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Thread: leaking through floor

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member audie's Avatar
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    Default leaking through floor

    Hello, first I would like to say THANK YOU for all of the helpful posts on this forum. After scouring the internet for two days I am compelled to post my problem in hopes of finding a solution...

    Our toilet overflowed twice since we moved in. A snake and plunger were no help, so last friday I installed a new toilet. Just short of a week later I've discovered water leaking down through the floor into the basement. The beams and supports surrounding the toilet were completely soaked. The water was initially leaking down around the soil pipe, and from in between the floor boards, and at the hole where the water supply pipe goes up into the wall. We determined that a faulty wax-ring (the toilet rocked quite a bit when we first installed it) was to blame. Also discovered the water supply connection was not screwed on tight enough. After a second wax ring, double-check of all fittings, a roll of plumbers tape, and a dye test, I have determined it is no longer water coming from the toilet. The drips are infrequent, and clear. I should mention we also had the sewer completely replaced last month, after which there were no leaks with the old toilet. I suspect if anything is STILL leaking, it would have to be the water supply pipe itself? We did have to replace the control valve to the water supply line upstairs, is it possible we could have damaged the pipe behind the wall in the process?

    This post is to ask, how long can I expect the floor to continue dripping? I would assume after a week of leaking, plus the two overflows from the previous toilet, the subfloor is pretty saturated. I read somewhere online that it can even drip for a few days if there is a lot of water under the tile. Again the dye did not color the drops coming through the boards. No water upstairs on the floor, flushing fine, no leaks, continuing to drip down below. I have a fan and heating lamps downstairs (it has been pretty cold this summer in CA) to help dry out the area. If it continues to leak, at what point should I call a plumber? Can I determine if it is the supply pipe or the flange/iron pipe itself to blame?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you used teflon tape on the compression valve, you created leaks...you cannot use teflon tape on a compression fitting. After a week, if it is still wet, it is still leaking.

    The toilet MUST be stable sitting on the floor even before you tighten the flange bolts. This often requires some shims. If it rocks at all, it needs to be shimmed and reset with a new wax ring.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member audie's Avatar
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    Can I just remove the tape from the compression valve? Or do I now have to replace the pipes?

    The toilet was totally stable after the second try with a new wax ring. We were able to get it on without it rocking, and the bolts were tightened after. Pretty sure its no longer the toilet leaking...

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Yes, you can reuse the compression valve after you remove the tape. If you put a drop of oil on the threads or s small squirt of silicon, it makes it easier to tighten it up. Some of them have poorly cut threads, and they tend to bind - a little lube helps.
    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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