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Thread: Leaky Toilet....Solution Needed

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member swiederin's Avatar
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    Default Leaky Toilet....Solution Needed

    I have a leaking toilet and/or soil pipe that leaks after a period of time. Every 6 months or so, I have been putting on a new wax ring and things seem better. Most of the time, we notice this when the waste line backs up and requires plunging. We first notice the leaking as dripping in the basement. Never get too much fluid under the toilet. Take a look at the images. The soil pipe is lead going to cast iron elbow. I think the bulk of the problem resides with the toilet flange/lead pipe relationship. How can I improve this? Any thoughts on what I can or should do is appreciated.

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  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Couple of possible problems. First, you may be blowing the wax seal when you plunge, but the real concern is why do you have this frequent problem? Plunging is not going to do much good on a clogged drain line. That requires professional to auger the line clear to the street/septic. So my focus would be on the toilet. It may be you have an poor quality toilet. Early low flow toilets had serious clogging issues due to trying to use old designs with less water. Another reason for clogged toilets can be a foreign object that is wedged in the toilet trap and catches paper. Many things can cause this problem, but commonly found things are GI Joe type toys, toothbrushes, makeup cases, and the list goes on. Sometimes you can use a toilet auger to clear the trap, sometimes you have to go from the underside. What I'm suggesting then is that it is likely your toilet is clogging, and when you plunge, the pressure of the plunging blows the seal. Another possible problem would be that the toilet does not set on the flange as it should. Any movement of the toilet will break the wax seal. Wax is not like rubber, it will not return to the original shape. But, the latter would not account for the backup. Hope this gives you so ideas on where to start.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If the flange and toilet are installed properly, it shouldn't leak until the backup gets up to the top of the bowl...

    If the toilet can move at all, it will break the wax seal. So, the next time you install it, use shims to make sure it doesn't rock at all.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    Couple of possible problems. First, you may be blowing the wax seal when you plunge, but the real concern is why do you have this frequent problem? Plunging is not going to do much good on a clogged drain line. That requires professional to auger the line clear to the street/septic. So my focus would be on the toilet. It may be you have an poor quality toilet. Early low flow toilets had serious clogging issues due to trying to use old designs with less water. Another reason for clogged toilets can be a foreign object that is wedged in the toilet trap and catches paper. Many things can cause this problem, but commonly found things are GI Joe type toys, toothbrushes, makeup cases, and the list goes on. Sometimes you can use a toilet auger to clear the trap, sometimes you have to go from the underside. What I'm suggesting then is that it is likely your toilet is clogging, and when you plunge, the pressure of the plunging blows the seal. Another possible problem would be that the toilet does not set on the flange as it should. Any movement of the toilet will break the wax seal. Wax is not like rubber, it will not return to the original shape. But, the latter would not account for the backup. Hope this gives you so ideas on where to start.
    If the drain line is clogged then plunging can blow the wax out. If the toilet is clogged then plunging will not blow the wax out.

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Hackney is correct, I got a bit carried away.

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