View Full Version : Plumber rushed job - toilet leak but he says it's not his fault

10-16-2007, 02:29 PM
Aloha everyone - hopefully I can find some help here.

While I'm no pro in terms of plumbing, I do my way around a p-trap, street elbow and copper pipes. However, I just don't like to deal with toilet stuff so when it comes to working in that "area" I call a plumber.

My husband and I remodeled our bathroom and moved the toilet about 5" away and rotated from the old cast iron line. The plumber we hired (recommended by our G. Contractor neighbor) cut the cast iron and ran a PVC connection for a vent and sewer. He actually forgot about the vent, but I caught him on that and I don't think he was too happy about it.

Regardless. He set everything up and then we put in the tile, etc. He came back with the flange once we were ready and decided that it was at the right height (although it was about 1/4" off the tile), drilled holes into our tile and forced the toilet on. I was not home when this was done and my husband informs me that he did not use any rubber under the toilet nor did he use any shims. He was in and out in about 30 min. :mad:

Well, I check things out and find that

a: I can tilt the toilet every so slightly by bumping into it or sitting down pretty quick. So the thing needs to be taken off and shimed. (I have not caulked yet as I had my doubts on his work.)

b: After sitting on the toilet for a min or two I can hear a drip, drip, drip. I checked under the house and the drip is internal.

c: The T fitting is leaking externally, probably from him forcing the toilet on the flange that was too high.

So...I know the T-fitting needs to be fixed. If it was me, I'd cut it out and use couplings to connect everything. If he uses Fernco couplings, is that ok? What if he tries to just putty the joint and not replace it at all? Basically - what are some things that he may do here that tell me it's sloppy and not a good fix?

Also, my main concern is the interior dripping. The toilet is a Toto Carlyle that is about 5 years old. It's never had problems with interior leaking that we know of and the plumber says it's not his fault. But how can a toilet go from being fine to dripping water into the sewer line once you sit on it? Isn't that a problem with the leveling of the toilet? Or should I look for some other issue like a bad gasket? Cracked toilet? Cracked Unifit outlet connection, bad rubber seal on the outlet connection, Etc. I guess I figured if the outlet connection was bad that I'd see water on the floor and not hear an internal dripping into the PVC pipe.

I have rubber to cut and put under the toilet as well as shims to do this right. I'm making him come back and fix the t-fitting that is leaking and then my husband and I will work to set the toilet right with shims and rubber.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.


10-16-2007, 03:41 PM
If the bowl is not flat on the floor, and can be moved, then it needs to be shimmed.

We always shim the back, and force the front of the bowl down.
With the Unifit, that may mean loosening the bolts at the back, shimming, then tighten down the back bolts.

If the back bolts are tight, and the front of the bowl is not touching the floor, then when you sit on it, it will bend the unifit and allow the bowl to move.

We never put rubber under a bowl, never heard of that one before.
We do caulk the Carlyle bowl as the very last thing we do.

10-16-2007, 04:10 PM
Think of the toilet bowl as a full cup of water. If the toilet moves at all when you sit on it, it is very likely that you've tipped the bowl enough for it to overflow out the drain - you'll notice this if it is quitet after adding something to to bowl, too - it will drain some water/waste out until it equalizes again. If one of the fittings he installed leak, he should fix it.

10-16-2007, 06:27 PM
So do you guys think the internal dripping is not a problem born of poor installation? Rather it's just going to do that when we add anything to the bowl, correct? After we shim things up should I expect this to still continue?

Terry - the rubber sheet is cut to sit just under the toilet where it contacts the tile. This gives it some friction so it's not porcelain on porcelain. At least, that's what I've read and was told. The use of shims may cancel the need for the rubber strip, but it may help us out in the long run.

Many thanks for the replies!


10-16-2007, 07:18 PM
In normal operation, the water level in the bowl and the trapway will be right at the weir..the overflow rim. Literally adding a teaspoon of ...something....will cause about a teaspoon of water to drip out. If it is very quiet in the room, you can hear the drip.

I have not seen any rubber strips used as spacer for toilet. Plastic shims, yes, to accomodate an uneven floor.

10-16-2007, 07:56 PM
If one of the fittings is broken as a result of pressing the flange down to the finished floor because it was not set properly, then that is a defect that should be fixed. Setting the toilet so it moves is a problem, but not as much as with a normal toilet since it has the UniFIt adapter. The toilet when it rocks, is flexing the rubber connector, not messing with the wax seal (which would be a problem). If the toilet is shimmed so it doesn't rock, and nothing else leaks, it should be good.