Overtightened toilet question

Users who are viewing this thread

ajacobs

New Member
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Saskatchewan
Had a toilet on a tile floor that was leaking *very* slightly - like, once every two days a small rivulet of water seeping along the grout on one side around the base - after replacing the wax seal multiple times found that the bowl as loose. I guess that in an effort to not overtighten the bowl each time I'd undertighten so that the bowl eventually worked loose over time. So I went in and started tightening the nuts and sure enough, still plenty of give on the bolt so I tightened until the nuts started to firm up. One quarter turn into *that* and I heard a snap sound....not a crack like with glass, but more like a plastic snap or a pop. Backed off that quarter turn.

However, the toilet is now snug. No more leaking after two days. No dripping in the ceiling heard from the room below when the toilet is flushed or for half a minute afterwards. Even no more times when the toilet would make a hard pumping noise on occasion when the water in the bowl went down. The bolts aren't loose when wiggled, and the nuts are still firm. My guess is I cracked the flange where the bolt comes up but didn't break it. I know I *should* take the toilet back up and check for damage....but after so many months of intermittent leaks and the number of times bringing the toilet up, replacing the wax ring, putting it back down and having problems afterwards every time I did, I'm a little gun shy about doing it again now that the leaks from underneath appear to have stopped.

So my question: should I take the chance and leave it, with a chance of a slow leak soaking into the subfloor if I cracked the flange leading into the wastepipe itself, or should I take it back up and check anyway, and run the risk of restarting this all over again with the slow leaks? I know it's hard to diagnose over the internet, but I'm looking to get a sense of how likely is it I'm in trouble if I leave it?
 

Terry

The Plumbing Wizard
Staff member
Messages
29,174
Reaction score
2,971
Points
113
Location
Bothell, Washington
Website
terrylove.com
Depends on what the "snap" meant. It's very unlikely that you broke the flange if the closet bolts and nuts are snug. It could have been something simple like the flat part of the bolt pulling up and settling into position. If there isn't a leak, and it's snug, you are probably good. I like to put some clear polyseamseal around the most of the bowl, leaving open toward the back, so that if the seals does leak, I can spot it quicker.
 

ajacobs

New Member
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Saskatchewan
Thank you. That's reassuring to hear. I'll still monitor it for a few weeks for leaks, of course, but I no longer feel like I have to panic and remove it immediately. I appreciate you answering me so quickly, and on a Sunday, too. :)
 

jadnashua

Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx
Messages
32,714
Reaction score
1,155
Points
113
Location
New England
What material is your toilet flange flange mounting ring made out of? If it's an all-plastic one, you might have cracked the thinner area around the slot. The preferred material is probably one with a SS ring (not painted steel), so it won't eventually rust.

What tends to let a toilet leak is that it can rock a little. Wax is not a spring, and if you rock it one way, then back, it can compress then leave a gap as it rocks back. It's not uncommon to need some shims to let the toilet sit flat. Then, in most places, code calls for caulking around the front of the toilet. Especially on a tiled floor, that tends to hold the toilet in place far more than the bolts do. My preference in setting a toilet is to push it down using body weight until it sits flat on the floor, then snug up the nuts on the bolts, then caulk it. It won't move if you've properly leveled it, and then caulk it. The bolts are then more of an alignment feature rather than the only thing holding it down.
 
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks