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The plumbing aspect wouldn't be that difficult - it's the subfloor that's going to need some work. It looks to me like half of the closet flange isn't even supported by the subfloor. If you fix the plumbing without addressing the floor, you'll just end up with the same problem down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The plumbing aspect wouldn't be that difficult - it's the subfloor that's going to need some work. It looks to me like half of the closet flange isn't even supported by the subfloor. If you fix the plumbing without addressing the floor, you'll just end up with the same problem down the road.
Forgive my ignorance, what kind of work would need to be done on the subfloor? Is the problem because half of the closet flange doesn't have a tight fit or something?

EDIT: I watched some youtube videos on toilet flange/sub floor repair, so I think I get the idea of what needs to be done. I would still like to be educated as to why or what is causing it to leak the way it is. And would I need to remove/replace all those white areas?
 

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Tileguy
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I'm not sure what I'm seeing. I don't understand what appears to be a collar below the flange. Either the wax seal has been leaking a very long time or there is something awry about that collar-looking thing. It appears the junctures are lapping incorrectly but again, not sure what I'm seeing.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I'm not sure what I'm seeing. I don't understand what appears to be a collar below the flange. Either the wax seal has been leaking a very long time or there is something awry about that collar-looking thing. It appears the junctures are lapping incorrectly but again, not sure what I'm seeing.:)
haha, I have no idea what I'm looking at either. At first glance I thought the leak was because of the loose collar but after I saw these photos I realized the leak was coming from above that. There doesn't seem to be much water damage around the collar flange or the subfloor but everything under it looks pretty nasty.

I'm a little intimidated to hire out for this. Times are tough and if I could fix any of this myself, I'd like to learn how.

I wonder if any of this could be covered by home insurance..
 

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There appears to be a lot more going on than just a leak at that toilet. There's white stuff extending out to the right in photo-2 and there appears to be a second drain pipe off to the right side of that photo. Also in photos 5, 6 and 7 the white stuff appears to be coming down where the drain pipe goes upward.

Is that vertical pipe going to a vent only, or are there other things on an upper level draining down through that pipe?

Have you had clogging problems in your waste drain pipes?

HRG
 

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Tileguy
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Okay let's backup.

How long have you been there?
Is it leaking now?
Who replaced the subfloor around the toilet flange and when?:)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
There appears to be a lot more going on than just a leak at that toilet. There's white stuff extending out to the right in photo-2 and there appears to be a second drain pipe off to the right side of that photo. Also in photos 5, 6 and 7 the white stuff appears to be coming down where the drain pipe goes upward.

Is that vertical pipe going to a vent only, or are there other things on an upper level draining down through that pipe?

Have you had clogging problems in your waste drain pipes?

HRG
Good catch HRG. I'll re-inspect tomorrow and take some new pictures for you guys. I can see the drain you're talking about on the right side as well as the vertical pipe. There's no other upper level so I think it is a vent only.

I've ran into a few clogging problems. Nothing major. Just minor issues like flushing too much toilet paper and other misc. toilet clogs. I cannot for the likes of me, remember whether or not there was an actual water flood. I'd like to think that there was a minor flood that was cleaned up asap, but my memory is just too hazy.

Okay let's backup.

How long have you been there?
Is it leaking now?
Who replaced the subfloor around the toilet flange and when?:)
I've been here over 15 years. (15 long neglected years)

Not sure exactly when the leak started or if it still leaks today. I found out a few days ago so I can't identify whether it spread or not. One thing to note though, is that in photo 4 there is mold on the ceiling drywall for the finished basement built about 2 years ago. Which to me means, it's recent. That grimy stuff around the flange looks wet in those pictures too.

The subfloor was replaced probably around 10 years ago when we did a house remodel. The contractor and the people he hired were thieves. Everything they touched is either falling apart, broken, etc. Just a terrible, terrible job.
 

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You need to play detective- The first thing I'd do is have someone pour a 5 gal. bucket of water down the toilet as fast as it will take it. You should be watching the pipe when someone pours. This should tell you if your pipe leaks.
But I think your problem is at the flange though. When a flange is anchored properly, the tips of the screws can sometimes be seen poking through the plywood- not present in your case. Also as stated earlier, the sub floor is some distance from the flange- makes me wonder if its anchored. Does your toilet move at all?
 

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I've ran into a few clogging problems. Nothing major. Just minor issues like flushing too much toilet paper and other misc. toilet clogs. I cannot for the likes of me, remember whether or not there was an actual water flood. I'd like to think that there was a minor flood that was cleaned up asap, but my memory is just too hazy.
Just as a basis for comparison:

We've lived in our home for 40 years. In that time we've only had two clogs "in the drain" for our two toilets that are in back-to-back bathrooms. Once when the kids were young and the youngest flushed his BVDs down the toilet. I was able to pull it out from the cleanout outside of the house using a long snake with the coiled wire tip slightly extended. --- A second time about 4 years ago when the oldest boy's girl friend dropped something in one toilet and flushed it down rather than fish it out of the toilet. Had to hire a rotor rooter guy and he said it felt like the rooter broke something up so it could drain down.

We have had several toilet clogs because of objects in the toilet bowl's built-in trap but those were not related to the drain pipes.

So for your toilet to clog because of too much toilet paper sounds like your drain is not properly designed or there's something partially blocking it. Doing the 5 gal pour test that Eplumber suggested sounds like a good thing to do. Also try that if/when you remove the toilet. Pour the water directly into the drain pipe.

HRG
 

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Doing it myself
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Looks more like spray paint on that toilet vent to me, than waste water residue.

I'm with whoever said closet flange. That thing should be supported in the back where there is no subfloor. Any movement at all starts to create a small gap, and water turns a small gap into a medium gap, until it gets worse and worse. It doesn't look like you have tons of damage at this point, so it's not like gallons of water each time. I bet part of the problem could have even been the plunger you used to fix the clog. If the seal was already broken, the plunger can force more water out.

1 Pull toilet

2 cut waste line

3 repair subfloor

4 replace waste line and fittings with exactly what you cut out.

5 reset toilet

6 poop in peace.
 

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Doing it myself
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So for your toilet to clog because of too much toilet paper sounds like your drain is not properly designed
I would never even begin to make that assumption without knowing what kind of toilet he has first. Heck, if you put enough toilet paper in any toilet it will clog. :eek:

The design of the drain looks fine to me, and exactly how we do it out here, but the only thing I can't see is how much grade is on the pipe. Even still with little to no grade on a 3" line between a toilet and it's vent, the velocity that close to the toilet is going to flush out any solid material, and all you're going to be left with is a little water.

Again, the closet flange looks to be your culprit.
 

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Homerepairguy said:
So for your toilet to clog because of too much toilet paper sounds like your drain is not properly designed

Allen said:

I would never even begin to make that assumption without knowing what kind of toilet he has first. Heck, if you put enough toilet paper in any toilet it will clog. :eek:

The design of the drain looks fine to me, and exactly how we do it out here, but the only thing I can't see is how much grade is on the pipe. Even still with little to no grade on a 3" line between a toilet and it's vent, the velocity that close to the toilet is going to flush out any solid material, and all you're going to be left with is a little water.

Again, the closet flange looks to be your culprit.
You have taken my statement completely out of context. That entire post that I made that you took that excerpt from, dealt with clogging due to drain pipes and not with clogging caused by the toilet. I even said: ***** "We have had several toilet clogs because of objects in the toilet bowl's built-in trap but those were not related to the drain pipes." *****

So for you to say: *****"I would never even begin to make that assumption without knowing what kind of toilet he has first. Heck, if you put enough toilet paper in any toilet it will clog. :eek:" *****

is a classic example of taking a statement out of context. You even left off the balance of that sentence. The entire sentence was: ***** "So for your toilet to clog because of too much toilet paper sounds like your drain is not properly designed or there's something partially blocking it." ***** I don't mind any mis-statements I make being pointed out and in that case I will retract my statement and apologize .... but come on!

HRG
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You need to play detective- The first thing I'd do is have someone pour a 5 gal. bucket of water down the toilet as fast as it will take it. You should be watching the pipe when someone pours. This should tell you if your pipe leaks.
But I think your problem is at the flange though. When a flange is anchored properly, the tips of the screws can sometimes be seen poking through the plywood- not present in your case. Also as stated earlier, the sub floor is some distance from the flange- makes me wonder if its anchored. Does your toilet move at all?
The toilet does not move at all. I'll try the 5 gallon bucket test to see how much leaks. By this I assume you mean flush the toilet while pouring down the water correct?

Looks more like spray paint on that toilet vent to me, than waste water residue.

I'm with whoever said closet flange. That thing should be supported in the back where there is no subfloor. Any movement at all starts to create a small gap, and water turns a small gap into a medium gap, until it gets worse and worse. It doesn't look like you have tons of damage at this point, so it's not like gallons of water each time. I bet part of the problem could have even been the plunger you used to fix the clog. If the seal was already broken, the plunger can force more water out.

1 Pull toilet

2 cut waste line

3 repair subfloor

4 replace waste line and fittings with exactly what you cut out.

5 reset toilet

6 poop in peace.
Alan you are correct. I inspected some more today and the white stuff on the back is just spray paint.

I also agree that the majority of the problem is coming from the unsupported closet flange. I've been trying to search google for pictures of correctly installed flanges but I can only find pictures of the top flange, not the bottom. I assume there are no pictures because they are just covered by the subfloor? Which means the original installer poorly cut out the flange area, something that I would have refit to get a good fit to support the bottom closet flange. I also think you're correct about the plunger. I've used the plunger on more than one occasion. It's my go to for any clog.

I would never even begin to make that assumption without knowing what kind of toilet he has first. Heck, if you put enough toilet paper in any toilet it will clog. :eek:

The design of the drain looks fine to me, and exactly how we do it out here, but the only thing I can't see is how much grade is on the pipe. Even still with little to no grade on a 3" line between a toilet and it's vent, the velocity that close to the toilet is going to flush out any solid material, and all you're going to be left with is a little water.

Again, the closet flange looks to be your culprit.
My toilet is pretty weak. I am not surprised that it clogs as much as it does. My family member who uses that bathroom is very wasteful of toilet paper, I mean.... very wasteful.

Anyways, I snapped some more pictures.. It has become a disaster.. Found a new leak/water damage and... feces.

Rat sh*t.. :furious:


Tried my hardest to get some better pictures, but the area is so cramped it's hard to move around.




Here's that pipe on the right, didn't see any water leak damage in that area. What the hell is this yellow stuff and why is it falling down like this?


Think this sweep tee is leaking a little bit? Can't tell. White stuff on vent pipe and back is just spray paint.


New area found.. More water damage. Will need help with this too guys!


I think that's the shower?

Going to see if home insurance can cover any of this. I doubt it though since it seems more like homeowner neglect instead of burst pipe damage.

Keep the input and advice comin! It's much appreciated. Really need to evaluate this.
 

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Hard to say about the vent fitting there. . . . . It is downstream, and any water running below could just be running down the pipe, and hitting the top of the hub and running around the backside.

That's not to say it isn't leaking, but the obvious leak is upstream from there, which would allow water to track to the other area that you see water damage.
 

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AngryKorean-- Don't remember if this has been addressed- Do you know how your floor is constructed? Does the WC flange sit flush or above the flooring or is it recessed? If its recessed to low then your bowl wax is bound to fail.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
AngryKorean-- Don't remember if this has been addressed- Do you know how your floor is constructed? Does the WC flange sit flush or above the flooring or is it recessed? If its recessed to low then your bowl wax is bound to fail.
It has not been addressed. I'm afraid I also do not know how it's constructed. My guess is recessed. :(
 

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I hate to say it, but guessing doesn't really do us much good. . . Is there any chance to pull the toilet and look at the flange? Who knows it might even be one of those P.O.S. with metal ring that has rusted out . . . .
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I hate to say it, but guessing doesn't really do us much good. . . Is there any chance to pull the toilet and look at the flange? Who knows it might even be one of those P.O.S. with metal ring that has rusted out . . . .
Sure, I could try to take off the toilet to snap some pics. I've never done it before. Do I just shut off the valve, flush the water, drain the rest of the water and then unbolt the screws holding the toilet down? Is there any more than that?
 
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