water pooling in front of toilet


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Old 11-05-21, 07:29 PM
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water pooling in front of toilet

We bought a one-piece toilet (American Standard Cadet 3) back in 2017 to replace an old 2-piece toilet. I replaced the old with the new myself back in 2017. Yesterday I noticed a small pool of water to the left-front of the toilet. After soaking up the water, I also noticed pretty much the entire front curve of the toilet was moist/wet.
I checked the T-bolts and they seemed secure (and I didn't want to keep cranking on them and risk breaking the toilet).

What could account for water seeping out like this after 4 years? Is it possible the seal failed??? I've read in multiple places that wax seals last 20-30 years (and this isn't one of those fancy, reusable wax rings. It's your standard, $6 wax ring). Is it possible that despite the nuts feeling secure on the T-bolts that they need to be tightened more?

I remember how damn heavy that toilet was and I really don't want to struggle with it again, especially in a cramped room (it's 5' x 2.5'). I stay in shape, but at 59, I really don't want to be lifting a 100-something pound toilet lol

Any thoughts? There was no water anywhere else. I shut off the water supply yesterday afternoon and flushed the toilet to get most of the water out. There's still a little water in the toilet and a little in the tank, but I just checked the floor all around the toilet and it's bone dry right now.
 
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Old 11-12-21, 05:41 AM
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If you plunger the toilet hard and vigorously to get rid of a clog it is possible to break the wax seal.


You need to test fit the toilet without the wax ring to be sure there is no play or rocking otherwise the wax seal can be damaged or worse, the toilet could crack.

 
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Old 11-05-21, 07:43 PM
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If the toilet has "any" movement such as when a heavy person sits on it and moves around (shifting weight to one side) then yes, the wax seal has failed. They only stay sealed if nothing ever moves.
 
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Old 11-05-21, 07:59 PM
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Shhhhhhhh...... don't say that too loud or you'll have guests swimming there.

The wax seal would only leak during a flush.
Fill the tank back up and see if the leak comes back.
 
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Old 11-06-21, 04:53 AM
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With a one piece toilet there are only two ways for water to get out. It either overflows and spills over the top or the wax ring is leaking and the water leaks out where the toilet joins the drain line. Since it has started leaking, when you remove the toilet, you need to thoroughly examine the floor around the toilet. A failed wax ring is a sign that the floor may be flexing and needs replacing or stiffening.
 
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Old 11-06-21, 08:34 AM
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@XSleeper

I don't think weight is an issue in this case. It's just me and my wife. I weigh 152 and she weighs 113. And neither of us have commented that we feel it wobbling. But good suggestion.

@PJmax

If it's already leaking, won't I be risking introducing more water under the bowl?

@Pilot Dane

It definitely wasn't a case of the bowl overflowing. That pool of water was just in one spot in front. What would I be looking for when I examine the floor? The floor appears to be level. Am I looking for the area under the toilet to feel weak/spongy?

One piece units are nice, but not when it comes to pulling them. I'm now regretting it. I could easily deal with a two piece because I could take it apart if need be. Live and learn
 
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Old 11-06-21, 09:11 AM
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Supply line leak? What about where it connects to the toilet
 
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Old 11-06-21, 09:26 AM
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Did you install the loilet by yourself or did you have help?

It is not hard to screw up a wax ring when trying to install a one piece by yourself!!!!

If the loilet feels solid and does not rock then tightening the bolts will do nothing other than possible crack the toilet.
 
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Old 11-06-21, 09:32 AM
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@jeweler

No supply line leak. I checked both ends. Plus, there was no sign of water in the rear of the toilet where the supply line is. I only found water in the very front. The "x" in the pic is where the small pool of water was. I also felt moisture around the curve of the front of the bowl (the other red area below). Those are the ONLY areas where I felt water.



On a related note, I was amazed to find there is such a thing as a "toilet jack" lol

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Toilet-M...T100/205072201

 
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Old 11-06-21, 11:22 AM
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@manden

I did install it myself, and it was no fun. Only one person can fit in the small area where the toilet is. It's just odd it would not have any issues for four years, then start to leak.
 
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Old 11-06-21, 11:58 AM
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"toilet jack"
Even better if you can rent it instead of having to buy.
 
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Old 11-06-21, 01:52 PM
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H -

I had a similar problem and it was in fact the wax ring. All of a sudden it seemed out of the blue.

One thing though I learned at that time. I think it is plumbing code that you are supposed to have caulking all around the base of the toilet. I didn’t know that. I wouldn’t have known I had a leak if there was caulk around the base. But supposedly it is code and for sanitary purposes.

I read somewhere that many plumbers (I think many) caulk 95% around the base – but leave an open spot in the back so you will know if you have a leak. So I guess they are 95% compliant – lol.

Maybe the others here know more about that.


 
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Old 11-06-21, 02:17 PM
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@zoesdad

I was just reading about that. That seems to be the great debate. I had caulked all around it, except for the rear. My thinking was I'd see water back there if it leaked. But I just proved that theory wrong, as I had a leak, but it was in front. There was no water whatsoever in the rear.

I think when I caulk it this time, I'll leave a small gap on the sides, as well as the front in case it does leak again. Like you said, if you seal it all, you won't know you have a leak until it's WAY too late.

@2john02458

I will look into that and see if that's an option.
 
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Old 11-06-21, 02:43 PM
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@hikerguy-
I was just reading about that. That seems to be the great debate. I had caulked all around it, except for the rear. My thinking was I'd see water back there if it leaked. But I just proved that theory wrong, as I had a leak, but it was in front. There was no water whatsoever in the rear.
Murphy’s Law in action. Can’t win.

I do remember now reading about that debate. I think my leak was like yours, also about 4-5 years after I installed the toilet. When I removed the toilet I could see one part of the ring was kind of collapsed, I guess you could say. So I guess I did something wrong when I installed it - but what I don’t know.

(just thought of something, I wonder if some of the rings might be defected. Never heard of that however.)
 
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Old 11-12-21, 06:10 PM
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I had a plumbing company I've used before come over today. They determined the wax ring I had installed was not thick enough. I luckily had picked up a thicker wax ring at Home Depot the other day (the packaging said it was 40% thicker than a standard wax ring). They installed it and I flushed it several times with no water coming out from underneath.

After they left, I saw a very small amount of water under the supply line. The connection was tight to the toilet. It's a braided supply line. Any ideas why it would start leaking all of a sudden? I could feel water along the length of the hose. I'm going to take a closer look at it tomorrow, but I'm looking for ideas as to why it would start leaking like this. I unscrewed it a bit (with a towel and bucket beneath it) and it felt like it was screwed on straight. I'll shut off the water to the tank tomorrow, flush it to drain the tank, then pull the hose and see what I see.

@Allanj - Thanks for that info. I know I've had to use the plunger a few times. I didn't realize that could cause the wax to fail. The tank feels secure (as it did before).
 
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Old 11-12-21, 06:16 PM
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It could leak if it was overtightened, or old. Just replace the braided supply line.

So much discussion for a $5 wax ring.
 
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Old 11-12-21, 06:29 PM
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@XSleeper I guess you're right

So, on a related topic.... I was just reading about braided lines and one person was saying not to trust braided lines that use a plastic nut (that connects to the toilet). Is there any truth to that? Should I only use a braided line that uses a metal nut that connects to the toilet? Their comment was "They are a huge false sense of security, as the plastic is much weaker and can burst." I don't think there's that much pressure pushing through to rupture it, is there? Anyone have thoughts about this?
 
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Old 11-13-21, 12:38 AM
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I have never had a plastic nut fail on a supply line. Usually they leak at the connection point but it's because the washer has degraded with age or over tightening.
 
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Old 11-13-21, 05:52 AM
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Funny how the simplest of repairs can go on, and on, and on, and on.

The plastic nuts are intended to be hand tightened, metal nuts use tools.

Use tools on a plastic nut good chance you will over torque!
 
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Old 11-13-21, 07:26 AM
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Yes, I do tend to overthink things a bit. lol Thanks for all the info everyone! Off to the hardware store.
 
 

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