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Thread: New Toilet keeps leaking

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Talking Dreams's Avatar
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    Default New Toilet keeps leaking

    Husband is about to either kill himself or me. He is on his fourth wax seal. He is replacing our 25 year old american standard with a Kohler. For some reason, it keeps leaking around the seal. We had a tile floor put in our bath a few years ago and it seems to me that when the toilet was put back in place, the plumber used TWO WAX SEALS because of the increase in floor height. Hubby has been using one seal. Is it possible we are supposed to be using two? Any help and comments appreciated.

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    DIY Junior Member Talking Dreams's Avatar
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    BTW, the reason my own life is in imminent danger is that I have not been "encouraging enough". Any ideas on exactly what kind of cheer I am supposed to chant as I stand by watching this debacle?

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    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    When installed properly, the flange is supposed to set on top of the finish floor. All that is needed is a standard wax ring. If for whatever reason, the flange is below the top of the floor, then either a thick wax ring or perhaps two rings are necessary. When Terry sells a toilet, he includes two rings. One is a plain ring, the other is a ring with a plastic funnel. The one with the funnel is install on top of the plain ring with the horn or funnel fitting inside the plain ring.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Two critical things on installing a toilet: you need to ensure that the wax is actually compressed (i.e., you have enough of it to make a seal) when you press the toilet down, and second, the toilet does not rock in any manner after it is bolted to the flange. If it can move, the seal you did have will be broken. If it rocks, you must shim it while pressing it down into the wax, or you might as well start over. The wax won't rebound, and when it rocks one way, then rocks back, you'll end up with a gap. I've used the Fluidmaster waxless seal - it has a long thoat and can help compensate for a flange that is too low for a normal wax ring.
    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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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    So the plumber used two rings.

    And your husband, looking at picture on wax box, you know, the picture that shows the flange installed over the floor, not 1/2" below the second layer of backer and tile, decides the plumber was just stupid.
    If the box shows you can use one wax ring with a flange sticking up 1/4" above the flange, surely it will work with the flange 3/4" LOWER THAN THAT.

    Tell hubby to use two wax rings.

    Or he could maybe get by with the Waxless by Fluidmaster the Jim mentioned.

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    The cheer you should be using is "Give me a P, give me an L, give me a U, give me an M, give me a B, give me an E, give me an R. PLUMBER, yeah." Other than that we have absolutely no idea what he is doing or why it is leaking. However, I once had a neighbor with the same problem. After reinstalling it 4 times without stopping the leak, he called me. As soon as I removed the tank I told him, "This toilet is defective and you will probably NEVER stop it from leaking". Inside the tank opening the manufacturer had put the "defective do not sell" indicator, but they had sent it to Home Depot anyway. I turned the bowl upside down and the bottom had NEVER been sealed to the sides so the water leaked out as fast as it came in. This was not a "blue light special" or "third world cheapie" toilet, it was a Kohler. And Kohler says they "Never let defective toilets leave the factory". I also had another one for a different friend which had a pin hole leak in the bottom. If the wax ring was positioned in the "wrong place" it covered the hole and would not leak, but after I removed it and reset it, it leaked all the time. Once I suspected what the problem was, I removed the toilet and then asked her for a broom straw. I stuck the straw into what looked like a dimple and it went right through the toilet into the water passage. It was also a Kohler.
    Last edited by hj; 05-02-2010 at 07:57 AM.

  7. #7
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    I had a Kohler that leaked out the front of the bowl about 10" above the floor in front.

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    DIY Junior Member Talking Dreams's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your comments. I didn't get any emails notices that I had recd. a reply so I just now came back to see if perhaps there were replies but no notice.
    Right after I posted two weeks ago, hubby tried using two wax rings and UREKA! The toilet no longer leaked. BUT, we now have a smell in the bathroom. It started last week but the smell is not as strong now as it was at first. There is no sign of a leak either near the toilet or in the garage that is below the bathroom. It could be that something was wet from one of the numerous unsuccessful attempts to install the toilet or it could be that something is getting wet now, we don't know. Hubby says he is going to have to take the toilet up again and he asked me to try and find a wax seal that is ONLY the wax. I have no idea what he's talking about and I only see one kind of seal at the Depot.
    Hubby is not much of a handyman but he has been forced to deal with our toilets many times and he has never had a problem before! HJ, you are so right that I should have given him the Plumber cheer, and I DID suggest that when the smell appeared. But he has come this far with the darned thing so he doesn't want to give up now. HOWEVER, I will share the info I just read here, about how sometimes toilets are defective (It NEVER would have occurred to me that such a thing was possible) and that possibility may just push him over the "call a Plumber" edge. Thanks to everyone who commented!

  9. #9
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    When using two wax rings, you can use one plain ring on the flange, and one horned ring to top of that with the horn going into the top of the plain ring. Do not use a horned ring into the flange. Do not try to pull the toilet into the wax ring(s) with the flange bolts. Compress the toilet into the wax with body weight until the toilet makes full contact with the floor. The flange bolts are just to keep the toilet from shifting once it is in place. The nuts should be tight, but not torqued with a long handled wrench. They are not designed for that much pressure and will break.

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    DIY Junior Member Talking Dreams's Avatar
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    Default Thank you

    Thank you Gary! I will copy your post and show it to him ASAP. He's got a few more days and then I am going to HAVE to get a plumber!

  11. #11

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    Really? Our local HW store only sells the horned wax rings. I thought SOP proceedure was to use the horn down the flange. That's what the picture on the package shows.
    What is the reason not to use the horned ring?
    I'm curious, have had a leak, and I'm definitely not a plumber.

  12. #12
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Some wax with horn does not fit into a flange.
    There are cases where the plastic horn prevents the bowl from setting flat on the floor, and when you pull the bowl up you sometimes find that the plastic horn has cracked and broken.

    A lot depends on the height of the flange, as to whether you will you a single or a double wax ring, and as the whether a wax with horn can be used.
    All of the toilets at Washington Square in Bellevue have the wax with horn, and all have cracked and broken. Those were from the original installers.

  13. #13

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    Interesting. Thanks for the reply. I have recently finished a bathroom remodel and my new toilet is leaking into the bathroom below, after flushes. But it's not leaking at the toilet or on the floor. I replaced the wax ring(with horn) that came with the toilet (Kohler Cimmaron), but it continues to leak. I called my plumber, but he is busy with a mini heat wave we have here right now. Maybe I'll try to locate a plain wax ring. It's odd that water's not coming out the bottom of the toilet on the floor though, isn't is?

  14. #14
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If your flange is lower then the floor, it will take two wax rings.
    That may be why it's leaking. A single wax ring on a flange that is too low will leak everytime to the floor below.

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