New Toilet Keeps Leaking From Bottom

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by fjordrr, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. fjordrr

    fjordrr New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Washington
    I bought a Porcher Bedminster toilet about 5 yrs ago, which we finally installed a couple of weeks ago - (bathroom that was never finished as part of a remodel).

    After a few hours, we noticed seeping from the base out onto the tile. The toilet has been reinstalled 4-5 times since with different sizes/brands of wax seals, and just ystdy with a Fluidmaster No-Wax seal. Each time the same leaking problem occurs.

    The toilet flange is about 10 years old, appears to be in good shape & sits approx. flush with the tile floor. The flange does appear to be slightly tilted i.e. not level with the tile. The floor itself is level, but when I take the side-to-side level of the toilet bowl when mounted on the flange, it is off by perhaps 1/8". I don't know if this is the bowl and/or the flange together. The toilet does not rock when installed, it is firm.

    At this point we are at our wits end. Should we install a flange extender? Should the toilet bowl be shimmed to be level side-to-side? Could there be a pinhole leak in the bowl itself - and if yes, how the heck to you look for one - and what do you do about it!

    I am thinking of trying to find a Fernco No-Wax seal this morning - as this is apparently glued to the horn. Any suggestions welcome!!
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    The toilet could be defective...if it is a two-piece, you could have a leak around the bolts holding the tank to the bowl. Some brands have been showing up lately with plugs and platches where they were either damaged or defective during manufacture. There could be a crack, or hole.

    If the flange isn't too far off, the toilet doesn't rock, and the was was compressed (i.e., it was thick enough) when setting the toilet, it shouldn't be coming form there. I've got a couple of waxless seals on my toilets that work well. I needed to install and remove them while doing some remodeling, and it was wasier with this than having to clean up wax each time.
  3. fjordrr

    fjordrr New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Washington
    Thanks for your reply. It is a 2-piece toilet, but I am pretty sure it is only seeping from out under the bottom of the toilet - however we will certainly double-check on the next attempt!

    I was unable to find a Fernco no-wax seal locally today (Seattle Eastside) so I've ordered one over the Internet and will have to wait :( I figure this should definitively prove whether it is the seal somehow not seating properly, versus a defective toilet.

    The bummer is, whatever warranty was on this toilet has expired long ago - even tho I'm just installing it - AND it has been discontinued.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Does the water level in the bowl go down?
  5. fjordrr

    fjordrr New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Washington
    No, the water level does not go down noticeably in the bowl. But the amount of water seeping out from under the toilet is pretty small - stays right around the perimeter of the pedestal where it meets the floor. It takes several hours before it appears - but definitely less than 24 hrs.
  6. fjordrr

    fjordrr New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Washington
    Update: Finally got the Fernco no-wax seal ystdy - Easily installed it about 5pm, and no leaks so far this morning :) I will say this product forces you to position the toilet exactly over the drain hole, and I believe all 3 of us trying to install this toilet may have had it a hair too far back, which could have been the problem all along.

    I will be remodeling 2 other bathrooms, and I think I will use the Fernco product on both those toilets as well - seems to me there is no possibility of leaks with this.

    On a side note, I ended up NOT shimming the Porcher toilet, as the floor is completely level, it must be the toilet bowl out of whack and I didn't want a huge bead of caulk on that side as it is very visible. Hope that doesn't "bite me" down the line...
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2014
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,021
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    toilet

    Every GOOD plumber installs the toilet over the center of the pipe, and a slight misalignment WOULD NOT cause a leak. You may have a different problem that you just covered up, rather than fixed it. I had a two year old toilet a couple of months ago that started leaking on the floor, and would not show up until some time after the toilet was flushed. After a couple of attempts to stop the leak, I determined that there was a pinhole on the bottom of it. If the wax seal was squeezed out to the rear, it covered the hole and had no leak, but otherwise it was there to let a small amount of water leak out anytime water went out the toilet's outlet.
  8. fjordrr

    fjordrr New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Washington
    Well I think you are on the money, as the darn thing has seeped a bit of water again :(
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    May I suggest a new Toto?
  10. fjordrr

    fjordrr New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Washington
    Ha! Trust me, would love to have anything except this Porcher toilet for functionality, but this is a fancy bathroom with tumbled marble on the walls, wall-mount faucet mounted thru an antique mirror, bla bla bla so the Porcher Bedminster toilet with unique Victorian rope design, coordinates with the bathtub of the same model. It would be a real shame to downgrade this "look" with something more utilitarian.

    I was lucky enough to find a company in Utah that still had a Bedminster toilet bowl in stock, even tho the product is discontinued, so have ordered that and hope it doesn't crack in shipping.... should be here Thursday.

    If all else fails I may try some sort of epoxy sealer over the whole base of the toilet - desperation breeds strange ideas!
  11. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Form above function often leads to desparate acts...
  12. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Outta sight, outta mind...Until the toilet rots the floor out. Makes little difference if you are on a slab or not. Do you really want wastewater under the tile like that¿ These are all least case scenarios, BTW.
  13. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,382
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    As I see it, there are three mistakes folks can make when purchasing a toilet.
    First, assuming the old, well known brand names still produce the best. Two, buying the cheap box store models, and 3 trying to match exactly the existing decor. Now, it is possible to come very close or even exactly matching colors, but when style if placed ahead of performance, that is a potential problem. I would submit that the lack of the exact match in decor will only be apparent to the buyer for a very short time, and will not be noticed by anyone else. Here's an example from my own experience. When I first remodeled my kitchen years ago, I discovered that my floor had a large slope. I wanted my stove between two cabinets, but it meant that on one side of the stove the counter top would be level and on the other side the counter would be over an inch lower. We chose not to raise the cabinet and just live with this huge difference. Guess what! No one ever noticed it and in fact, we were so accustom to it, we didn't even think about it. We we gutted the kitchen later, we did put in new joist and made the floor level, but we lived with that old out of level floor for over 20 years.
  14. fjordrr

    fjordrr New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Washington
    Wanted to post the end of my "saga". The replacement Porcher toilet bowl I miraculously found in Utah finally did the trick. Used a Fernco seal on it too for good measure.

    Therfore, my conclusion is that the mysterious water seeping from the bottom must have been a pinhole leak somewhere in the bowl.
  15. dx

    dx General Contractor

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Michigan
    Pinhole leaks are easily traced by putting food colorant in the bowl.
  16. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    Just don't use yellow. :D
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