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Old 09-27-2008, 10:16 PM   #1
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wax seal not stopping water at toilet bottom


Our toilet wax seal was replaced 2 months ago, but the plumber said it would not last because our floor was not flat. What other options are there? The leak is back. Could I caulk the edge of the toilet to the floor?

Thanks - I need help.

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Old 09-27-2008, 10:32 PM   #2
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wax seal not stopping water at toilet bottom


I belive the caulking idea will only create bigger problems later. Sounds like it's time to replace the floor.

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Old 09-27-2008, 10:54 PM   #3
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wax seal not stopping water at toilet bottom


Nope, caulk won't work. Your toilet should be able to be sealed down despite the floor's lack of level.

The toilet drain hole is about 4" diameter, and discharges directly above the drain hole in your floor. Your toilet is bolted to a floor flange, which surrounds the pipe and is screwed down to your floor. The leak originates from the improperly sealed gap between the toilet discharge hole and the top of the floor flange. The way this gap is sealed is with a wax ring that is compressed down, surrounding the discharge, landing right on the perimeter of the floor flange.

Normally a new wax ring will do the job. Sometimes you have to stack two of them to account for larger gaps and variations of the floor. They're about $2 each. Buy an extra in case you screw up. Simply disconnect the water supply line after shutting the water off. Flush the tank to empty it. Have some towels handy to control spilled water, which is normal. Unscrew the nut on either side of the base of the toilet and lift it off. Clean off the old wax ring. Press the new one on the toilet, and with help, align the toilet over the floor flange hole and the flange bolts. Put your weight on the toilet to seat it, then tighten the nuts.

Shouldn't leak anymore.

Caulking the perimeter would allow sewage to continue to escape from the gap and just sit on your floor under your toilet. It won't go down the drain. Not good.

Here's a crude picture to describe what's going on under the toilet...
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:57 PM   #4
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wax seal not stopping water at toilet bottom


Here's a pretty descriptive photo...

He's holding two different types of wax rings. The one in his right hand is a basic wax ring. Just wax. The one in his left hand is wax surrounding a thin plastic flange that helps direct the poo to the drain hole. Sometimes you need the one with the flange, sometimes not. It will usually work, and is usually the one I go with.

Note the floor flange in the floor. His is white PVC. Yours may be brass or another metal.

Also take note of the two tank bolts sitting vertically in the floor flange. They go through the corresponding holes visible in the base of the tank. Nuts and washers hold the tank down.
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:02 PM   #5
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wax seal not stopping water at toilet bottom


Is your floor solid or is it rotten?

If rotten, plan on replacement.

Does the toilet rock back and forth or side to side because the floor isn't level, or because there's a high spot? If so, it can be shimmed to compensate. I have slate tile on my bath floor, which is a very inconsistent thickness. I had to shim my toilet on one side to keep it from rocking. If the toilet moves at all, your plumber is right...You'll lose the seal.

Plastic toilet shims are available at any plumbing supply store and maybe at the box stores.
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:45 PM   #6
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wax seal not stopping water at toilet bottom


Kc termite has it well covered.
I do believe a #5 seal is the very tallest IF thats the problem
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Old 09-28-2008, 07:17 AM   #7
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wax seal not stopping water at toilet bottom


Nice diagram KC, easier to understand, one note to the op, when the plumber put in new wax ring, said it won't hold up, he or she most likely gave his opionion on how to rememdy the situation, as they have an on the scene look, maybe best option to call them back.
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:22 AM   #8
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wax seal not stopping water at toilet bottom


All of the previous answers have good merit. My problem is with the Plumber you hired. He should have fixed the problem while he was there. Is your floor flange even with or sitting on the flooring? If so, a standard wax seal should seal the toilet. If it is below the floor, buy an extender flange and mount it on top of the current flange to raise the level. Many Plumbers install two wax seals, but for the novice, this can be difficult and many times the top seal slides and blocks the discharge opening. As far as the flooring being unlevel and causing rocking, I agree with using plastic toilet shims. You can cut them so they go under the edge of the toilet and then caulk around the base to hide them. Leave the backside of the toilet open so you can see any future leaks before they rot out the floor.

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Last edited by majakdragon; 09-28-2008 at 10:24 AM.
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