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Thread: Corner toilet trouble and dilemma, leaking and maybe needing replacement

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member wingnutty's Avatar
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    Default Corner toilet trouble and dilemma, leaking and maybe needing replacement

    First off, I appreciate any advice that anyone can offer...I'm beating my head against the wall

    So I have a dual flush corner toilet in a house we moved into last year. We haven't been terribly pleased with it, flushes are not real strong and flushing is kinda a pain as we need to hold down the flush button for about 7 seconds to totally clear the bowl. Anyhooo, a few weeks ago I noticed the bowl was leaking, water coming out under the toilet. I pulled the toilet and replaced the wax ring and all seemed good. Flushed a half dozen times and it seemed fine. Came back a few hours later and flushed again and noticed water at the base again

    I pulled the toilet and inspected the underside and noticed a very faint crack in the bowl (see picture). I'm not sure the crack is actually leaking, it is very faint, maybe 1/4" long. The toilet only seems to leak when flushed. With the crack in this location, would it only leak when flushed? I would think it would leak all the time, not just when flushed? It doesn't appear the toilet is leaking constantly, only when flushed. Maybe this crack isn't even leaking and the wax ring is the issue and needs a taller ring? Is there a way to determine this?

    Ok, so if the crack is actually leaking and the toilet needs replaced I'm not sure I'd want to replace it with a corner toilet again. Given the layout of the flange, can I fit a normal toilet in there (flange is 12" from both walls)? I am assuming I'd need to rip the flange out and replace it with another since it is set at an angle to fit the corner toilet? I have a crawlspace underneath and can access the plumbing. Is there an easier way to fit a normal toilet without replacing the flange, can I just add another type of flange over the top?

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  2. #2
    Plumbing Contractor for 49 years johnjh2o1's Avatar
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    The leak may be coming from the tank to bowl gasket.

    John

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Plumbing code is 15" from center to side.
    If you mount a standard toilet there, it will fit, but be kind of snug for the shoulders.

    If you move the drain, just cut it out and start over.

    I can't tell from the picture what that is on the bowl. It may be a crack that has nothing to do with a water passage way.

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    DIY Senior Member wjcandee's Avatar
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    Also be sure to check the spec sheet on the toilet and make sure it will fit alongside that floor-mount water supply.

    It probably is not the wax ring, just because the wax ring tends to seal gas more than it does seal against water; the exit from your china is probably 2.125" or less, and the opening in the flange is 3"; unless you have a backup in your pipe, the water should just go down without splashing out under the toilet. However, if there is a backup, then maybe it's escaping...

    The are a few ways to tell if you have enough wax. Method 1: When you remount the toilet, do you feel yourself smushing it down on the wax for the last little bit to get the china to contact the floor? If so, you most likely have enough wax. Method 2 (more precise): Take that tape measure that you have on the floor and measure the depth of the recess around the spigot in your toilet (e.g. where the wax will go). Add the distance (if any) from the top of the spigot to the lip of the china that will touch the floor. It looks like that flange is flush with the floor. If not, add or subtract from the floor level. That's the thickness of the wax you need, plus a smidge for "smushing" to make sure you have a nice seal. If you have more, no problem, is just extrudes around. If you need extra wax, either get a #10 wax ring or just stack two regular wax rings. If you stack, only one ring should have a plastic spigot in it, and that one should go on top of the one without (to keep it from sliding around). You can use two rings without plastic in them, or one with and one without. Don't stack two with plastic in them.

    Let us know how you're making out.

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    DIY Junior Member wingnutty's Avatar
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    I attached another pic of the underside of the toilet to detail the location of the crack. You can't really see the crack as it is too faint, but you can see the location, right on the tip of that arrow. That crack is small and I can't imagine that it just cracked recently, I'm imagining that it is an older crack, but the leaking started just about 2 weeks ago.

    So tomorrow I'll reset the toilet and check the bowl gasket. I do not believe that this is where the leak is coming from, in fact, I'm almost positive it isn't, but I will check with the food coloring method. The toilet was caulked to the floor and the water was coming out under the caulk from underneath, which leads me to think it isn't the gasket. Also, I put a new gasket in when I set the wax ring and checked it pretty close for leaks and didn't see anything.

    So from the pic, can you tell if a crack here would cause leakage all all times or just during flushing? I am almost positive that the amount of water leaking increases during the flush, but am not 100% sure. I'm not really exactly sure what the anatomy of a toilet is, lol.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    It's hard to tell for sure, but I think that part of the toilet is dry until it is flushed...easy thing...take it outside, set it on a bucket or something, and pour water into the bowl and see what happens. My guess is that it leaks out that location. There are very few corner toilets, so if you want to meet code, you'd have to move the flange to gain the minimum shoulder room called for. This assumes the space is at least 30" wide, and if it isn't, may be why they chose a corner toilet in the first place.
    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 Junior Member wingnutty's Avatar
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    Wanted to post an update. I took the toilet out and put it on sawhorses in the garage to see if it was leaking from the little crack underneath. It did not leak from the crack and I don't think the crack really goes all the way through. So, hooked it all back up with a new wax ring. So far, so good. Been flushing it all day and not a drop of water yet.

    Hopefully this will be the end of it. Ultimately, we don't love the corner dual flush toilet, but it works ok and its better than throwing down another $300+ for another corner toilet, or having to move the flange and rip up tile (I don't have spare tile so it would likely require a bathroom flooring redo which is not something i want to take on right now with twins due in a month

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