3 points of contact

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by lauras2011, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. lauras2011

    lauras2011 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Needham, MA
    I recently purchased a Toto Drake toilet and had it installed. The instructions say there should be "3 points of contact" between the tank and the back of the bowl (2 in front, 1 in back). But the rubber flange that goes over the large hole between tank and bowl is too thick ... so I can't get even one of the points of contact to really touch. I tried gently twisting the tank, rocking it, pushing down ... not sure what else to try. I don't want to crack anything by forcing it. There's a 1/8" gap for the two front points and about 3/8" for the one rear point ... That said, the toilet is all hooked up and working with no leaks ... but the tank does rock back/forth a bit. Is that ok or should I do something about it?

    Thanks,
    Laura S
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I have NEVER had a tank which "rocked a bit" crack, but have had plenty which were in contact with the bowl break.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,003
    Location:
    New England
    If you carefully tighten the bolts evenly, a little bit on each side (say 1/2-turn of the wrench), you can get it closer. The gasket is designed to squish - as long as you don't try to tighten one side all the way before you start the other, you won't crack things. Little bit, side to side and you'll be fine. I like to slide a piece of paper or thin cardboard between the tank and bowl and stop when it starts to get tight, but I can still pull it out without tearing. A pro knows when to stop...the paper trick helps those of us that don't do it every day.
  4. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    So a professional did the installation?

    That sounds like a rather wide gap, more like what American Standard buyers often report. When I installed my three EcoDrake I's, I didn't have as much trouble getting the 3 points of contact. I do recall that one of the tanks was a little tougher to snug than the others so I originally didn't take it all the way to contact. It rocked a little as a result, so I tightened it a bit more until it just made 3 point contact. No more rocking after that.
  5. lauras2011

    lauras2011 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Needham, MA
    It was installed by the guys who put in my new bathroom floor (not plumbers), so I wasn't too sure whether they knew a lot about toilets and Toto toilets in particular. They left a gap ... so I took off the tank and tried to do a better job myself ... but I couldn't get rid of the gap either. Based on the first person who replied (hj), I'm inclined to leave it alone ... I don't like the feeling of porcelain touching porcelain. I don't mind a little rocking ... it's better than chipping or breaking!
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,002
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Whether there is some movement or not, it hardly matters.
    It's just a little over thinking sometimes.
  7. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    Did you add tile to a bathroom where there was none before or to replace a thinner material? I ask this because it is a common mistake for non-plumbing contractors and homeowners to add tile to an existing floor and not also account for the new floor height around the toilet flange. What can happen is that the toilet flange ends up well below the floor surface and eventually the wax seal is unable to compensate. It will begin leaking...you might smell a sewer odor occasionally when this happens, see a stain on the floor, or you might eventually see water damage on the ceiling below if you have a lower level. There are spacer/adaptor rings made by Oatey and Sioux Chief to correct for this.

    I had this very problem in two baths in my home that were remodeled by contractors for the previous owner. One leaked on the ceiling below after about a year leading me to pull the toilet and identify the problem. The other didn't leak, but I suspected it had the same flange height issue. I confirmed this when I put in the new toilet, the old wax seal was just barely making contact all the way around. So I added a spacer.
  8. lauras2011

    lauras2011 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Needham, MA
    Yes! That is exactly what happened ... I'm not sure what they did about the additional height of the tile. They didn't account for it when re-installing the pedestal sink (I had to make the final adjustments and re-install the pedestal myself :(

    I'll get in touch with them and ask. Thanks for the advice!!

    Laura
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; So I added a spacer

    That means you added an ADDITIONAL seam which could leak, if you did NOT install and seal the spacer properly.
  10. lauras2011

    lauras2011 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Needham, MA
    What's the alternative? If the wax seal won't work because of the extra hight of the tile, then how would you compensate for the extra space?
  11. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    I installed it properly and sealed per the instructions--ignoring the advice of the big box store "plumber" who said the sealant was not needed.
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,003
    Location:
    New England
    They sell flange extender rings, but they have to be installed properly so they don't leak. ANother alternative is to use a waxless seal - Fluidmaster makes one. This uses an o-ring to make the seal, and a funnel fits down into the flange to direct the waste.
  13. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    Some use stacked wax seals. There are also some taller wax seals and ones with a stiffening ring in them that might handle the additional gap. The plumbers here can comment on what they like best in these situations and what has worked best for them. Personally, I would rather address the root problem by reducing the gap.
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