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Thread: Water under flooring

  1. #1
    DIY Member ChuckS's Avatar
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    Default Water under flooring

    I remodeled my bathroom a few months back and I put that no glue flooring down. I was walking in the bathroom the other night and noticed a squishy sound at the door. I peeled the edge back from the two sided tape and noticed it is very wet under my flooring. I then puled up the flooring in the hallway outside the bathroom and noticed water under it too.

    I believe it's the toilet doing this however I don't know how to prove it. I say this because I've always had trouble getting wax seals to work in this bathroom and remember last time I removed all the linoleum flooring from around the toilet to stop it from leaking. This was one of the reasons I remodeled the bathroom, the flooring was missing for about 1' all around the toilet and it looked pretty bad.

    I planned to pull it out tomorrow and take a gander but I don't know what I'm looking for or how to fix problems in this area.

    Any thoughts? Should I trace around the toilet before I pull it and remove all the flooring from underneath?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If the flange is lower than sitting on top of the finished floor by much, or if it is not anchored well and can move, or if the toilet rocks at all, then it will cause the wax seal to fail. The flange must be anchored, and the seal intact to keep things operational.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Member ChuckS's Avatar
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    I don't know what a flange is... Is that the rubber part that comes out of the bottom of the wax seal?

    Moreover, the toilet was anchored with two studs that came directly out of the concrete. The studs were rusty and I kicked one while hanging the sheet rock and it broke off level with the concrete. I went to home depot and the guy sold me a little plastic ring which I drilled holes in the concrete and screwed it to the concrete and the studs now come up out of it.

    Is that the flange? If so I bought a replacement tonight. One made of thick metal instead of that flimsy plastic one. The toilet doesn't shake or move but that thing seemed a flemsy and I believe it was lifting as I was tightening the toilet studs. I also got frustrated and gave up after drilling 3 holes so didn't anchor it with all the holes it had. I didn't have a hammer drill and trying to drill that concrete, well, I got frustrated.

    Do I need to fork out for a hammer drill and mount my new metal ring with all the holes???

    Edit to add... I see now, mines don't have the part that goes down the drain pipe. It is just the part on top that screws to the concrete. The one there now is a think plastic flimsy one but I bought a thick metal one tonight. Should I take it back and get one of these that go down the drain pipe a bit?

    Sorry, I guess I can't like to home depot.

    http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/3...4b5bab768c.jpg
    Last edited by ChuckS; 10-30-2009 at 10:35 PM.

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    DIY Member ChuckS's Avatar
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    This is all I have. The pipe is in the concrete than I have a thin plastic ring like this on top. I bought a metal one called a super ring. Looks like I should take this back and get a flange...



  5. #5
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    The flat metal ring is fine for holding the bolts.

    Unless the pipe, or flange is "above" your finished floor, you will need more then one wax ring.

    95% of our installs require "two" wax rings.
    That's why you are having consistent problems with "one" wax ring.

  6. #6
    DIY Member ChuckS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    The flat metal ring is fine for holding the bolts.

    Unless the pipe, or flange is "above" your finished floor, you will need more then one wax ring.

    95% of our installs require "two" wax rings.
    That's why you are having consistent problems with "one" wax ring.
    Thanks Terry, I will install this metal ring but will drill the other holes, then double the wax rings and see how that works.

    By the way, what is the best way to double them? Do I put both under the toilet then set it on the hole or do I put one under the toilet and one on the drain then put the two together?
    Last edited by ChuckS; 10-31-2009 at 10:46 AM.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    A plumber will never put a wax ring on a bowl.

    They set the wax ring on the flange.
    If it's two wax rings, you stack them.

    Then drop the bowl over the wax.

    If you need to shim, do it from the back with door shims.


  8. #8
    DIY Member ChuckS's Avatar
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    The guy at the box store swore this thing was my permanent solution



    This fits my drain just right but the holes don't line up with the ones I drilled for the ring. Is this worth the effort of drilling new holes or should I stick with the original plan and take this thing back?

    By the way, now that I have the toilet up I think I see my problem, the wax seal wasn't strait over the drain. Maybe I'll try it your way and put the ring on the drain then put the toilet on it. I always put the seal on the toilet then set the combo on the drain. Either way, it's sure hard to hit that hole strait when you can't see underneath the toilet.

  9. #9
    DIY Member ChuckS's Avatar
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    I stuck with the first metal ring I bought and doubled the wax seal. I sure hope this solves the problem.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    WHen you set the toilet down, you should be able to feel the wax compress...in other words, it takes a little bit of pressure to get the toilet to set on the floor. Don't rely on the bolts to do the compression, push it down, then tighten the bolts.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    DIY Member ChuckS's Avatar
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    Gosh darn it, I just noticed I still have water under the flooring.

    This really sucks to try and fix. I think I will cut the flooring from under the toilet and see if that helps. That's what I had to do with the previous flooring.

  12. #12
    Journeyman/Inspector Inspektor Ludwig's Avatar
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    This may be a little messy, if your not sure it's the toilet and you're going to pull up the floor anyway, you could try and put a little food coloring in the bowl and flush a few times to see if you spot any color. It's effective but as I said a little messy, don't use too much but it should tell you if it's the toilet. If you're going to replace the wax ring (if that's the problem) and your going to stack them, I've had luck with the bottom ring of just wax and the 2nd ring a wax ring with a "horn" in it. Set the toilet on the rings and be sure to sit on it before you screw the bolts down. Hope this helps, just an idea.

  13. #13
    DIY Member ChuckS's Avatar
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    You made me think so I stuck white towels under the flooring so they would adsorb some of the water. My wife put those blue things in the tanks but I don't see a blue hue on the towels. Maybe the water isn't coming from the toilet???

    I hate to say it because I worked to hard but I think I may have to pull the entire floor out and use the bathroom like that until I see where the moisture is coming from. That means undoing a lot of my work since I put the floor in and installed everything else on top.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Your picture doesn't show whether you have a stand-up shower or a tub/shower. Either could be leaking if not installed properly. It could also be a water supply line leaking in the wall.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Journeyman/Inspector Inspektor Ludwig's Avatar
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    During your remodel did you remember to put nailplates on the studs to protect your supply line in the wall? It's something I write up on a daily basis. The irony here is that my new house had a leak on the ice maker line. I could hear that drip one floor up and two rooms over!I call it the "plumbers ear". I told everyone in the house to be quiet and I followed that sound down two flights of stairs and over to the kitchen. I turned off the water supply to the house and drained the system, I heard that tell tale sucking sound. Cut open the wall and sure enough, a screw right in the middle of the pipe and no nailplate. Go figure. I had the plumbing co. come out and fix it on warranty. Didn't tell them I was a plumber but I sure gave them an earful! Even the pros miss a nailplate or two.

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