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jackbean 05-28-2008 08:11 AM

Toilet problem - Leak in Pipe underneath
Hi everyone,

I currently have a problem were my basement is getting wet due to a slow drip. The drip is coming from the pipe directly above which is the same pipe of my toilet. I noticed that it sounds if you really listen closely in that bathroom like the toilet is running or a trickle, however if you take the cover off the toilet no more water is going into the bowl. If you look at the water levels it looks like the water is slightly under the line that it is supposed to fill up till. When i turn off the water completely it appears that the drip stops. I have replaced the wax ring and re-caulked around the toilet but am still having the problem. Can it be due to this running sound of water? Any help or thoughts is greatly apprieciated.


Termite 05-28-2008 09:08 AM

A running toilet should not do anything but run extra water down the drain. Where is the water coming from? The base of the toilet? You were smart to install a new wax ring to rule that out as the problem. Are you 100% confident that it made good contact? I wouldn't have caulked around the base of the toilet until I knew that the wax ring wasn't going to leak.

My first thought was a leaky flapper, but that won't cause water to leak onto the floor.

Mike Swearingen 05-28-2008 09:16 AM

What type of pipe is leaking? A drain pipe or a supply line? It may be the wax ring under the toilet that is leaking, causing water to run down the pipe.
For one thing, it sounds like you may need to just replace the rubber flapper in the tank which can look normal but they get weak and won't seal properly. To test the toilet, pour a little food coloring into the tank and see if it gets into the bowl without the toilet being flushed. If it does, replace the flapper.
Get a new flapper, cut out the rubber ring and use the little rubber "ears" to attach it to the two small L-shaped brackets at the bottom of the overflow pipe in the middle of the tank. If your overflow pipe doesn't have the little L-shaped brackets at the bottom, use the ring over the overflow pipe. Clean the seat where the flapper seals (with a small piece of steel wool if necessary).
You will have to pull the toilet, if it's the wax ring causing the basement leak.
Good Luck!

jackbean 05-28-2008 09:24 AM

The drain pipe is the pipe that is leaking.

Mike Swearingen 05-28-2008 11:30 AM

What type of pipe is it? Galvanized? Cast iron? Copper? White plastic PVC? Black plastic ABS?
Can you see the actual leak source? At a joint fitting? A rust spot? A hairline freeze crack?
You have to trace the leak back to its starting point to repair it.

Double A 05-28-2008 02:31 PM

Sounds to me as though you might have two problems. One with the toilet itself, and the other with the drain line from the toilet.

To diagnose the toilet problem, place several drops of red or blue food coloring in the water in the tank (not the bowl, but the tank).

If the flapper or any other component is leaking by, you will see food coloring appear in the bowl after a few minutes. If color does appear in the bowl, this is an indication you have a problem with the flapper or, possibly the flush valve (the thing the flapper sits on).

You might also have a problem with the fill valve siphoning the water out of the tank.

For a really good tutorial with pictures, check out

Now, for the leak in the pipe below, thats gonna be harder to fix. What is the pipe made of and what color is it?

jackbean 05-28-2008 02:56 PM

Thanks for your help guys. The pipe below I believe is black cast iron. I have bought a new toilet flapper in hopes that may help but the colored dye seems like a good idea. Could it possibly be that my toilet is off a little and that is what is causing the trickling of the water?

Alan 05-28-2008 10:33 PM

When you take off the cover to the toilet, can you hear the fill valve filling the toilet? I had this problem before, and couldn't figure out what it was, and i finally found that I had a tiny hole in the bottom of my overflow tube (copper) and it was causing the fill valve to run every half hour or so.

Your drain shouldn't be leaking constantly unless somehow water is running down it constantly.

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