Leaking from in front of toilet


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Old 01-12-08, 06:36 PM
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Leaking from in front of toilet

I have a leaking toilet. I've never worked on a toilet before. Most of my plumbing knowledge comes from fixing faucets, so bear with me.

It seems to be leaking from the base in front of the toilet. The odd thing is not all the time. I've put red food dye into the toilet bowl and waited but no red water will appear in front of the toilet. This even after a few hours. I've looked for leaks from fittings or the supply line, but none there either.

The toilet doesn't rock. It looks flush on the floor. I've read where the cause of this is that the ring needs replaced. I've also read to where one uses two rings?

Toilet brand:
Crane Plumbing
16 GPF on side of bowl
inside tank it says 17 DEC 2004

May be unrelated but worth mentioning. The bolts holding the toilet down to the floor are rusted badly. They have these lose fitting caps over them.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Last edited by mobile_man; 01-12-08 at 06:41 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-12-08, 11:15 PM
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re: Leaking from in front of toilet

Sounds like the wax ring is bad (but I'm no plumber!) It's very easy (in my experience) to pull up a toilet and replace the wax ring. I'm sure you can find some site with play by play pictures to walk you through it. When I moved in to my home the vinyl was slightly discolored in front of the toilet but the toilet didn't rock and there was never any actual water visable but it did turn out that it was leaking from the drain. I replaced the wax ring and the problem was solved tho now 8 years later I do have some dry rot from the floor having been wet for an extended period of time. Good luck.
 
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Old 01-13-08, 04:18 AM
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Even though a toilet "seems" to be solid and doesn't move, it does!! When moving around, your weight is distributed to various spots on the fixture. Additionally, the subfloor will bend as you move around "doin' your thang", this can and will create seal problems.

To replace the seal, cut off you water supply to the fixture. Flush the water remaining in the tank and, using a large sponge, remove the remaining water in the tank and bowl.
Disconnect the water line attached to the tank. On either side of the bowl at the base are bolts that hold the fixture in place. Remove the nuts and washers from these bolts.
The toilet is now held in place only by the wax collar. Using a slight side to side pulling motion, lift the fixture straight up and set it aside for the moment.
Remove the existing wax ring and thoroughly clean the opening. With help, tilt the toilet to one side and clean the base.
Your new wax ring simply sits down on the hole of the plumbing and you carefully set the fixture back into place giving good down pressure to set the wax ring. Install you nuts, hook up your waterline and check for leaks.
Good luck,
CD
 
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Old 01-13-08, 02:17 PM
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Thanks guys. I'll be attempting this next weekend and will let you know how it goes.
 
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Old 01-20-08, 02:07 PM
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"Thanks guys. I'll be attempting this next weekend and will let you know how it goes." Thanks to CD's directions and a book from the library I tackled it. FYI, just to make it easier to work with I disassembled the tank as well.

First, there was a little bit of water in front of the toilet this afternoon. It is a slight amount compared to the original leak.

The installation went like this. I installed the new ring on the existing toiletyesterday afternoon. Actually, I had to do this twice. The first time I set the toilet down, it rocked from side to side. I pulled it back up and started over. I used plumber's putty along the base of the bowl. Put it back down and tightened the nuts. After seeing the leak, I tightened the one nut a little bit more.

The floor is tile on top of a concrete slab. I want to say the flange is metal. I used the same original screws in the flange with new brass nuts on the bowl.

Questions I have:
1) I'm trying to figure out why it's still leaking? After spending the better part of a Saturday on this, I'm frustrated.
2) Does it matter that the toilet is not level? I measure at the bowl and it is slightly unlevel.
3) What could be the cause of a leak from tank into bowl? I put red food dye into the tank. Come back 15 minutes later and I see that the bowl water is red. I didn't know if it'd be better to start a new thread. I'm guessing a worn flapper. One thing I did notice is that the diaphragm ballcock, when the tank is filling up, leaks briefly from the top where the screws hold it together.

Any advice is appreciated.
 
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Old 01-25-08, 08:04 AM
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Update:

The leak in front of the toilet has definitely come back.
 
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Old 01-25-08, 08:27 AM
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Okay - you've got a leak "somewhere"... It could be at the toilet flange/pipe connection, could be the wax ring - could be at the tank/toilet gasket - could be in the ceramic itself. You've got to find out what's causing it (easier said than done). The fact that you find liquid at the front of the toilet means nothing more than the floor slopes that way - making the liquid head that direction.

Keep in mind - when not actually flushing - the wax ring portion of the assembly is "dry" (not immersed in liquid). That might help narrow your search. Clean up the liquid - don't flush for a few days - and determine if you're getting more leakage - in which case you've got a drip in the toilet itself (toilet/tank possibly). Tape some toilet paper around the toilet underneath the tank joint - see if it gets wet - indicating the problem is in the tank/toilet gasket or the tank. If that tissue paper stays dry - I would figure the leak is somewhere in the ceramic bowl (possible crack). It's detective work - but not that difficult to do with a bit of common sense.
 
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Old 01-26-08, 11:13 AM
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Leaks can be very frustrating. Lets try to eliminate all possibilities.

1-Check the supply valve and supply line. Flush the toilet and see if there are any leaks "While Water Is Filling in The Tank".

2-Check that the float assembly is secured to the supply line area at the base of the tank.

3-Get a screwdriver and cresent wrench and verify that the two screws on the inside of the tank are tight and the washers are not bad.

If all these areas are dry then the culprit is the wax seal. From your last posting, it sounds like you tried to set the same wax seal more than once (you said "Actually, I had to do this twice. The first time I set the toilet down, it rocked from side to side. I pulled it back up and started over"). You can not do this, you have to start over with a new wax ring. As the floor is tile over concrete, your flange probably sits a little lower that the level of the tile. Try getting a thicker wax ring (or 2 thinner ones). When you set the toilet down into the ring, you should feel the toilet hit the wax before it hits the tile. You then use some body weight to seat the toilet into the wax ring. Don't play with it beyond this point other than to tighten the bolts. If you "wiggle" excessively, you will have to start over again.

Make sure that you set the wax ring in the correct configuration, if your wax ring has a rubber ring inbedded in it, then the rubber ring should face toward the drain, not toward the toilet.

Also, do not overtighten the bolts or you risk breaking the toilet.

I once had a toilet that I was asked to repair that leaked mysteriously in the back. Turned out it was a hairline fracture in the gooseneck portion. It only leaked during a flush, so to find it required getting upside down behind it while flushing.

If all this still fails to correct your leak, then check to see that the toilet flange is properly seated to the drain line and there are not any cracks/gaps in the pipes.
 
 

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