Loose Toilet - Already Changed Wax Ring

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by dhla, May 27, 2009.

  1. dhla

    dhla Member

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    About 6 months ago, the toilet in our guest bathroom (i.e., least used in the house) seemed a little loose on the floor - there was a little play and it rocked a bit side to side if someone sat down/got up.

    I changed the wax ring and all seemed right with the world.

    6 months later, the same thing is happening again.

    Not sure what the next possible cause would be, but would appreciate any advice!

    Thanks as always.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,798
    Location:
    New England
    You need to reset the toilet again. This time, set it in place without the new wax ring, and shim it so it doesn't rock. Pick it up, then install it with the new wax ring, and bolt it down.

    You can use composite tapered shims, or I tend to use coins. The coins don't rust, and you don't have to go to the store to buy them. Anywhere from a dime to a penny or nickel will give you three different thicknesses that fix most of them, unless the floor is really out of whack where a tapered shim works much better.

    If a toilet rocks, it will break the wax seal...the wax isn't like a rubber seal that will rebound. Once you've rocked it, it compresses, and then it rocks back, and now you have an opening in the wax. The wax is only to make the seal, neither it nor the bolts will keep the toilet from rocking. If you try with the bolts, you'll probably break the toilet.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,296
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Just to add a bit to Jim's post. It sounds like you flange is not resting on the floor. When the flange is properly set on top of the finished floor and screwed into the sub floor, The toilet should set in place without a wax ring and the skirt should rest on the floor all the way around. The horn on the toilet would be over the hole in the flange. When the toilet is set with the wax ring in place, you push the toilet down with only body weight until the skirt is back on the floor. The flange bolts are only to hold the toilet from moving when bumped. They are not intended to pull the toilet down into the wax ring. Also, do not use the wax ring with the plastic horn. Just a regular sized plain ring.:D
  4. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Do I dare recommend a lag screw¿ lol :eek:
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,226
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    lag screw

    You can, but were would you find a brass or stainless steel lag screw? And why would anyone want to go to the trouble of using one?
  6. pmaru77

    pmaru77 New Member

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    California
    On a tile floor (ceramic) I grout around the whole toilet and force more grout into the areas that are not touching, basically leveling out the toilet with grout. Let harden and toilets never seem to move rock.
  7. tubeornot2b

    tubeornot2b New Member

    Messages:
    5
    rockin leak is back.

    Had a neighbor help me remove, replace wax ring and reseat my Aquia I a couple of months ago. We made sure all was level and tight. The rocking of the toilet came back and so did the puddle around the skirt. The tank is not the source of the leak. It seems that the screws at back of the mounting flange loosen up over time. This seems to allow movement of the bowl. Which in turn allows the leak.

    A local plumbing shop, that sells Toto's, suggested using grout between the bottom of the toilet and the floor. That this was the only way to really secure the toilet and stop the movement. When I suggested using silicone or caulking they said that it would not dry to a solid and therefore not stop the movement.

    Should I use the grout? Or instead some sort of caulking? DO I need to replace the screws and/or their anchors? Do I need to replace the wax ring again?

    When it works (without the leak) the Aquia is great. The little toilet that could. It seems impossible to cause it to backup.

    I do note that sometimes I do not get that little gutteral growl at the end of a flush (either full or half flush).

    Thanks for any help.
  8. dhla

    dhla Member

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I think I've found the cause of the problem and unfortunately fix is more involved than I had hoped. Subfloor around flange is exposed and rotted. I think it was pulling away from the toilet on some flushes, creating an opportunity for water to leak.

    Because we don't have any of the same tile, I think we need to pull up the floor, repair the subfloor, and put down new tile.

    The bathroom is really small, so it's not that involved, but I think better to fix this properly now than deal with a bigger problem later.
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,798
    Location:
    New England
  10. tubeornot2b

    tubeornot2b New Member

    Messages:
    5
    anybody?

    no responses at all... anybody?
  11. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Throw us a pic. But the grout/cement fix seems like a viable option. Wax rings are a dime a dozen so yeah have some on hand once the repair is done.
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,798
    Location:
    New England
    Fixing the subflooring and replacing tile help will be better for you if you go to the site I mentioned...they're 98% tiling and prep so you'll get a lot of tiling prep and finish help.

    If the subflooring is shot, the best thing is to tear up at least that area. It's often hard to fix a small area of subflooring with tile on it since it needs to be stiff enough to suppor the tile and keep it from cracking, so tearing up all of it in a small bathroom, might be the best idea. And, unless you have left-over matching tile, it's a crap shoot getting a match, and the same thing with grout. Even the same grout mixed with a different amount of water can look different if you do it in batches. Then, you may want to tear out the toilet flange and install it on top of the new tiled floor. If you notch the tile, you won't need to drill holes to mount the flange to the subflooring.
  13. dhla

    dhla Member

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Just to close the loop... subfloor issues were serious. I think the rot had gotten bad enough that each flush of the toilet pulled the flange away from the toilet and made situation worse. So - cut out the rotted subfloor... braced drain with new wood. Put down subfloor patch, joist to joist. Put wediboard on top of subfloor. Tiled on top of wediboard. Cut out tile just enough to expose flange. And... voila.

    Attached Files:

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