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Old 06-06-2019, 03:51 PM   #1
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Mysterious leak from toilet base


Hopefully this is appropriate for the forum! I certainly think so, but anyhow. I have a leak around the base of a toilet. It seem pretty cut and dried that it must be a bad seal from under the base. So I just took up the toilet, after running to the hardware store and getting a new wax/seal, but it just looks very odd to me.

There is still a clear, and wet, ring of water around the outline of the base of the toilet, but there is NO indication of wetness, leaks, or "runs" of water from the existing wax seal at all. It seems pretty solid.

I figured maybe the toilet was cracked somewhere, though via a quick ocular pat-down I see no obvious cracks or leaks. I'll need to find a better spot to copmletely lay the toilet on its side to really inspect it.

So before I just put it back together and return the new seal OR move forward with just replacing the seal only to find out something is still leaking I thought I'd check with the forum to see if maybe this is sounds familiar, if I'm missing something obvious, etc. Thanks much!
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Old 06-06-2019, 04:07 PM   #2
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Re: Mysterious leak from toilet base


I thought I'd share a couple shots of the under-toilet. Nothing jumps out at me.
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Old 06-06-2019, 04:10 PM   #3
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Re: Mysterious leak from toilet base


Are you sure it wasn't just a leak at the water feed from the angle stop to the toilet.
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Old 06-06-2019, 04:15 PM   #4
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Re: Mysterious leak from toilet base


After you put it back and working. Then put food coloring or the toilet tank dye pills in the tank. After an hour and dont see anything.
Then flush the toilet and see if you see anything
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Old 06-06-2019, 04:17 PM   #5
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Re: Mysterious leak from toilet base


I agree that leak does not appear to coming from the wax seal. Reinstall toilet. Lay paper towels on the floor underneath the stop valve and the supply tubing to the fill valve. Lay paper towels under the tank to bowl bolts.

Is this by some chance a power flush toilet.
Take notice of when wetness appears.
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Old 06-06-2019, 04:19 PM   #6
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Re: Mysterious leak from toilet base


I can't say for certain now. I did check it; nothing was obvious and the porcelain around the area was dry. The leak seemed to start and first pool up at the front of the toilet base as well, furthest away from the input valve. But I suppose that could have just been the shape of the blow leading the leak forward somehow.
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Old 06-06-2019, 04:21 PM   #7
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Re: Mysterious leak from toilet base


I replied too quick! Thanks everyone for the suggestions and advice I really appreciate it. I will move forward with re-installing the tank as-is, spot-checking with well placed paper towels, and using food coloring to help pinpoint leaks as well.

Really happy I found this forum, everyone has been so quick and happy to help. I really appreciate it. Hopefully I can pay it forward eventually.
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Old 06-06-2019, 04:24 PM   #8
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Re: Mysterious leak from toilet base


Is this a one piece toilet or a separate tank with a big rubber seal and two bolts to consider?
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Old 06-06-2019, 04:36 PM   #9
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Re: Mysterious leak from toilet base


Water appear to have run around the exterior of base of the bowl from the left side (where the stop and fill valves are) and pooled in the front of the toilet.
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:00 PM   #10
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Re: Mysterious leak from toilet base


Quick story somewhat similar and you don't need to confirm.
Had built a small apartment in half the garage for my dad years back. Had his own bathroom and complained about the toilet leaking, same area. I knew the seal was brand new so applied a bead of silicone around the base. Nnext day same complaint but this time the source was obvious, the water was yellow. He was sitting down and not pointing down and urinating between the rim and the seat. Problem solved, he learned to aim.

Not entirely his fault as it was intentionally a small bathroom and a shorter bowl than he had been used to.

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Old 06-06-2019, 06:20 PM   #11
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Re: Mysterious leak from toilet base


Leak between the tank and bowl caused by rusted out bolts?

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Old 06-06-2019, 06:42 PM   #12
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Re: Mysterious leak from toilet base


Replace the wax seal with one of these rubber seals. IMHO much better than wax, but if nothing else it's reusable so if you need to lift the toilet a few more times, no scraping and cleaning of the wax. https://www.lowes.com/pd/korky-rubbe...FcW3wAodnd0L-w

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Old 06-06-2019, 11:13 PM   #13
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Re: Mysterious leak from toilet base


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
Is this a one piece toilet or a separate tank with a big rubber seal and two bolts to consider?
I was involved in an office remodel project. Part of the scope was to relocate an existing toilet to new bathroom.

The day after trim day, water was found at the base of the side wall adjacent to the toilet- just a little water too. That wall also had water lines supplying a mop sink on the other side. The GC thought either our toilet is bad or he shot a trim nail into the pipe.... As i investigated around the toilet, I leaned on the tank and water dribbled down from the tank to bowl bolts. Problem discovered- the washers were disintegrating. Quick run to Ace for a set of bolts and washers and leak fixed.

We now charge for toilet rebuilds when using used toilets....
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:29 AM   #14
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Re: Mysterious leak from toilet base


One more likelihood. We finished a basement remodel and I noticed a small amount of water at the base similar to yours. I always double seal my tanks so they are independent units, so there was no leak there, nor at the stop valve or hose connection. Total mystery. It only leaked when flushed. After laying down at the toilet for an hour or so, I noticed water running down the side. It was from a pin hole casting error from American Standard. Totally baffling.
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:55 AM   #15
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Re: Mysterious leak from toilet base


Hi all - quick update to end the thread. I did put everything back together and was exceedingly careful to check and double check all seals. So far so good. So I must have missed something in my initial spot checks. I hit that point where I was too worried about what might be going on where I couldn't see that I probably jumped ahead too far too fast. I appreciate all the insight and thoughts here!
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