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
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?
Elena Sofia Ricci
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.
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:
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).
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 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.
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