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Thread: Toilet base leaking or evaporation????

  1. #1
    DIY Member hhcibtpaun's Avatar
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    Default Toilet base leaking or evaporation????

    Hey everyone,

    I have an odd problem. We have an upstairs bathroom that we do not use too much (almost never). One day I noticed the kitchen ceiling was wet, which is right below the bathroom. So, I thought that maybe the toilet leaked when we flushed it and just seeped through the ceiling. We stopped using the bathroom for the time. I figured it was a wax seal.

    It took me a few weeks to get around to replacing the seal, but we did not use the toilet. I noticed by the time I got around to fixing the seal, the water in the base of the toilet was all gone. I figured this reinforced my wax ring theory.

    I replaced the wax ring with an oversized one with some strengthening piece in it. However, the toilet still seems to leak or something. It seems that after a week or so, the water level in the base will drop by a 1/2" or so. I don't see any water anywhere...Initially I thought it was just evaporation, but none of my other toilets do it.

    Could it be that I just screwed up with the wax seal, or could the toilet base be faulty?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    TIA...Mike

  2. #2
    Journeyman/Inspector Inspektor Ludwig's Avatar
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    The water in the base of the toilet is all gone? The toilet has a trap that holds water so the only time you'd see water spilling past the wax ring would be when you flush or if your had a leak from the tank into the bowl. If you didn't use your toilet for long time, it probably wouldn't be the wax ring. The fact that you've lost ALL the water in the bowl only after a few weeks suggests to me that there may be a crack in the bottom of bowl somewhere. I'd remove it put it on blocks and fill the bowl with water. Put some food coloring in the bowl and a piece of cardboard underneath, let it sit and see what happens. Or say screw it and buy a new one! Good luck!

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    It sounds like you used a wax ring with the plastic funnel. These are troublemakers and should never be used. I don't think it's part of you problem, but when you put the toilet down next time, just use a plain wax ring. Unless the flange is recessed into the floor instead of resting on top of the finished floor, a standard thickness ring is all that you want to use.

  4. #4
    DIY Member hhcibtpaun's Avatar
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    Thanks for the quick responses. I will try the cardboard trick just to see what happens....When I put the toilet back I will use the standard issue wax ring....

    Thanks again...Mike

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    I'll second the notion that the bowl is defective. Only way to resolve that is replace the bowl, and if it is old, replace the whole toilet with a low flow one. There should not be any water going anywhere unless you flush the toilet, or it is leaking where that leak isn't such that it goes down the drain.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    My money is on the bowl being cracked/porous/otherwise defective and losing liquid from the trap.

    The reinforced wax seal shouldn't be a problem unless it is actually buckled/misaligned or something like that. I've used them and they have been okay although they are not my first choice. My bet is that most DIY'ers end up with them since that is what most of the Big Box stores have in bulk. You have to hunt for the standard rings with no funnel. And then the Big Box folks sometimes set the ones without cones all on their sides (rather than flat) so that they are all ovals rather than circles. (That's a problem you don't have with the reinforcing cones.)

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