Toilet leaks when tub/shower drains....

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by setherd, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. setherd

    setherd New Member

    OK I spent most of the day fixing what I thought was a toilet leak only to find out it's related to my tub.
    My fiancée used the shower and when she got out she yelled that there was water all over the floor. I discovered water coming up from the toilet mounting bolts. I figured the seal had to be broken. I took the toilet off and found some paper across the wax seal- not sure how that got there.
    one side of the closet flange was broken. The closet flange is cast iron and part of the drain pipe. After trying to replace the closet flange I gave up and put a new wax ring down and used the remaining good bolt to hold the toilet. it doesn't wiggle but the side without a bolt sits a little higher than the other. I caulked around the edge.

    (this part was described to me over the phone- i'm at work)
    No leak until she filled the tub up. When it drained (slowly) water came out from the seal at the base of the toilet.

    my guess is that I have a partial obstruction somewhere in my drain line after the toilet and shower line meet. small amounts of water like a toilet flush can go thru but when the tub or shower drains it backs up.

    BUT.... why does it leak at the toilet base? I thought with the wax seal (if it's on correct) would stop it. If anything the tub or toilet bowl should back up right?

    any comments, ideas, etc would be appreciated!

  2. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Need a plumber to clear the line. It backs up because the toilet is the lowest point and with the flange in the condition it is you will never get a good seal. The flange repair is a work for a plumber too. He'll have all the right tools and the knowledge to get it done correctly.
  3. setherd

    setherd New Member

    well My dad brought his auger over a 50ft one he uses on the drains at work. we hit a sold obstruction about 40 ft down the line that we couldn't clear.
    So we started digging on January 1st (happy new year!). I'm in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. we have "orangeberg" pipes that were used here. It's what I have I found out. Sure enough we found a tree root that had caused a 10 inch "tear" in the pipe. we were able to clear it out and water flows freely now but most of it ends up in the ditch.
    I have a plumber coming out. he'll give me a break on the price if I dig the old one out.
    now I'm trying to see if I can talk my fiancee into a new toto drake at the same time :)

    thanks for your help!
  4. MissFixIt7

    MissFixIt7 New Member

    Sounds like the same problem my mom is having. This morning she was running the shower so that it would get hot. She flushed the toilet and water came up from the base of the tub; and normally when she ran the shower water, the tub wouldn't be filled, the water would just go down the drain. So, she wiggled the toilet around and she noticed the water in the tub go down. She flushed the toilet again to see what would happen and no more water came out the base. So, now she's scared to use the toilet, take a shower, or use the washing machine (which is in the bathroom). That's the only toilet/shower in the house. My step dad had planned on fixing up the house (built in 1964) when he retired at the end of this month, but he passed away on Christmas Eve. So, I don't know what he was going to do to that toilet, he got it this year and installed it himself. Since I am the "Miss Fix it all /'man' of the house" person, could it be as simple as the seal being broken from the bottom of the toilet?
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    New England
    If a toilet leaks around the base, it needs to be reset as the seal is bad (generally a wax ring). If the toilet rocks or can be easily moved, same thing, but you may also have a broken toilet flange or the anchor bolts are out of their slots, or rusted out, or just plain loose. The toilet must be solid on the floor without rocking, or you'll break the seal.
  6. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    Not only that but you have a mainline blockage. Check your cleanout outside to see if it's holding waste. Oh, yeah, use long channey locks and be aware that there is some pressure behind the cap.
  7. GabeS

    GabeS Remodel Contractor

    Brooklyn NY
    Trees like water. Their roots search for it and they find it in your pipes. There's an attachment that you could put on the end of the snake that cuts the roots. It won't work if the roots get too thick. I would do it every couple of years.
  8. MissFixIt7

    MissFixIt7 New Member

    Funny you should say tree roots. The root to the tree in the front yard is "spreading", you have to be careful walking in the front yard, because the thick roots are pertruding from the ground, and it's traveled to under the sidewalk and now that is lifting. Hopefully, it hasn't attacked the pipes!

    So far, no leaks, but the tub does take a while to empty when showering.
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    It sounds like you need a pro to clean your pipes.
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