Can hear other units flushing after installing new toilet

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by MadmartiganWait, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. MadmartiganWait

    MadmartiganWait New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Hello and thank you in advance for any advice and help you can provide! As always, I will try to be as brief as possible.

    Yesterday, I installed a new Glacier Bay Model # N2428RB/N2428T. It is flushing as expected, no leaks, the toilet is stable (doesn't wobble), and have only had the following issue since installing it. I can now hear other units flushing.

    I live on the first floor with one neighbor on the other side of our bathroom (behind the toilet) and one neighbor above. I am not aware of any current plumbing issues and I am not aware of any of those units installing a new toilet. I used to hear other units flush, but it was very light and not at all annoying. When other units flush, it now sounds as loud as our toilet flushing and can be heard outside of the bathroom (the door is typically open). The noise seems to be coming from either the wall, our toilet, or below our toilet. There is no smell and our water is not moving when this happens. We do not have the toilet to floor caulked and the toilet is slightly raised on the flooring and on plastic shims (2).

    One thing to note is that when I installed the toilet, I added the shims after setting the seal and so my worry is that I may have broken the wax connection, but I would need to fully break it and re-install to find out.

    My question is, is this potentially an installation issue, a plumbing issue/clog, or is it the quality of the toilet?

    Here is a video that we took that helps to describe the issue where I am not flushing the toilet, only capturing the sound of another unit flushing: https://youtu.be/3VFkCigdLwg (may need to turn volume up)

    Thank you!
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Are you sure you weren't hearing the neigbors even before? It's pretty common for sound to travel beyond the drywall.
    Next time you set a toilet, set it down without wax first, determine if it needs shimming, putting the shims near the back if needed, pinning the front of the bowl to the floor.
    Lift the bowl back up, drop the wax down on the flange and then drop the bowl down.
    If the flange is above the finished flooring, you may get by with one wax seal. Below the finished flooring, and I stack two wax rings.
     
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  4. MadmartiganWait

    MadmartiganWait New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Thank you for your response, Terry.

    We heard it very faintly before; more like a light draining noise. Now it sounds as loud as if our toilet was flushing; much louder than before. It also sounds like it's happening more often or we are now hearing all of the neighbors flushing now. It's very confusing and not appreciated :( I was very happy about installing the new toilet. It was an accomplishment for me. Now it's even more of a problem!

    Can it be that the sound is coming through the possibly thinner porcelain toilet? Could it be that the wax seal is broken? I'm not sure what to troubleshoot first, but if you'd recommend re-seating the toilet with a new ring, I can try that.

    I was hoping somebody in this forum had experienced this before and could help point me to the root cause. I looked through multiple forums and have not read about an issue like this, unfortunately.
     
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    A toilet won't necessarily leak fluids if the wax seal is compromised unless there is a backup, so you may not have a good seal which can allow more sounds to appear. Depending on the layout, it may not release much of any sewer gasses, so it might not smell, either (it could, but it depends). When you reset the toilet, notice if you have to press the toilet so that it can seat. That will give you an idea if you've compressed the wax to make a seal. You should get a fair idea when you pull it up. Wax rings are cheap, so you're not out much to find out.
     
  6. Atomic1

    Atomic1 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2016
    Location:
    East Coast
    I also think this is the result of an unseated wax ring. I notice the OP has tile floor finishes. Very common for the flange to be too low in these cases, making a poor wax seal.
     
  7. Sylvan

    Sylvan In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2004
    Location:
    New York
    Try using a double wax gasket with the horn if the flange is to low
     
  8. MadmartiganWait

    MadmartiganWait New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Thank you for your responses! I picked up an extra thick wax ring from HD to try out. I will post back tonight with the result.
     
  9. MadmartiganWait

    MadmartiganWait New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Thank you for your suggestions!

    Instead of replacing the previously set wax ring, I left it in place and threw in a second wax ring. I now hear nowhere near the same flushing noise and only some water in the pipes. Turns out when I lifted the toilet, there was no seal at all to the floor or flange and the wax ring was still stuck to the toilet and immaculate. The toilet lifted easily and I just set the second ring on the flange. I kept my previous shims in place and placed tape behind them in case they moved, but I did end up having to move them somewhat to re-balance the toilet. No issues after that.

    I am good to go now and again, thank you for your support!
     
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Whenever you set a toilet...if it hits the floor without you having to push it down and compress the wax, you have a problem! Glad we could help. It's good you noticed. You could have been getting some sewer gasses into your home, and if the drain line ever got clogged up, it would have leaked out with no seal there.
     
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