Small leak from toilet down drainpipe

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Sassnak

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I am having a very frustrating problem that I hope someone here can help me with! I installed a Toto Aquia (II, maybe?) toilet in our upstairs bathroom about 4 years ago. We like it a lot. However, I was doing some tiling in our basement this week, and when I removed a wall panel to get it out of the way it exposed the drain pipe from this toilet and I noticed it was damp at the bottom. Just a bit, not enough for a puddle or anything, but damp. I had my husband flush the toilet while I watched the pipe and sure enough, a few drops of water came down.

On the bathroom side, everything looks fine, no water anywhere it shouldn't be. No water stains on the ceiling below. Seems to be just a very small leak. I figured it was probably an issue with the wax ring, so I pulled the toilet, cleaned it up, and reset it with a new ring.

Here is the problem. I've redone it 3 times now and I can't get rid of this leak. I've tried different wax rings, shimming the toilet so the wax ring isn't squished to nothing, etc. My flange is a smidge over 1/2" above the finished tile floor, and the last wax ring I've tried is just a regular Johni Ring. I'm quite frustrated at this point because nothing I'm trying seems to make any difference. I was considering trying something like a Danco HydroSeat flange fixer, but I'm not sure if that would make any difference and I'm not sure it would work with the Toto.

I'm attaching pics of the flange and of the toilet base piece (the Toto Aquia has a different setup than a regular toilet, the wax ring goes between the plastic base piece and the flange). Any suggestions would be very appreciated!

IMG_0652.jpeg
IMG_0657.jpeg
 
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John Gayewski

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The first picture is of a flange that is too high. That is the problem. A solid shim job should get it. I realize you tried shimming and that can be frustrating, but it needs shimmed.

The second picture I'm not familiar with.
 

Reach4

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I would feed into the open hole with a garden hose, letting the hose extend below the wax.

1. Does the water go down faster than the hose can supply? It should.

2.Are there drips below while running the hose? If the water leaks when the water level stays below the wax, the problem cannot be the wax IMO.
 

Terry

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To me it looks like a copper drain pipe that was leaded into a cast iron flange. That makes it a drain installation from the 60's?
Sometimes I've had copper pipe on toilet drains that develop leaks. The urine is pretty tough on a copper drain.

The single wax ring should have worked on it if the waste line is still good.
Looks like the adapter for a TOTO Aquia toilet.
 
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Sassnak

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To me it looks like a copper drain pipe that was leaded into a cast iron flange. That makes it a drain installation from the 60's?
Sometimes I've had copper pipe on toilet drains that develop leaks. The urine is pretty tough on a copper drain.

The single wax ring should have worked on it if the waste line is still good.

Yup the house was built in 1964 and the drain pipe is indeed copper. Would you suspect an issue where the flange is attached to the drain pipe, or somewhere else on the pipe? I only have the lowest ~2' of the pipe exposed, I'd need to cut open wood wall paneling to see the rest - which I will do if I need to.

I did use a regular thickness plain wax ring.
 

Sassnak

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I would feed into the open hole with a garden hose, letting the hose extend below the wax.

1. Does the water go down faster than the hose can supply? It should.

2.Are there drips below while running the hose? If the water leaks when the water level stays below the wax, the problem cannot be the wax IMO.

I will give that a try, thanks!
 

Sassnak

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To me it looks like a copper drain pipe that was leaded into a cast iron flange. That makes it a drain installation from the 60's?
Sometimes I've had copper pipe on toilet drains that develop leaks. The urine is pretty tough on a copper drain.

The single wax ring should have worked on it if the waste line is still good.
It took me a long time to get back to this (we had some other house projects that took priority, then I had a minor family emergency that meant I was out of town last month, and I can't easily move the toilet by myself so had to wait until my husband could help) but I finally got a chance to look at it again. We removed the toilet and used the toilet supply line to flush water down the drain past the wax ring - and I could see it still leaking in the basement. So it has to be the copper drain pipe, unfortunately. This takes it out of what I'm comfortable DIY-ing, so Terry I will contact you about hopefully getting it fixed! Thanks everyone for the advice.
 
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