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Thread: old toliet.. new DIY'er

  1. #1

    Unhappy old toliet.. new DIY'er

    Hi all,

    A couple weeks ago I went downstairs and stepped in a wet spot in the carpet. I looked up and there was a crack in the ceiling and water was dripping down no good.

    Went upstairs and turned the water off to the toilet and after about 25 minutes the dripping stopped. So I pulled the toilet up and sure enough the wax ring was just about completely gone. Also noticed one of the bolts was missing. After pulling the toilet up, I saw that the bolt had broken off.

    So I go to replace bolts and ring, but the bolts are molded to the drain pipe. There wasn't a flange there. Is this normal for old houses? ( house was built before 1900 supposedly )

    So I bout a piece that the guy at ACE recommended, drilled holes for it, put in the new bolts, put down the wax ring, and put toilet back down. Tightened the screws down until what I thought was tight enough without breaking the toilet. Over the next few days I noticed water coming from between the toilet and floor.. I tightened the bolts to tight and broke the toilet. And the dripping started again. So with all that said here is my current situation..
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    Do you think that the water getting into the floor is because the drain and floor don't line up right?
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    I'm thinking maybe when I was tightening the bolt I was actually pulling everything up as well?!

    Sorry for the length of this everyone, any thoughts or suggestions are extremely appreciated.

    If it is an allignment issue, do you think that fluidmaster Wax Free Gasket would do the trick?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    What you have is a pipe made of sheet lead and after all these years
    they tend to weaken.There is NO easy fix.A really good plumber might
    be able to solder a new brass flange to the lead,the next best thing
    some pipe replacement.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member gardner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fletch View Post
    Went upstairs and turned the water off to the toilet and after about 25 minutes the dripping stopped.
    If the leak had been coming from the flange, then it should have appeared only after flushing. Water passes from the toilet to the soil pipe only when flushing. You say the leak went away after turning off the supply. My bet is you had a leak from the tank or supply tube.

    Anyway, you need a new toilet now.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like the old plumbing has earned retirement. My advice is to have a plumber get rid of the old lead and install a modern flange. Then get a Toto toilet and you'll be good for the rest of your life. Sure, you can fiddle around and try to make the old stuff work, and maybe it will for awhile, be eventually you'll be right back where you are now. Almost certainly the sewer line is cast iron and that is not a good place for a novice to begin learning about plumbing.

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A couple of critical things...the toilet must be rock solid and cannot rock or the wax seal will be compromised, and now, after things have leaked (maybe for awhile), you really need to investigate the floor structure to make sure it is not rotten. Depending on how things are put together, you might be able to change the pipes yourself, but that depends on your skill level. Safest adn probably fastest path is to pay a pro to do it. He will need access from underneath, and since the ceiling got wet, you might as well remove some so you can see what you have. Then, you can decide whether you can do it, and the plumber will need to see things to give you a reliable estimate for repair.

    If the thing has been leaking slowly for awhile, you could have a much bigger problem...water and wood over time can create huge amounts of destruction in structures.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    1. A drain leak would not stop when the water was shut off to the tank, unless you also had water leaking out of the tank.
    2. Normally, if water was leaking from the tank, it would not be enough to leak from anything but the most serious type of drain failure, and definitely not from a bad wax seal.
    3. The piece you installed is not sealed to the pipe, so it could create a leak, rather than cure one.
    4. You had to have REALLY overtightened the toilet to have cracked it on a wood floor.
    5. At this point a plumber might seem to be the least expensive option, and might have been much cheaper originally.

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