Toilet bowl leak question

My toilet bowl leaks where the bottom rim connects to the floor. The bolts that connect the bowl to the floor were fairly loose. It took several turns to tighten them "snug" without cracking the bowl. I am waiting to see if this helps.
I read somewhere that if the leak persists, the gasket between the bowl and the drain pipe probably needs replacing.
Questions: If I don't see a leak, does it mean that the tightening of the bolts actually seals the connection between the bowl and the drain pipe? Or could there be a leak nonetheless, and the bowl rim-floor is so well sealed that no water seeps out?
Thanks.
Elena Sofia Ricci
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Elena Sofia Ricci wrote:

I would replace the wax bowl ring (the gasket). It is fairly easy to do, doesn't cost more than 2.00, and is the only way to be sure. I have never seen a leaking wax ring seal by just tightening the closet bolts.
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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Depending upon the drain pipe flange height which are sometimes lower than the floor, doubling up the wax ring is recommended. Installing first the wax gasket (ring) with the flange or horn as they call it on the drain flange, then the plain ring without the horn on top of that, thereby doubling it. I've done that on a few occasions and it helped guard against leakage.
Over the years I've noted plumbers who actually applied plumbers putty around the recessed area that's around the hole on the bottom of the toilet itself, followed by a wax ring on top of the drain flange.
Robert Allison wrote:

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I've always gone with the rule that whenever you move a toilet, you should replace the gasket. It isn't made of rubber, so it doesn't spring back; it gets squished when you put the toilet on top of it, and that makes the seal, but it cannot get re-squished and won't seal properly a second time.
The one time a paperhanger violated that rule (and I was too lazy to pull the toilet again to do it), I got a leak. Once you have the toilet up, changing the gasket is cheap and easy (but messy).
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Regards,

Jerry Schwartz
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Elena Sofia Ricci wrote:

bolts
several turns

see if

bowl and

of the

pipe? Or

sealed
As others have noted, there is (usually) a wax ring placed between the bottom of the toilet and the steel flange. The weight of the toilet squeezes the wax tight against both the flange and the toilet. The bolts stop the toilet from rocking. If the toilet rocks it will compress the wax which will not spring back, ergo it forms a leak.
So I would not count on tightening the bolts to stop the leak. It is quite possible that it is simply leaking between the flange and the floor and dripping below the subfloor. Depending on what is underneath, (crawl space, basement, another room etc) it may be years befor the problem becomes apparent. If you can see the subfloor from underneath you can check to see if it is leaking there.
There are newer rubber seals that glue to the bottom of the toilet with a short extension that fits inside of the waste chute. After the weight of the toilet has sat on it for a while I'm sure the rubber gasket will no longer spring back but the extension will still be inside of the waste chute so that unless the is poor flow there still should be no leak. Since it is a telescoping fit, there is better accomodation for variations in the space between the toilet and the flange.
Unless someone here has had a problem with these seals I suggest taking the toilet up and replacing the old wax seal with one of these. I don't remember the price, but it was less than $10.00-- far less than rebuilding a rotten floor.
--

FF


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