Leaking at base of Cadet3 Flowise

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by JohnnyBGood, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. JohnnyBGood

    JohnnyBGood New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Mississauga,Ontario, Canada
    I installed a American Standard Cadet3 flowise about a year ago. Recently I noticed water coming out from underneath the front of the toilet base. I tried tightening the bolts a bit and it seemed to stop the leak, but I noticed that it is actually dripping below into my basement, so I shut off the valve. Now, I went to Home Depot and told them about it. They told me to double up on the wax rings. Is that a good idea. Will squishing them down after put the bowl back in place reduce the inside diameter of the rings, therefore shrinking the drainage capacity?

    I can't see any outer cracks, and I am not sure how much more I can tighten before cracking the porcelain.
  2. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

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    The only reason to use two wax seals is if the flange is below the floor level. Also be sire you have the flange fastened to the floor and the toilet doesn't rock. Shim if necessary.

    John
  3. JohnnyBGood

    JohnnyBGood New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Mississauga,Ontario, Canada
    Does it matter how much below the floor level the flange is? I don't recall if it was below or not, but I doubt it was much below. The toilet doesn't rock. The flange seemed fastened ok when I installed it. I don't know why after a year I start getting this leaking. Did the wax ring deteriorate already?
  4. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

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    1,142
    Location:
    South*East
    If the flange sets below the floor then use two wax seals. As far as to why it may have failed if there is any movement in the bowl that can cause the wax to fail. In any case you have to pull and reset the toilet. If you did need two wax seals the one there know won't be compressed.

    John
  5. JohnnyBGood

    JohnnyBGood New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Mississauga,Ontario, Canada
    Ok thanks... I am going to work on it this weekend, hopefully, and let you know how it goes.
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    14,784
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    Unless the flange is installed "above" the floor, it will need two wax rings.
    More then likely, that's the reason for your leak.
  7. JohnnyBGood

    JohnnyBGood New Member

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    8
    Location:
    Mississauga,Ontario, Canada
    Thanks Terry. I will advise how it went...
  8. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    7,308
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    Yakima WA
    This is an oft discussed topic on this forum, but to newcomers, it may need rehashing. A flange is supposed to rest on top of the finished floor and be anchored into the subfloor with screws. It also needs to be sealed to the close bend with the proper medium. If this is done, then a single wax ring is all that is needed to properly seal the toilet to the drain. Often however, a new floor covering is put down that makes the floor surface higher than the original. When this is done, many times rather than redoing the flange, the original flange is recessed below the new floor surface. In this case, depending on how much the flange is below the floor surface, either a thick wax ring or two rings are required to make the seal. Most pros advise against using the ring that has the plastic funnel unless two rings are used. Then use the funnel ring as the top and a plain ring on the flange. Place the ring(s) in place then lower the toilet straight down over them. The toilet should compress the ring(s) with body weight and not by using the flange bolts to pull it down. Once the base of the toilet is resting on the floor, the flange bolts should be tighten securely, but not with excessive force. Wax rings have a one time only lifespan. If for any reason the toilet is raised or rocks after setting, new rings are required. The old ones will not reseat and you will have a leak. There are waxless seals that work quite well which allow the toilet to be removed and replaced without replacing the seals. If one of these is used, disregard the instructions on the box and put the seal on the toilet then set the assembly on the flange.
  9. wjcandee

    wjcandee Wise One

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    Location:
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    Nice summary, Gary. I would add that I have always heeded Terry's advice to put the wax ring(s) on the floor first, and the toilet on top, rather than try to stick the ring to the toilet and place the ring/toilet combo on the flange, even if that's how the manufacturer illustrates it. Also, as some have asked, it's not a problem if some of the wax extrudes through the bolt holes. Just wipe it up.
  10. JohnnyBGood

    JohnnyBGood New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Mississauga,Ontario, Canada
    Thank a lot guys for this extra info. I would never have done this:

    Can you tell me the reason behind this practice? Is it to ensure the lower one doesn't collapse inward and therefore reduce the inner diameter as I had feared in my original post?

    Also, can you tell me why it is recommended not to put the ring on the toilet bottom first? Isn't there a better chance for position accuracy? Or is it because there is a fear it may fall off as you lower the toilet in place?
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    21,817
    Location:
    New England
    The wax may slip in the process of setting the toilet. This can almost completely block the outlet and leave a gap, not making a good seal. If you do use one ring with a horn, it does work best on the top. This does two things - keeps the ring higher in case it may be going into a small hole in the flange, thus collapsing it, and second, helps to orient the second wax ring so it stays concentric with the first.

    If you don't already have them, it's also a good idea to use two sets of nuts - one to anchor the bolt to the flange, and the second one to hold the toilet. It also keeps the bolts sticking up nice and straight, preventing them from falling out of the notches or slot while you try to position the toilet over them.

    If the toilet can rock in the slightest, the wax seal will fail...the wax isn't elastic, so once it gets smushed down, it stays there when it rocks back, leaving a (slight) gap.
  12. JohnnyBGood

    JohnnyBGood New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Mississauga,Ontario, Canada
    Thanks, will do.
  13. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Thanks Jim. As usual, you stated it better than I would have. Also, thanks for adding the double nut advice for the flange bolts.
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The first thing to do is be sure of WHERE the leak is coming from. As a practical matter, since the toilet has a small opening and it is dumping into a larger pipe, like a funnel, unless you have a was seal with a reduced outlet, the water should NOT have any reason to come "up onto the floor" and cause the leak. If it is anything other than a bad wax seal, you will still have the problem after you reset the toilet.
  15. JohnnyBGood

    JohnnyBGood New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Mississauga,Ontario, Canada
    Hi hj,

    So, once I lift the toilet out, how will I know if the wax seal was the problem or if it may have been something else?
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,279
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The surface of the ring will be wet/discolored and you will be able to tell that it did NOT adhere to the bottom of the toilet.
  17. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,817
    Location:
    New England
    When you install the new wax ring(s), you should feel a definate resistance as it gets formed to make the seal when seating the toilet on the flange. Don't use the bolts and nuts to do this! Use your body weight, trying to keep things straight and not doing any radical side to side pushing.
  18. JohnnyBGood

    JohnnyBGood New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Mississauga,Ontario, Canada
    As a follow-up. I did replace the wax ring this weekend. The flange is above the floor level, so I only used 1 ring. When I took off the toilet and old wax, one of the sides of the flange where the closet bolt slots goes in, completely deteriorated.... so I had to use repair kit (the half ring). Actually, I used 2, one below and one above bolted together for extra strength. I hope this works.

    Another thing I noticed, is that the flange itself was not level. One side was higher than the other. I am not sure if that is okay or not. The toilet still wont go flush to the floor and it wobbled a bit, so I immediately put in wedges to stop the wobbling. Is this going to work? As I said, I don't see any leaking as of yet (I only completed the job yesterday).
  19. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,817
    Location:
    New England
    If you pushed the toilet all the way down, then put shims in, you may have compressed the wax enough on one side so that when you put in the shims, it pushed it back. For the most part, wax is like a spring, and doesn't spring back to fill the now larger hole after you rock it back.

    The best way to check out a toilet is to set it down without the wax, determine if and where you may need shims, then add the wax and reset it on the shims so it is firm once you've smushed it down into the wax. that way, you don't over compress it, then rock it back, breaking the seal.

    A toilet doesn't usually leak fluids from the seal since the opening of the toilet is smaller than the pipe it's going into. But, it can leak gasses, plus, if the line did back up, it could then leak, when it wasn't evident before.

    As long as the toilet is not sitting ON the flange, it should be okay. The height of the flange should be such that there's room for some wax between it and the toilet. ANohter reason to 'dry' fit it first.
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