Toilet drain- is it secured to anything?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by pman6, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. pman6

    pman6 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I had a 2nd floor toilet leak which most likely is from a failed wax ring.
    I busted open the 1st floor ceiling to take a look.

    I dunno if I saw clearly, but the abs drain pipe didn't look like it was secured to the plywood underlayment.
    I could see the cutout hole in the plywood

    How is the toilet drain pipe supposed to be secured to the floor?
     
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    Toilet flanges are designed to be installed on top of the finished flooring, and anchored through it.

    Over a wooden subfloor, deflection can move the toilet and the flange might move independently if things aren't installed properly. The more common reason for a wax ring failure is if the toilet itself rocks. It's most common to need some shims to hold the toilet so it won't rock. The wax is soft but not a spring, so rocking one way will compress it, then when it rocks back, leave a gap.

    To help keep the toilet from moving, it also helps to apply sealant around the toilet. This keeps crud from running underneath where it's hard to clean. It can help keep it from sliding, as the anchor bolts aren't perfect at it.
     
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  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Usually it would be glued to the closet flange, and the flange would be screwed to the floor.
     
  5. pman6

    pman6 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    yeah, i'll have to take a closer look once i remove the toilet.

    I can't imagine the plumber would not screw the flange into the floor.

    I tried to push the toilet side to side, and it didn't rock. So i'm not sure how the wax ring failed.
     
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    One potential way is for there to have been a clog below the toilet, and then vigorous toilet plunging. That can develop a fair amount of pressure inside the wax. The fact that water came out might indicate that you have had at least a partial clog.

    Since you are pulling the toilet anyway, ask yourself if that toilet is good. Some new toilets flush better and are less likely to clog than older ones, despite using less water. Also consider replacing the supply line and maybe even the stop valve (the water shutoff valve) while you are at it.
     
  7. pman6

    pman6 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    turns out the problem was that the original plumber didn't shim the toilet, so the front of the toilet dipped down every so slightly every time someone sat on it, even with the caulking. And then the bowl springs back up, leaving a hairline gap where water can flow out between the bowl and the wax ring.

    exacerbating the issue was that the flange was sitting 1/4" below the tile floor.

    I cut away part of the old wax funnel ring and made it flush to the floor, then stacked another funneled extra thick wax ring on top.

    Shimmed the front of the toilet with some pennies, and no leak so far.
     
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I always shim the bowl at the back near the wall, pining the front of the bowl down.

    [​IMG]
     
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