ceramic tile under a leaking toilet needs to be replaced

my upstairs toilet started to leak (water was leaking out of lights on ground floor), so i pulled it up and it looks like i need to re-install some octagonal tile; put on a new wax ring an then re-seat the toilet. the toilet had been rocking side to side, but i'm not sure exactly where the water was coming out of, but it looks like it just needs a reinstall.
but...
when the toilet was installed whomever installed it cracked up some old tile to fill in the voids around the octagonal tile and the round flange. it looks like he just adhered those pieces in a bed of tile adhesive or grout ontop of some substrate.. the top of the flange is about 1/4 inch higher than the floor.
rather than try to piece together what was there, i thought i'd relay the tile and then fill in the void with something like Bondo (fiberglass resin autobody filler). the stuff hardens quickly and can be made level with just a putty knife. i'd say there are areas of up to 1" between the edge of the tile and the flange.
good idea or is there something else i should consider? thanks in advance
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If it won't be visible it should not hurt anything. Why not just use fix-all, dries fast, cheap and hard. I would shim the toilet when you reinstall it should not rock, that's why it's leaking the rocking broke the wax ring seal. What I like to do is when I caulk it to the tile or any flooring I leave about a one inch spot in the back without caulk. Leaves a path for water to get out if you should get a leak. Easy to notice then.
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On Sat, 31 Dec 2005 04:56:29 GMT, "Sacramento Dave"

I agree.

Are you saying that sometimes leaks will be easy to notice, or all the time? Seems like sometimes it would leak below the floor without ever making it to the back, but I have no experience on this.
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">

What I'm trying say is instead of the water sitting under the water closet ( toilet) trapped by a ring of caulking, increasing damage to the flooring and sub floor. The cap in the caulking will let the water out you will be able to se the water on the floor and know there is a problem. Most the time the damage is done by the time you realize there's a leak. If it's my house I don't even caulk the WC for about a week when I first flush it I slide a piece of paper under the mooting and see if it picks up any moisture.
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On Sat, 31 Dec 2005 16:24:18 GMT, "Sacramento Dave"

Good idea. Thanks.
I've only done this once, and we broke up so I don't know if there were any leaks or not. :)
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Don't know about the Bondo, though it sounds ok to me. Can you figure out why it was leaking? Flange is secure? Waste line has no leaks? If you do dry run, putting toilet on flange w/o wax ring, does outer ring of toilet sit squarely on floor tile? If all seems ok, I would go ahead. My bro, who is a pro, told me to use a double wax ring ie, 2 of them, just to be safe, make real good seal. Snug your bolts nicely- not too tight! And clean flange and bottom of toilet and outer ring of toilet very well- final clean with rubbing alcohol- floor tile where it will sit also- so wax ring and caulk will get good adhesion- you'll go round it with caulk after you set it in place.
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half the reason the toilet may have been rocking in the first place might have been the wax ring with the built in plastic funnel didn't fit there. use a shop vac to suck the toilet trap and tank dry. make sure you play with the toilet sitting on top of the flange after your floor repair is dry to see if the toilet rests not rocks on the level floor. use a carpenter's level to see if your toilet base is even, it may have an original flaw. don't seat the wax ring until you put plumber's putty around the outside edge of the base of your toilet. the putty will allow you to change the wax seal next time without pulling up the floor. see also fluidmaster see also fernco makes a heckuva new toilet rubber gasketed replacement flange see your home depot.
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http://www.fluidmaster.com /
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http://www.fernco.com/FTS.asp makes new 3 and 4 inch non-wax toilet seals we recently installed one - nice!
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You definitely want to replace any damaged wood, don't just try to patch it up. I personally would never use a wax ring again, they make new products that won't leak should the toilet rock side to side again. Check out plumb-bob.com and look at their ultraseal product. It's by far the best I've ever used. Also, someone mentioned sealing all around the bottom of the toilet. That is a big no-no. Leave the back unsealed so if it ever leaks you know right away. If you catch a water leak soon there won't be much water damage but unseen water will gradually cause major damage. Also, when you repair the toilet closet flange, it should be at the same level or slightly lower than the floor level. Using the ultraseal, lower is fine. And a properly installed toilet should never rock back and forth...never. If the job is done right you should not have to use plastic shims. Good luck.
J
hoops wrote:

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okay...
i pulled the toilet and removed all the loose tile/grout. the subfloor is ok, but (and i don't think this is unusual) the area around the pipe (which attaches to the flange) has a void all around it. thus if/when water seeps around the seal (as i guess it did yesterday), it goes straight downstairs.
anyway, while the toilet was off, i started to relay the tile. it had been drying for several hours and all was well until...
someone used the toilet in the adjacent bathroom and it clogged and when it was being plunged, the water level in the open toilet flange started to rise and it poured onto the floor. i wet-vacced the water and the pipe (several times and thru several flushes of the other toilet) and out came all sort of crap and several wipes (i know you shouldn't use them, but we do). the wetvac got everything out (confirmed when i snaked the pipe) and the system seems ok now.
i'm guessing that there is a "T" (the 2 toilets are on the horizontal line and share a downspout and there was a clog in the downspout. this gave the water nowhere to go and when it backed up into the (open) toilet, the seal couldn't hold it back.
make sense?
if so, with the pipes all clear, i'm waiting for everything to dry and then i can continue the tile & grout job; fill the voids with bondo; replace the toilet. thanks for all recs and help. i am going to use one of the waxless rings.

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i spoke too soon.
my son took a shower in the other bathroom and the water level in the open toilet rose and we didn't notice it for 5 minutes, so the water leaked and flooded the kitchen. major damage to ceiling. now i'm stumped. i figured the pipe was clear. any ideas/help???

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If you have a snake, use it. Otherwise, it might be time to call a plumber.
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i used a snake and the pipe was clean.
it was suggested to me tonight that the second leak occured because when we ran the shower, the toilet (in the other bathroom) wasn't installed and the water came up out of that pipe and flange. my pal suggested that the pressure of the water in that toilet acts as a stopper. make sense?
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called a sewer drain guy. pipes leading out of house clear. i snake the inside pipe, but it was clear. he took out a large CO2 canister and blew the pipes out from the open pipe (where my toilet was) and we heard this huge bang and everything drained. it looks like it was the pipe leading down and eventually out of the house. $75 and it waas cured.
now all i need do is finish patching up the tile; reinstall the toilet and of course re do all the ceiling insulation and sheetrock in my kitchen. thanks for all your help
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Hoops,
I am against using the bondo as I would fix the wood right and then probably put in a new closet flange, but at least you're going to use the waxless seal, that will help. Good luck
J
hoops wrote:

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On Sun, 01 Jan 2006 18:40:39 -0500, Joey

Whats a waxless seal? Must be something new...
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snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

www.plumb-bob.com
Ultraseal, comes in 3 and 4 inch sizes.
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Joey wrote:

This seal appears to have a compression seal at the top to the toilet flange. So the O-ring has to grip the walls of the pipe pretty hard. This could be hard to do in old pipe which is cast iron. HD has another seal that sticks to the toilet flange and so doesn't depend on gripping the pipe.
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you have a blockage in the sewer line preventing the other devices from freely draining.
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