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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have you ever had a project that is just kicking your $ss. Backstory - 7 years ago tile floor put in and new toilet. Fast forward to today and wax ring is leaking.

Tried to replace with a new and improved design (rubber gasket and no wax). I couldn't get it to compress enough and toilet was about 1/2" off the floor. Then tried an extra thick reinforced wax ring and that is leaking.

The cast iron flange is probably 1/8 to 1/6" above the tile. Before the tile floor was put in, the riser was probably 1/4 to 3/8" above floor. Everything I have read is that it should be flush to floor so I should be good. The toilet doesnt rock on the floor.

Should I just go with the standard wax ring? Any thoughts?
 

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I've done many. Never had a leak.

The flange should be sitting on the finished floor. Sitting right on the tile, in your case. And it needs to be relatively level. Use plastic shims if needed and definitely secure it to the subfloor (not the tile). And the floor needs to be secure, not rotted or bouncy. You probably need shims between the flange and the tile if the flange won't go down when you secure the flange to the subfloor.

I often use 2 regular thickness wax rings stacked. The bottom one with the funnel plastic and the top one just a ring. I like to have with me 2 regular wax rings and one extra thick. With that I can find what will work. And I NEVER use the rubber ones. If it ain't broke....

But the way to see how much wax you need is to gently set the bowl on one ring and feel if it needs another. When you gently set the toilet down on the ring(s), does it stick up off the floor just a little? It should. If not, add more wax via a second ring or a thicker ring. You want the bowl to be off the floor a little so that when you push down it compresses the ring(s) and seals all the way around the ring(s). But just a little, not a bunch or you could crack and push out the extra wax. A very slight twist (tiny) when setting can help seat it, but not if there's shims - straight down. I sit on the bowl and kinda bounce myself to add weight. Then bolt it down.

All of this is after you dry fit the bowl to get it level, using clear toilet shims, pennies, dimes or nickels if needed. Which on tile, are nearly always needed.

By chance, is your flange secure to the floor or allowed to rock, or be pushed down? The plumbing is not designed to secure the toilet, which is often how someone leaves it. The flange bolted to the floor is what secures the bowl when it then gets bolted to the flange. The plumbing should just be coming along for the ride. But I cannot tell you how many "plumbers" leave the bowl to be secured by just the pipe.

Like I said, never a leak and I've done countless toilets. Additionally, if you caulk the bowl to the floor after, leave a small uncaulked portion in the very back so that if there ever is a leak you will see it when water leaks out the back.

I never use anything special. Just either 1 or 2 regular thickness rings or 1 extra thick. Mostly depends on how nice a job the bowl casting was and how high they left the flange. It is supposed to take one regular thickness ring if the flange is sitting on the finished floor. Many times it is sitting below the tile and on the slab or up off the tile partly & tilted. Btw, is the bowl outlet porcelain in good shape on your bowl? It should be nice and clean and not chipped or otherwise boogered up. Cheap toilets can be "wrong". I refuse to install crap. No pun intended.

My procedure: After everything is clean and not boogered, I bolt the bolts to a secured, level-ish flange. Then, after dryfitting, leveling (leaving the shims on the floor) and marking the outline of the bowl and shims on the floor, I set the ring on the flange. Then the bowl on the ring. If it's sitting up to my liking, I then weigh it down to seal the wax, bolt it down and then install the tank. Plumb it. Check for leaks. Then the seat and caulk with Dynaflex Ultra or 230 (water based). It takes me about 45 minutes to an hour to switch out a complete toilet. Longest on tile because of the leveling (maybe even 1.5 hours then). And when done, it's perfectly level, straight and leak free. I have, however, seen rough-ins that were so bad that I've had to epoxy-repair flanges / slabs.

Hope this helps. Let us know.

I should clarify that the "sitting up" when feeling for how much wax you need is that you are just trying to "feel" if the wax has made complete contact with the bowl outlet. The wax and the outlet are unlikely to meet perfectly so the little bit you need is so that when you push down on the bowl it will compress the wax and make up any gaps from imperfect mating. But not so much that the bowl is off the floor any real measurable amount. As I set the bowl down, still supporting the weight myself, I can feel if it's made contact enough. Just touching the wax won't do and sitting up off the floor where I know it's gonna squeeze out the wax won't do. I want contact and compression. Not a gap and not a squeeze out. Also, the wax needs to not be cold. In Vegas, that's never a concern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks MP and Firestopper. I have always used the extra thick and this is the first one that is giving me fits. My guess is that there is to much wax (from MP's explanation) and it is getting squeezed out. If I had to guess when pushed down with the extra thick one it is getting squished 1/2" to 3/4". I will do the dry fit.

I typically take the tank off, easier to maneuver and fit on wax ring. Do I need to replace (again) the tank to bowl gasket and rubber washers that hold the tank on? Or can they be re-used.

The flange is solid to the floor and no movement and also no rot......yet.
 

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If the toilet isn't used as in years old, I'd expect the rubber tank to bowl ring to be reusable. The bolt down rubber washers also, if they weren't distorted from over-tightening before. Same with those flex supply lines. As long as they aren't really old or distorted from over-tightening.

And check the wax ring mating area of the bowl. Does it have any imperfections like built up porcelain boogers? The flange and pipe itself also in good shape?

I guess you "could" measure the distance from the bowl wax mating area to the bowl floor mating area to see how thick a wax ring you need (but only if you're not shimming). I never do though. When I go to set the bowl down on the wax ring and shims I can feel if it makes contact with the wax before the shims / floor. And I want just enough. Too much and I need less wax. Too little and I need more. But if the flange is on top of the finished floor, I start with one regular. If it's below, then it's trial and error. I also don't use the bolts to pull the bowl down. My weight does that. The bolts just secure it after it's firmly on the floor all the way down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Toilet is 7 years old with a lot of destruction from Taco Bell. Rubber bowel ring is new and so is the rubber washers. Parts supply said to replace them each time. I have been working on this project for 2 weeks and don't want to re-do it again.

I didn't see any imperfections, and cleaned all the old wax off. I will double check the flange. Looked good as I removed almost 100% of old wax, still had a little residue but not built up.

I will measure the distance and use your tricks one more time, then it is time to call the plumber. I want to be done. Thanks again for the tips.
 

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Toilet is 7 years old with a lot of destruction from Taco Bell. Rubber bowel ring is new and so is the rubber washers. Parts supply said to replace them each time. I have been working on this project for 2 weeks and don't want to re-do it again.

I didn't see any imperfections, and cleaned all the old wax off. I will double check the flange. Looked good as I removed almost 100% of old wax, still had a little residue but not built up.

I will measure the distance and use your tricks one more time, then it is time to call the plumber. I want to be done. Thanks again for the tips.
"Taco Bell" - lol. You should be able to see if the rubber ring is deformed at all. If it's new, prolly not.

You can wet the rubber ring before install. Helps it seat. And you know to only tighten the tank to bowl bolts until it makes porcelain to porcelain contact? If even. You can always tighten more, but you can't un-crack, un-break. lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You can wet the rubber ring before install. Helps it seat. And you know to only tighten the tank to bowl bolts until it makes porcelain to porcelain contact? If even. You can always tighten more, but you can't un-crack, un-break. lol
Yeah, I am very careful of that. I am usually the one that tightens until it breaks and then I back off a 1/4 turn. Didnt know about wetting the rubber ring. Thanks for that tip.
 

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Yeah, I am very careful of that. I am usually the one that tightens until it breaks and then I back off a 1/4 turn. Didnt know about wetting the rubber ring. Thanks for that tip.
I got lots of tips. Trying to remember to tell them is the trick - lol. Ya know when ya just do something you just do it.

Ideally, when you go to set the bowl down on the wax, go straight down. If you have to shift it after it makes contact you could destroy the wax ring, breaking it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have never had this much problem before. I should have know it would go to $hit. Pulled the toilet and 8 tiles were loose. Couldnt match grout, so removed all the grout. Glued them down. One didnt stick......

I have been setting it while looking right at the ring and mating up, so no shifting.

It is always harder telling someone how to do something than just doing it yourself. Thanks again MP!
 

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I have never had this much problem before. I should have know it would go to $hit. Pulled the toilet and 8 tiles were loose. Couldnt match grout, so removed all the grout. Glued them down. One didnt stick......

I have been setting it while looking right at the ring and mating up, so no shifting.

It is always harder telling someone how to do something than just doing it yourself. Thanks again MP!
In the future, you can always paint the grout. I've done it many times. If the grout is solid, you clean it and paint all of it. They sell grout dye just for that purpose. And yep, it works in the shower too. You can even fill tiny holes in the grout first with a good caulk then paint. It's tedious, but easier than removing grout. But it must be clean. No mold.
 

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I have never had this much problem before. I should have know it would go to $hit. Pulled the toilet and 8 tiles were loose. Couldnt match grout, so removed all the grout. Glued them down. One didnt stick......

I have been setting it while looking right at the ring and mating up, so no shifting.

It is always harder telling someone how to do something than just doing it yourself. Thanks again MP!
I had a really bad one once. The rough-in was so far off. Most folks don't know that toilets come in 3 rough-in distances from the wall. 10, 12 and 14 inch. I had a replacement that was none of those. So the builder trade had built up a liquid nail dam all around the flange because the toilet outlet and pipe did not line up. The toilet rocked and leaked. Also, the slab was all crumbled to sh!t. The flange was not secure. So, I fixed it with $20 at the time epoxy. That gave me a solid floor and a secured to the floor flange. Then, to make up for the distance from the wall being too short to set the tank, I opted to dig out the drywall right behind the tank. Interior wall. You couldn't tell unless you pulled the lid off. The other option was going with a 10 inch offset which meant returning the toilet and ordering a 10 inch. 12 is often all they stock. That also may have looked funny being so far from the wall.

The only thing you can count on is that you can't count on anything ;-)
 

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Absolutely Amazing what can be learned here on Diesel Place.(y)(y)

Everyone have a Tremendous Thursday.

L8R:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well..... Initial problem was the wax ring. So then when I replaced that and it was "still leaking" I assumed that it still was the wax ring. (I know never assume anything). Upon further inspection, it only leaked when flushed and it was a small trickle down the backside of the bowl from the tank/bowel gasket. It followed the bowl down to the floor, thus why I was thinking it was the wax ring. I took a piece of toilet paper and ran it all over the toilet, then repeated with flushed. That is how I figured out it was the gasket.

When I replaced the wax ring I also replaced the tank to bowl gasket (recommendation) and Menards said this "universal" gasket will work. However the packaging didn't mention my toilet model, so I called the mfg of the gasket. Yep that works no problem. Well they are wrong. I originally got the toilet from Menards and all they have are the "universal gaskets". I also ordered another one from amazon but it not exactly the same as the original. So it is still sitting on my work bench.

I have an email into the mfg of the toilet on how I can get an original gasket. I haven't heard back from them yet.

Funny thing is that it seems like it has stopped leaking....for now. Not going to mess with it until I get back from Vaca. I will turn the water off to that toilet when I leave town. When I return, I might torq down the bolts on the tank a little more with the old method of tighten until it breaks and then back off a quarter. :ROFLMAO:
 

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Well..... Initial problem was the wax ring. So then when I replaced that and it was "still leaking" I assumed that it still was the wax ring. (I know never assume anything). Upon further inspection, it only leaked when flushed and it was a small trickle down the backside of the bowl from the tank/bowel gasket. It followed the bowl down to the floor, thus why I was thinking it was the wax ring. I took a piece of toilet paper and ran it all over the toilet, then repeated with flushed. That is how I figured out it was the gasket.

When I replaced the wax ring I also replaced the tank to bowl gasket (recommendation) and Menards said this "universal" gasket will work. However the packaging didn't mention my toilet model, so I called the mfg of the gasket. Yep that works no problem. Well they are wrong. I originally got the toilet from Menards and all they have are the "universal gaskets". I also ordered another one from amazon but it not exactly the same as the original. So it is still sitting on my work bench.

I have an email into the mfg of the toilet on how I can get an original gasket. I haven't heard back from them yet.

Funny thing is that it seems like it has stopped leaking....for now. Not going to mess with it until I get back from Vaca. I will turn the water off to that toilet when I leave town. When I return, I might torq down the bolts on the tank a little more with the old method of tighten until it breaks and then back off a quarter. :ROFLMAO:

I have to tell a story about my leaking water fiasco, and my stupidity.
Complete finished basement. Long water stain appeared on ceiling approx. 10- 12 feet from wall ,running north and south. Nothing in ceiling to remove and attempt to figure out where it was coming from. Cut a small acces hole where the now dripping was . Found a piece of romex wire running north and south, above that was a CVPC water line running east and west, again no way to get head in there to see anything, using a mirror and flashlight tracked the water line west to the exterior wall. Cut another access hole, found the water line going up to the master bath " Water Closet " Water slow dripping onto water line, following water line back to east then dripping on to romex wire, then dropping on to sheet rock exactly on to a seam in the sheet rock.

The water was leaking from the supply hose to the toilet, between the shut off valve and bottom of the tank. So now I have two air vents into the basement ceiling.

Lesson learned Always start with the simple , and the less expensive stuff first. KISS keep it simple stupid.

Everyone have a great day, and a chuckle on me.:rolleyes:(y)
L8R
 

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Well..... Initial problem was the wax ring. So then when I replaced that and it was "still leaking" I assumed that it still was the wax ring. (I know never assume anything). Upon further inspection, it only leaked when flushed and it was a small trickle down the backside of the bowl from the tank/bowel gasket. It followed the bowl down to the floor, thus why I was thinking it was the wax ring. I took a piece of toilet paper and ran it all over the toilet, then repeated with flushed. That is how I figured out it was the gasket.

When I replaced the wax ring I also replaced the tank to bowl gasket (recommendation) and Menards said this "universal" gasket will work. However the packaging didn't mention my toilet model, so I called the mfg of the gasket. Yep that works no problem. Well they are wrong. I originally got the toilet from Menards and all they have are the "universal gaskets". I also ordered another one from amazon but it not exactly the same as the original. So it is still sitting on my work bench.

I have an email into the mfg of the toilet on how I can get an original gasket. I haven't heard back from them yet.

Funny thing is that it seems like it has stopped leaking....for now. Not going to mess with it until I get back from Vaca. I will turn the water off to that toilet when I leave town. When I return, I might torq down the bolts on the tank a little more with the old method of tighten until it breaks and then back off a quarter. :ROFLMAO:
If it is the tank to bowl gasket be sure and flush & sponge all the water out of the tank or it'll keep leaking until the tank is empty. Can you use the original gasket that came with it? Unless it got deformed it should be fine.

A quick trick for my DP bros, when you need to empty the bowl like when changing toilets, pour about 3 gallons down the bowl from a bucket real fast. I do this every time and drip hardly any when toting them to the curb. As for the tank, a sponge for what's left after you've turned off the water and flushed, holding the lever down.
 
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