is due to faulty work that he did, and not something else. You would also need to prove that he warranted the work he did. Can you do either of these?

I recently talked to a fellow remodeler (buddy of mine) who had all kinds of head-aches regarding a new toilet that would not seat properly. Turns out, the new toilet was defective...

ychousa 12-25-2007 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst. (Post 82903)
You would need to prove that the leak is due to faulty work that he did, and not something else. You would also need to prove that he warranted the work he did. Can you do either of these?...

Right.. These are my concerns. What would be the best way to collect evidences to prove it?

And also, becaue I didn't get the receipt, I don't have any warranty. However, I believe if I can prove that he rendered the service with other supporting evidences, wouldn't that be enough to report to the board?

ranman469 12-25-2007 03:01 PM

i would probly let it go and find a good plumber. with a writen plan of action. good service people are not cheep, but you get what you pay for.

Marlin 12-25-2007 03:02 PM

Unless the guy is violating building codes the inspector and the town aren't going to care. The only way to get money from this guy is to take him to court. A letter form a plumber who fixes this problem saying it was this guys faulty work may be enough to get you a refund. If you have no proof whatsoever of payment your chances of getting anything are next to nothing. This guy sounds extremely shady avoiding phone calls and such.

It seems to be leaking around the flange. This could be one of four things.
1. A bad wax ring. This is the most common, usually caused by too thin of a ring, a toilet not tightened down enough, or the toilet rocking.
2. A broken flange. You apear to have a lead bend with a brass flange. Sometimes the brass flange will crack (although rarely).
3. A hole in the lead bend or a leak in the solder joint at the flange. This is a little more common then a cracked flange and can be a result of age, rocking of the toilet, or the solder joint going bad.
4. A cracked or defective toilet. Pretty rare but it does happen.
My bet is the wax ring was either not thick enough or the floor isn't level allowing the toilet to rock.

Now as far as your initial problem goes the toilet is supposed to be installed on the tiles and the flange itself should sit on the tiles. I'm curious about what the insurance companies plumber wrote in that letter. Unless something is being left out in your description the toilet was installed correctly. If you can prove that I'd go after them to pay for the whole thing.

AtlanticWBConst. 12-25-2007 03:32 PM

There are several possible reasons why the plumber may not have given you a receipt:

1.) You paid him cash, and he didn't want a paper-trail.

2.) He got a look at the home's plumbing system, or the plumbing system in that bathroom, or other, and didn't like what he saw or how it was installed, and thus, didn't want to warranty anything.

3.) He's a "fly-by-night" type of guy.

4.) He doesn't have a current license.

5.) ...other.

Either way, I think you better chock this up as something that you won't get any recourse on. He didn't give you any paperwork, warranties or guarantees...

ychousa 12-25-2007 03:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marlin (Post 82914)

It seems to be leaking around the flange. This could be one of four things.
1. A bad wax ring. This is the most common, usually caused by too thin of a ring, a toilet not tightened down enough, or the toilet rocking.
2. A broken flange. You apear to have a lead bend with a brass flange. Sometimes the brass flange will crack (although rarely).
3. A hole in the lead bend or a leak in the solder joint at the flange. This is a little more common then a cracked flange and can be a result of age, rocking of the toilet, or the solder joint going bad.

My bet is the wax ring was either not thick enough or the floor isn't level allowing the toilet to rock.

Thanks for all your replies, everyone. So, Marlin, which case(s) above could be considered faulty job?

He holds a license. I'm the first-time home owner, so I really didn't know if the receipt was this important.

I need to go out now. will be back after 10PM. Merry Christmas to everyone!

Mike Swearingen 12-25-2007 07:05 PM

I am NOT a pro plumber, just a long-time DIYer.
From the photo, it appears to me that the wood flooring under the toilet is water damaged and therefore is likely not holding the toilet flange down properly, which in turn may allow the toilet to rock or move, causing the wax ring to leak. It appears that the toilet drain piping is black plastic ABS, which sometimes has a reputation for not sealing well at the connections, even when ABS "glue' is used as it should be.
If you had it pulled, I think that you would find that this is the case.
If that plumber did not open this problem from underneath where he could inspect this, and only installed a flange with new wax ring on top of the tile, then he would not necessarily be responsible for this.
In another point, your insurance company would not pay because the flange was installed on top of the tile? That is exactly HOW it is supposed to be installed. A toilet flange sits flush on top of the finished floor level (tile or whatever), is bolted to the floor with only the thickness of the flange above finished floor level, and the toilet is then bolted to the flange.
Nothing should move, or it will eventually leak.
It looks to me like you need to have the toilet pulled, the wood flooring repaired with pressure-treated plywood, The ABS connections checked, and the flange and toilet re-set.
Good luck!
Mike

Sonny 12-25-2007 07:05 PM

leak
 
Did anyone notice the crack on the top right of photo? There should be a simple fix here. Take off the toilet and take a close look at the plastic plumbing. If there are no problems (cracks or fittings not glued properly)take a new wax seal and make sure everything is tight so there is no movement. If someone is doing this for you expain the history, sometimes it just takes a couple attempts to find the problem. One last suggestion - if you are able to axcess from A101 - maybe a plastic pan below your toilet in the neighbors ceiling for a couple weeks would be good short term insurance. If it dosent leak after a couple weeks it can be removed.

builderbob 12-25-2007 08:30 PM

plumbing problems
 
I agree with alot of what I've read. Here's how I would fix this. Remove toilet, remove subfloor, install bracing between joists(beef up the support area) remove existing flange, install new subfloor, cut out only the area needed for the drain portion. screw down flange, install tile . Set your toilet where it goes make a pencil line around the edges(only if tile is un even.) If your tile floor is less than evan mix up a small batch of plaster paris and lay
down an inch inside your pencil line. Let it set partly, while you install the wax ring and bolts (besure and use the wax ring with the rubber boot to get it futher down into the drain.) Now with your plaster paris setting up set your toilet and tighten the bolts, being careful not to overtighten. The excess plaster will squeese out the bottom, cleans up with water and sponge.)

Good luck getting satisfaction from the plumber.

builderbob


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:28 PM.


Copyright 2003-2014 Escalate Media LP. All Rights Reserved