Removing toilet - adhesive sealant


A few weeks ago, we used DAP Dynaflex 230 latex sealant while retiling the bathroom, and used a thick bead of it as caulk between the toilet and floor to prevent the possibility of leaks. Now we're trying to pull up the toilet again to replace one of the tiles, but the toilet won't detach from the floor! We're afraid to pull much harder on the toilet because we don't want to crack the porcelain. Help?
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

You'll have to squeeze a sharp knife blade between toilet and floor and work all the way around. Try different blades to see what works best. Maybe a utility knife to start with. A hacksaw blade (in a holder or a gloved hand) may work too.
P.S. Caulk won't prevent leaks; any leakage will soak into the floor. But caulk in a few spots will keep the toilet steady, which is good.
Jim
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Speedy Jim wrote:

I've been told that alcohol or mineral spirits may help soften it up. Might that damage the finish of the tiles around the toilet base? If I use such chemicals to clean off the residue after removing the toilet from the floor, might they damage the porcelain? If the porcelain gets a hairline crack from all this work, can it be sealed or do I have to buy a new toilet?
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Speedy Jim wrote:

Doesn't help much now but caulk shouldn't be used. If the bolts are tight in the floor, the toilet won't move around and if the floor is so uneven that the toilet tilts, the floor should have been leveled before it was tiled or the tiles applied level. And if that wasn't done, shims should be cut of appropriate material before tightening the bolts of the toilet.
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On 28 Dec 2006 12:55:52 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I used a razor/utility knife. Penetrate the caulk at some point and slice around the base. Once the toilet is off you can pull any remaining caulk by hand.
I always caulk around toilets and always around the entire base. In a thread awhile back someone mentioned to leave a small space un-caulked, at the back of the base. It makes sense to me as this open space could give an early indication of a leak.
-- Oren
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens constantly."
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Oren wrote:

That about covers it. One theory holds that using caulk around the toilet makes it easier to clean, as dirt can't get in where the toilet meets the floor. The other theory is that with caulk, if there is a leak, you won't know it right away and there could be substantial rot damage by the time you do. The suggestion of leaving a caulk gap is a combination of the two approaches, which may be a good idea.
One thing is for sure. Caulk isn't going to prevent a leak. And alcohol, mineral spirits or similar solvents aren't going to harm the toilet or any reasonable tile. But I'm not sure how useful they would be in removing the caulk either. Best approach I think is to scrape it off.
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On 28 Dec 2006 16:17:15 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I most often try a roll-the-sleeves approach. My friend found a product to strip caulk. I just always took it out and replaced what needed it.. We/Her have used it around tubs, where we needed to remove old caulk. I have not seen it damage vinyl, tile, tubs or sinks. Works on silicon (slower) and latex.
I forget the name, but look for grout stripper/remover gel type stuff at the orange store. Paint it on, leave as directed (go to lunch) and then clean away...forget the name though..
-- Oren
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens constantly."
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In my years of pulling out and putting in toilets, I've found very few leaks that end up running out from under the bowl until they are so bad the damage has already been done. Most times the leak is slight enough, and there is enough space between the flooring / subflooring and the flange that any leak runs down the outside of the drain pipe and not out on the floor. You are likely to 'smell' the leak before you will see it, which is a good reason not to caulk.
Caulk at this point is generally used to seal the space so it is easier to clean. Ask anyone with a couple boys in the house how important this is!
wrote:

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And a place for much of the leak to leak out and evaporate. The uncaulked space needn't be so small.
I would use a knife to cut this caulk, and maybe a box cutter rather than a "utility knife" like WIZ, because the box cutter is thin and can get pararallel to the floor and that might enable it to get further into the crack. But a utility knife might be fine too.
To remove vinyl or latex elastic caulk between my bathtub and the floor, I used a heat gun. That's a little different, becasue I wasn't going to separate the bathtub from the floor and the goal was to remove the caulk for recaulking. The first time I tried it, I got it so hot it smoked some and set off the smoke alarm.
But the second time I made it just hot and flexible enough to pull out the caulk in a strip. Well, several short strips, and I needed a screwdriver to get started each time. Another difference is that my tub is painted steel, but the toilet is porcelain. So this might help but I think the knife will go ok.
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wrote:

I've never used a heat gun to remove caulk. I'm certain it can save some time under the right conditions. The builder grade homes here often allow the buyer to pick flooring after plumbing fixtures are in place. Many times vinyl flooring is installed in powder rooms, etc.. Caulk is placed around the toilet base where the vinyl was trimmed.
My guess is it would be easy to damage the flooring with to much heat.
It is also easy to slip with a knife and damage the vinyl....
-- Oren
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens constantly."
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On 28 Dec 2006 12:55:52 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

IMHO:
I've heard prescoring it with a utility knife should help when removing caulked items. One tv show said there was a product that 'softens' caulk too.
later,
tom @ www.MeetANewFriend.com
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wrote:

Removing latex caulk from a toilet base is not like fighting monsters, cut it deep and wide once and be done. Pull it out., Yes a product is out there to soften caulk (it works and ideal for a house wife) and works well around tubs, sinks, pets and humans.
-- Oren
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens constantly."
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ha ha ha, fighting monsters. cute.
tom @ www.NoCostAds.com
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Tom The Great wrote:

I've heard "thinking about baseball" works.
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On Fri, 29 Dec 2006 02:40:01 GMT, "Bob (but not THAT Bob)"

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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I have a tool that works in situations like this - imagine this item without the handle (it fell off from serious whacking):
http://www.acehardware.com/sm-ace-bent-burn-off-scraper-5-pack-60387--pi-1272908.html
Basically any burn-off scraper with a long sharp-ended blade you can tap gently with a hammer will work.
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On Fri, 29 Dec 2006 02:50:17 GMT, "Bob (but not THAT Bob)"

Did you fall off a turnip truck? Cut the damn latex caulk like I do; reach in my back pocket for my everyday tool. No need for a hammer to get a toilet out for repair. You might be amazed:
http://www.homedepot.com/prel80/HDUS/EN_US/jsearch/product.jsp?pn0020658
-- Oren
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens constantly."
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Oren wrote:

>http://www.acehardware.com/sm-ace-bent-burn-off-scraper-5-pack-60387--pi-1272908.html
Not that easily amazed, but thanks for playing.
We're doing the same thing - the tool I'm talking about has a sharp blade too, but lacks the thick body of the utility knife that can't get into tight places - the OP never said the caulk was visible/accessible enough to cut easily with a knife. Plus, once it breaks through the seal, this tool allows you to gently pry the toilet loose without wrecking tile or china, presuming you're careful.
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On Fri, 29 Dec 2006 06:04:18 GMT, "Bob (but not THAT Bob)"

I can appreciate what you are saying and you like that approach. I cannot bare to purchase a scraper for $47.00, when I have my knife in my pocket. It has not failed me yet, except replacing a worn out blade.
-- Oren
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens constantly."
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remove the 2 nuts. check for repair; repair/replace the floor flange after you pull up the toilet, and new wax or waxless seal. see: www.fluidmaster.com we use plumber's putty instead beneath edges, it stays soft.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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