Mysterious Toilet Leak


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Old 05-02-21, 09:03 AM
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Mysterious Toilet Leak

It's really hard to search for solutions for a leak at a toilet, so I thought I'd try here for ideas and help ...thanks!

I find water at the base of a toilet and:
(1) It allows a small amount of water on the floor only every few days (not after each flush)
(2) The floor is concrete with black ABS pipe
(3) The metal flange was completely rusted
(4) I secured a new stainless steel flange on top of the old rusted on into the concrete with Tapcons, the toilet is super steady now
(5) I replaced the wax ring
(6) There is no leak from the supply line
(7) I put a garbage bag on the floor and water appears on the floor UNDER the bag proving, it cannot be coming from the holding tank or other places.

I am at a loss. I can replace the wax ring another time, but I doubt it's the problem. Could securing a new Stainless steel flange ring into the concrete with Tapcons still allow flushing water to get through somehow? Could there be a crack in the toilet? I'm just looking for ideas on what to check next. Thank you!
 
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Old 05-02-21, 09:58 AM
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Anytime you find water at the base of the toilet, it will be a bad wax ring, possibly due to the toilet rocking. In rare cases, the toilet is cracked. But its almost a certainty that you need to replace the wax ring.
 
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Old 05-02-21, 10:46 AM
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Agree completely with X. Is your flange even, above or below the floor surface? If below you may need to double up on the wax ring. Also is the flange level with respect to the floor be it above or below the floor surface? You might want o use the wax rings with the rubber boot attached.
When installing the toilet slightly twist the toilet on the wax ring. Then sit on it. Tighten down the nuts evenly and snugly but not too tight to crack the toilet. Wait about several hours or even a day and sit on it again if you're over weight, that might help ) and then very gently tighten the bolt again if needed.
 
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Old 05-02-21, 11:47 AM
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What type wax ring did you use?

It sounds like your previous toilet flange rusted out so you attached a stainless ring. That can provide a leak path as there is nothing sealing the new ring to the old flange.
 
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Old 05-02-21, 11:59 AM
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Provide some pics of the existing flange. PD is correct. If existing flange is too badly rusted adding and adapter will do no good. Removing the old flange and inserting a plastic flange may be what you need to do. Perhaps something like this.


 
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Old 05-02-21, 01:37 PM
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Thanks for your replies!!

Some of you recommended replacing the wax ring. But I DID do that (#5 above). I did replace the ring after adding the stainless steel flange on top of the rusted flange. The new wax ring I used is the kind with the rubber boot integrated into it.

Norm, I think the rusted flange was flush wit the concrete floor. I had a photo of it but it's been deleted after I felt confident that the rusted flange was the problem and was fixed.

Pilot Dane: You said that adding a ring on top of the old rusted one may provide a path of water leaking. But what will stop it is the information I need. Should I get a 2nd wax ring and squeeze it in between the old rusted flange and the new stainless one?

I may just replace the toilet and take the $130 loss thinking it's possible to have a crack. It's just odd that it will not leak when I'm there flushing it over and over, but 4-5 days later, there's water on the floor.
 
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Old 05-02-21, 01:40 PM
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Also, I cannot get to the toilet for a few days as I'm installing a new kitchen for the next 2 days. So I cannot get a photo. If I get a photo, I'd have to get more wax rings too, because it needs to go back on.

Norm: I can't make out that photo and how it's implemented. is it upsidedown (in the photo) when it is installed? Thank you.
 
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Old 05-02-21, 01:40 PM
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If you don't set the toilet correctly the first time (such as if you try to reposition it on the way down, or if you set it down, then pick it up again), you ruin the wax seal and need to start over with a new wax seal. Its also possible the height of the existing flange and the wax seal you picked are not a good match... meaning you might need a thicker wax seal.
 
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Old 05-02-21, 01:46 PM
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Thanks xsleeper, I've installed 30-40 toilets, so I'm familiar with the forces at work and the theory behind it, so I didn't accidently ruin the ring seal as I was doing this one. Perhaps do it again? I also got the thickest ring with the rubber boot, to cover myself.
 
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Old 05-02-21, 02:08 PM
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The only other possibility is a clog or slow running drain causing the flushed water to back up (under your flange) but you would notice that because the toilet wouldn't flush right or might siphon down occasionally.

When you remove the toilet next time, pour a 5 gallon bucket of water down the drain... It should be able to handle it as fast as you can pour it.
 
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Old 05-02-21, 02:21 PM
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I was hoping to have a few ideas to check into before puling the toilet again. So I'm thinking if I pour 5 gallons down the toilet, it should also handle it, right? But it may cause a different leak associated with so much water at once, so I'm not sure that is fool proof or will prove it.

I guess a cracked toilet is possible.

No matter how many times I flush, it does not leak on demand. I'll just have to instruct the couple to watch every flush to see if water appears when flushing or if it just appears in between flushes.

Can anyone confirm if this is a good idea: get a 2nd thin wax ring and smash it between the rusted flange and the new stainless steel flange that's tapconed into the concrete? This should seal any path water may take. I doubt this is the problem since I currently have a ring with the rubber boot, which bypasses that section in question.
 
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Old 05-02-21, 04:49 PM
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Tony, that picture I loaded up is upside down, or better to say the long tubular end fits into the drain pipe and the flange becomes your new toilet fitting.
I still think that if the old flange was so corroded and rusty you may need to replace it. That is when the replacement flange will come into play.
 
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Old 05-05-21, 11:27 AM
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Update: Today I forced 5 gallons of water down as a stress test and it never leaked a drop.

* The couple using it will track to see if the sporadic leak is from a flush or it it just appears between flushes.
* I may replace the toilet just to eliminate it.
* I may remove the rusted metal flange, but with it being in concrete seem impossible to get it out.
* I'll also try to find the insert pictured above and see how it would work in my situation.

Any other ideas would be helpful, I'll update later.
-Tony
 
 

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