Toilet re-installation questions

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-17-16, 10:46 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 259
Toilet re-installation questions

Hello,

The toilet in my basement (on a concrete floor) is leaking around the edges of the bowl. That toilet has been in the house since we bought it around 25 years ago.

I'm guessing that the wax ring is shot and am preparing for the possibility that the flange needs to be replaced as well.

Here are my questions:
1) Does the flange get adhered to the drainpipe? I watched a video on YouTube where a guy (Joseph K) used Regular Clear PVC Cement. It seems as though that bond would be permanent--not a good thing.
2) Are the new (what appear to be) foam rings really better than the conventional wax rings? They carry a 10 year warranty.
3) Is a thicker wax ring better than the "normal" thickness ring? At first, a thicker ring sounded like it was worth paying a little bit more for, but then I thought, maybe it's worse if it causes the bowl to ride too high.

Thanks in advance.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-17-16, 11:17 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 50,580
Likes Received: 108
If your installation is 25 years old you may not find PVC under your toilet. The only way to know is to lift the toilet and check it out.

I've always used wax seals and have never had a problem. A thicker wax ring is used if you have an excessive gap between the toilet and the flange. The ring is only wax and will flatten as needed. Even if a thicker ring is used where it really isn't required..... it will still flatten out.
 
  #3  
Old 02-17-16, 12:14 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 19,824
Likes Received: 71
Is your toilet loose? Does it wobble when you sit on it? If it's solidly in place then there is a good chance the flange is good but if it wiggles the mounting slots could be broken.

I tried the green foam rings and installed about a dozen in my rental properties. They don't work well in applications where there is not much room between the flange and toilet. They squish but not as much as a traditional wax ring. In cases where they do get considerably squished they loose their ability to spring back after a couple years and leak. So, considering their expense I no longer use them and instead rely on traditional wax rings.

When installing a toilet I usually go right for the thicker, jumbo rings that have a plastic funnel. I also keep a plain thin ring handy. If there is little or no squish with the jumbo ring I'll pull the toilet and stack a plain ring on top.
 
  #4  
Old 02-17-16, 02:51 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 259
Thanks @PJmax and @Pilot Dane

The toilet does not seem to wiggle--even though one of the bolts coming up from the flange has broken off.

If the drain is PVC, would you recommend using PVC cement between the base of the flange and the pipe?
If the drain is cast, is there any type of "goop" you would recommend?
 
  #5  
Old 02-17-16, 03:41 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 4,384
Likes Received: 14
No way is a 25 year old flange going to be or drains going to be PVC.
Post a picture of what you have with the toilet removed.
Feeling lucky, you may just have an old steel closet bolt instead of a modern brass brass bolt that can just be replaced.
 
  #6  
Old 02-18-16, 05:26 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 19,824
Likes Received: 71
As has already been said. You have to pull the toilet and see what you've got underneath.

No, there is no magic "goop" if the flange is broken. There are repair flanges but some quite flimsy and almost worthless. About the only one I like is cast iron and PVC but installing it in your situation will likely involve chipping out some concrete to install it.
 
  #7  
Old 02-18-16, 06:02 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 259
Thanks @joecaption and @Pilot Dane.

I'll pull the bowl this weekend, take some pictures, and add them to this thread.
@Pilot Dane, I wasn't thinking of "goop" as a fix, but more like a seal. With PVC to PVC I would have the option of using cement. With PVC to cast, I was wondering if something like plumbers' putty should be used.
 
  #8  
Old 02-18-16, 07:34 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,215
Likes Received: 33
I'm not following - a 'seal' for what? If you have damaged pipes or flange, they get replaced and the appropriate junctions are used, there is nothing to 'seal.'
 
  #9  
Old 02-19-16, 10:06 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 259
As promised, I removed the bowl and took a few pictures.

Here's what it looked like after I removed the toilet and lifted the plastic cone out of the drain (I assume it was from the wax ring):
Name:  Removed-Toilet.jpg
Views: 391
Size:  31.8 KB

Here's what the flange looks like after I cleaned it up a bit:
Name:  Toilet-flange-cleaned-up.jpg
Views: 344
Size:  22.8 KB

If anyone is curious, this is what the bottom of the bowl looks like:
Name:  Base-of-toilet.jpg
Views: 281
Size:  25.6 KB


Surprisingly, both the flange and the drain appear to be PVC.
The flange does not appear to have any cracks, although it is slightly wavy.

The flange is fastened to the floor using one bolt. I made a half-hearted attempt to remove the bolt, but decided to hold off since I might be able to re-use the flange. Also, I need to use a larger screwdriver than the one I had with me.

The only marking I could make out on the flange was "Permfit".
The flange has an outer diameter of about 7". The flange's opening to the drain is about 3" diameter.
The opening at the base of the toilet (its flange) is about 2.25" diameter with the diameter of the ring around the hole of around 3.25".

@stickshift, in my original post, I asked if I needed to use an adhesive to join the flange to the drainpipe. As mentioned, someone in a Youtube video did that. The adhesive was the seal that I'm wondering about.

Another question that has come up is "Should I replace the hardware and gaskets that secure the tank to the bowl?" I have plenty to do, so, if it is not important, I'd be glad to skip it. But, if it's a foolish corner to cut, then I'll replace them.

Thanks again for your help.
 
  #10  
Old 02-19-16, 10:23 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 50,580
Likes Received: 108
If the flange isn't cracked and is tight on the drain line then it shouldn't need to be replaced.
The plastic piece you found is what is left of the wax seal.

Sometimes just moving the toilet like you did will cause the tank bolts to leak. There is no immediate need to change them now unless they leak when you remount/refill the toilet.
 
  #11  
Old 02-22-16, 01:23 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 259
I'm concerned, because I had to shim the toilet quite a bit to make it level (something the original installer, apparently, did not think was necessary). I shimmed in 5 different places with those clear plastic wedges. In a couple of spots I have two of those shims stacked, which means, on one side, the toilet is raised around 3/8" - 1/2" above the linoleum. I planned to caulk around the base with clear silicon (leaving a water escape gap at the back). 3/8" might be too big a gap for the silicon to cross. Would it be acceptable to use backer rod prior to applying the silicon?

Also, it seems that, after a flush, the bowl fills to a water level that is much higher than before. Why would that be? Is that cause for concern?

And, I think I found out why there was only one bolt coming up from the flange. I was unable to remove the flange (I wanted to clean under it), so I'm guessing that the original installer was also unable to remove the flange to re-position it. Using two bolts (one on each side) up from the flange, the toilet is out of square relative to the wall behind it. I chose to use both bolts and live with it being a little out of square. BTW, the center of the flange is only about 11.25 inches from the baseboard, so it was a tight fit.

Thanks in advance.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes