Baffled - Toilet in new construction leaks

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by Rcf, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. Rcf

    Rcf New Member

    Oct 26, 2007
    A Maverick toilet was set in a newly constructed home. The flange was set on the subfloor. After which backer board and ceramic tile was installed. So, the flange was about 3/4 inch below the finished floor. A standard wax ring was used. The toilet leaked around its base.

    The plumber returned and installed a spacer to bring the flange height flush with the finished floor. The toilet was set onto a standard wax ring and it leaked around its base.

    Another plumber suggested that the spacer be removed and to set the toilet on one wax ring with a horn and a second wax ring without a horn. I did so, and the toilet leaked around its base. The plumber which made the two wax ring suggestion came over and, after assuring himself the the leak was not at the tank-bowl connection, reset the toilet using his suggested method. Guess what, the toilet leaked around its base.

    After concluding the bowl had to be cracked, it was exchanged for a new one.

    After reinstalling the flange spacer, I set the new toilet onto a KANT-LEAK Jumbo wax ring. As I carefully lined up the bolts and lowered the toilet I could feel that it was resting on the wax ring. I gently pressed the toilet down until the base was solidly on the floor. I hate to be redundant, but the toilet leaked around its base.

    When I removed the toilet, a clearly visible ring of wax was completely around the discharge hole. As a write this, all I have concluded is either this new toilet is cracked like the first, or the first wasn't cracked but suffered a sealing problem. Otherwise, I am completely baffled.

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    First, I'll assume you have already checked carefully that the water is not seeping down from the shutoff valve, or a tank to bowl connection.

    As for the flange, short of raising up the flange....probably not an option at this point, I would choose flange spacers as opposed to what sound like would be an inch and a half of wax. Use about 3 to 4 spacers as necessary to get above the finished floor. Each spacer should be sealed in between with silicone, as well as the first spacer to the flange. These should be snugged up with long flange bolts and a nut on top.

    One toilet with a hidden crack is not unheard of. Two...well what are the odds!

    We have to ask the usual question, and don't take offense. If you have read the forum when this problem comes up we always have to ask:

    Are you sure someone in the house ( young boy, older gent ) does not have bad aim?? Just have to eliminate all possiblities

    Otherwise, this is one of those mysteries, so far.
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  4. Rcf

    Rcf New Member

    Oct 26, 2007

    First, thanks for the quick reply.

    Secondly, the answer to your reasonable question is: I am the only male here and have not "used" the toilet but opted for a toilet in another bathroom. All I have done is flushed the toilet several times.

    About the spacer. When the first plumber installed the spacer, he filled the gap between the spacer and the flange with plumber's putty. It has been suggested that plumber's putty might not be the best sealant for that application. When I reinstalled the spacer, I filled the gap with wax. I simply took a wax ring and broke it into pieces and filled the gap. As I tightened the screws to the subfloor, the excess wax was forced out and cleaned up.

    Since I posted the first query, I installed a wax less contraption. Right now the bowl is in place without the tank. I have been pouring water into the bowl to simulate flushing. It hasn't leaked through three buckets. If the floor stays dry a little while longer, I will happily install the tank and see what happens then.

    If you think the wax filling between the spacer and flange could be a culprit, please let me know.
  5. patrick88

    patrick88 Plumber

    Sep 3, 2007
    Webster Ma.
    I once had a customer say the toilet was leaking. The 2-3 spots I found were about 4" from the front of the bowl and yellow. I told the poor guy to sit and the leak would go away.
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