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Old 07-15-2008, 09:26 AM   #1
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Toilet Problems


I am having some issues with my toilet. It appears to be leaking. I know this thanks to the spot that has appeared on my livingroom ceiling.

Pictured here (it is the blue spot seen in the picture)



I had the same thing happen about 2-3 years ago after we bought the house. Fortunantly at the time it was under warranty. We had a plumber come out and fix it free of charge. This is no longer the case. It is now my problem. This is a big problem since I have one bathroom in the whole house.


I am currently scratching my head that this has happened again. Common sense tells me that I should not have to replace the gasket under the toilet every 2-3 years. It also tells me that this job would be pretty simple for a plumber, in fact it would be too simple to do it wrong or poorly. (perhaps I am giving more credit that I should) It is these doubts that has me wondering if there is another reason for this.

My latest thought is that my flooring could be to blame. I have ceramic tile in my bathroom. I am wondering if it has raised the toilet a little bit and therefore not making a good seal.

Here is a couple of pictures of the toilet where it meets the floor:





So to re-cap and actually formulate some questions-

I am assuming that I should not have to replace the gasket every 2-3 years. Is this a safe assumption?

I am also assuming that this would be a pretty simple fix for a plumber. Too simple for one to screw it up even if he did it half as-ed. Is this a safe assumption?

I am thinking that the floor may be causing the issue. I know some bathrooms have lenoleum flooring which is much thinner than ceramic tile. With lenoleum you could make a good seal to the flange. Do you think that the ceramic tile could be causing the problems?

Is there something else that I am missing? Thanks in advance for your advice.

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Old 07-15-2008, 10:47 AM   #2
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Toilet Problems


The tile work is crappy but looks solid (no cracks). If the tile work is solid then it is not causing the problem.

Unless you can find another source of the water then I would suspect you need to replace the wax ring again. Even plumbers can screw up install on a wax ring. Especially if the GC hire a plumber with as much skill as the tilesetter he hired. The tile might not be perfectly level and if the plumber didn't shim the toilet so that it doesn't rock then the seal will fail. Is the toilet rock steady or does it move, even slightly?

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Old 07-15-2008, 12:02 PM   #3
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Toilet Problems


I agree that the toilet should not be able to move....at all. See if you can rock it from side to side. The "Plumber" (probably a maintenance man) may have broken the flange when he tightened it down. I would advise lifting the toilet out and seeing where the leak is. If it is a broken seal, you should see black coloring where it was leaking from. Check the flange bolt holes for breakage. Make sure the flange is secured to the floor with screws since this can allow the piping to break with weight placed on an angle on the toilet. Look down into the drain pipe and check for cracks.
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:43 PM   #4
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Toilet Problems


Sorry for the delay. I appreciate your advice. I am going to attempt this repair on Thursday. I was supposed to do it last week and chickened out. It is our only toilet so if I take it apart but can not put it back together, I am screwed.
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Old 07-26-2008, 12:07 PM   #5
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Toilet Problems


I ave removed the toilet and have come up with soe possibilities. I have some tile on the back side of the toiletthat have brocken and I will need to fix. Pictured here:



Here is a shot of the area without the toilet:



Here is my plan-

I am going to fixt the tile which will hopefully help with keep th toilet steady. I am also going to replace the wax ring. Finally, I am going to shim the toilet. I assume just regular wooden shims will work.

Let me know if you think I need to do anything else.
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Old 07-26-2008, 12:09 PM   #6
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Toilet Problems


Whoops...the second picture was not what I meant to post. Here is the right picture:

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Old 07-26-2008, 12:58 PM   #7
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Toilet Problems


That flange looks like it's too low. How far below the tile is it? It should sit about 1/4in on top of the tile, I take it that it is below the tile? If it isn't at least flush with your tile a single wax ring will not work. You will need to get a flange extender or to stack wax rings; 1 with a horn and one without a horn on top of it. The flange extender is the right way to do it.
As for shimming the bowl wood will work but it will rot out and/or splinter in a few years and you will be back to square 1. Use plastic shims specifically for this purpose or some pieces of sheet lead if it's available to you.
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Old 07-26-2008, 07:42 PM   #8
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Toilet Problems


I totally agree with Marlin. Purchase a flange extender, the thickness of the tile. It screws on top of the existing flange using the same holes as the screws are in now. Then use plastic toilet shims. Both of these can be found at Lowes or HD.

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