Author Topic: New toilet, achy back  (Read 2302 times)

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Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1394
New toilet, achy back
« on: February 14, 2022, 12:05 PM »
The wax seal on the toilet in my bedroom started to leak.

Since the toilet was at least 30 years old (probably closer to 40 or 50) and replacement parts were getting harder to find, I decided to install a new toilet. 

The shut-off valve has been stuck in the open position since I first moved in 22 years ago. 

On Saturday I removed the old toilet and the old valve and scraped off the old wax ring which was leaking.

I installed the new toilet, valve, and wax ring. 

I now have a new toilet, a new valve and a new sore back and a new leaky wax ring. 

The plumber is coming next Tuesday to fix what I could not accomplish. 

I've installed wax rings in the past with no issues.  If I were to install another I would do it the same way.  So a fresh set of eyes seems logical.

I have tried those rubber donuts that replace the wax ring.  Problematic.  Instead of allowing the toilet to sink to solid ground, it keeps it slightly above.  If I were willing to continue to tighten the bolts it might have settled down.  Or I might have cracked the porcelain.  It did not leak though. 

I still favor the wax approach.  When I find out how I managed to screw this up, I will post again.




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Offline lshah72414

  • Posts: 134
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2022, 12:56 PM »
Sometimes you need two wax rings, and that solves your problem.

Offline 4nthony

  • Posts: 334
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Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2022, 01:15 PM »
Sometimes you need two wax rings, and that solves your problem.

My previous house was built in 1927 and over the years, the floor had been built up with layers of linoleum and tile. When I replaced the toilet, I discovered that the pipe flange was a good 1.5 - 2 inches below the tile floor. I was able to get a good seal with 2 wax rings but ultimately packed it out with a third. Never discovered any leaks and each time I'd go into the crawlspace to run wires and such, I always checked just to be sure.
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Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1394
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2022, 01:25 PM »
This is the original floor.  There was a torn lead sleeve which I removed.  It was not there for the other toilet so I think it took the place of the plastic part of a wax seal.  In any case, I removed it.  I've tried the rubber donuts and they seem problematic to me.  But they did not leak and you could reposition the toilet.  It just never allowed the toilet to settle down solid on the tile floor. 

Offline tjbnwi

  • Posts: 6584
  • No longer in Cedar Tucky Indiana
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2022, 01:29 PM »

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1394
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2022, 01:36 PM »
I used a similar one.  The problem was that the toilet rested on the resilient rubber and never wanted to settle down on the solid floor.  I was afraid to tighten the bolts enough to do so.  I worried that the porcelain would fracture.  I ended up putting spacers under the toilet to get it on solid ground.  But it did not leak.  I tried a similar one before the wax ring and that leaked too.  So I am waiting for the plumber.  I'm done lifting 80 pound toilets in and out of a tiny bathroom.

Offline Koamolly

  • Posts: 140
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2022, 02:34 PM »
Without  photos…. 🙂

Since wax doesn’t have any spring to it, it’s either you moved toilet or it’s not thick enough.  Assuming the flange is in good shape.  Toto makes great Toilets to consider.  They have some with a plastic adaptor you install to floor first and then drop toilet on.  Also there is a forum devoted to toilets that you might check out sometime.  Terry Love Forums.  Very helpful. 

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 1377
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2022, 03:22 AM »
Why give up, just go buy another thick wax seal and try again. Some folks double the wax rings. Also make sure it is the right direction, unlike how the photo above shows it with the plastic part facing up.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1394
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2022, 09:36 AM »
The last time I changed a wax ring was probably 10 years ago, when I was 63.  My back did not complain at that time.   

This time my back did complain.  I have more money than backs, so I will await the arrival of the plumber.  [big grin]

I deliberately chose the image with the wax ring upside down to illustrate the plastic insert that I was referencing in the post.  I did install it facing the correct direction. 

It is likely that I needed two wax rings.  It settled down a bit too easily and quickly.  I expected to have to push it down into place.  Instead, gravity was all that was required. 

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2022, 11:14 AM »
The last time I changed a wax ring was probably 10 years ago, when I was 63.  My back did not complain at that time.   

This time my back did complain.  I have more money than backs, so I will await the arrival of the plumber.  [big grin]

I deliberately chose the image with the wax ring upside down to illustrate the plastic insert that I was referencing in the post.  I did install it facing the correct direction. 

It is likely that I needed two wax rings.  It settled down a bit too easily and quickly.  I expected to have to push it down into place.  Instead, gravity was all that was required.


         ^ Almost a certainty.  ^

When I replaced mine I ended up going with one of the non-wax manufactured ones. I don't remember which one I used but I do remember that they are not all created equal. After some research I chose the one that I thought would work best. It has been about seven years ............... so far no problems. Advantages are ...........  variable thicknesses, more adjustable, if you don't get the position it quite right ( bolts lined up, etc)  you can try again or wiggle it into place more easily, take it off and change the thickness.  With the wax it is pretty much a one shot deal. I tried a wax ring first and had nothing but trouble getting it pushed down and aligned correctly.

Seth

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1394
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2022, 11:24 AM »
I used Sani-seal for my last toilet.  I did not any toilet wedges, so I used tile spacers to get it settled down and solid.  No leaks.



I could not find that brand this time.  I used a Fluid Master.  They are a major brand in toilet maintenance supplies.  I assumed it would be satisfactory.  But that leaked just like the wax.  I redid it using the wax.  Two tries was all that I was up for. 



These wedges would be better than the tile spacers I used.


I see that they moved this thread.  When I started it, it seemed more about my achy back.  I guess it morphed into some home improvement thread.  So everyone, forget about my back--I'm starting to. [big grin]
« Last Edit: February 15, 2022, 11:27 AM by Packard »

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 894
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2022, 11:36 AM »
I constantly have leaks in our subfloor mounted toilet. I have even double sealed it. I'm pretty sure the floor & or the toilet is not flat. I have to use the shims shown above. I use double wax seal and also remember to warm them up a bit as instructed. Since this location is on a cement slab I'm actually considering just caulking if it leaks again. Other two toilets in the house are no problem at all.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2022, 11:37 AM »


I see that they moved this thread.  When I started it, it seemed more about my achy back.  I guess it morphed into some home improvement thread.  So everyone, forget about my back--I'm starting to. [big grin]

Yup, sorry I usually notify. 

Maybe your back can count as a home improvement project too?  If the FOG membership can make your back better then more home projects will get done.   [wink]

Seth

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 9868
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2022, 11:46 AM »
The last time I changed a wax ring was probably 10 years ago, when I was 63.  My back did not complain at that time.   

This time my back did complain.  I have more money than backs, so I will await the arrival of the plumber.  [big grin]


Now that's funny...and I can relate to the age/back thing also. [smile]

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1394
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2022, 10:53 AM »
The plumber showed up this morning to fix what I had started.

It turned out that the flange mounting bolts were not tightened enough.   (I was afraid to tighten them more--I thought I might crack the porcelain).

He inspected all the connections and tested the toilet several times.  It seems to be water-tight. 

He did say not to use the wax rings that come with a toilet.  The wax part is generally pretty skimpy compared to the wax rings that are sold separately.  The more generous amount of wax assures a better seal.

All in, not too bad.   It was disheartening that I was a few turns of the flange nuts away from a successful installation.  And, of course, there is the $152.29 fee.

Packard 


Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5539
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2022, 02:24 PM »
I constantly have leaks in our subfloor mounted toilet. I have even double sealed it. I'm pretty sure the floor & or the toilet is not flat. I have to use the shims shown above. I use double wax seal and also remember to warm them up a bit as instructed. Since this location is on a cement slab I'm actually considering just caulking if it leaks again. Other two toilets in the house are no problem at all.

Not an expert but I think I’ve read that you should bed the toilet in a ring of plaster when the floor is not flat. Tighten the bolts after the plaster sets. I guess you could butter the porcelain base with Vaseline if you’re worried about plaster sticking to it forever

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1394
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2022, 02:54 PM »
I deliberately avoided caulking or sealing under the toilet base so that if there were a leak it would be immediately apparent.  If it were sealed then the water would run somewhere and cause water damage without me knowing about it.  I did this with both of the toilets I installed.  To me it looks perfectly acceptable without bedding the toilet.

Offline thudchkr

  • Posts: 202
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2022, 07:43 AM »
I’ve gotten into the habit of always using a JUMBO wax seal. The plumber I apprenticed for said to always use the thicker one. You can get them without the horn, (the plastic funnel piece), but we always used the ones with.

Don’t remember ever having one leak, but mostly did new installations so our stuff was setup for success from the getgo.
Clint

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1394
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2022, 11:02 AM »
One week later—no leaks.  All is good.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1394
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2022, 03:56 PM »
So the toilet is installed for a month now and it has proven capable and reliable. 

I was very limited as to which toilet I could get on short notice because it backs up against a baseboard hot water heater, and I needed the clearance.  Most of the toilets have a flat flange that goes all the way back and would have interfered with the baseboard heater.

I ended up with Lowe's own brand (Project Source) toilet.  I was a bit leary as it was very cheap (about half the price of the Kohler unit I installed last year) at $99.00 + tax. 

It uses Fluidmaster components, so at least replacements will be easy to find.

By all appearances (except the quality of the plastic seat) this is the equal of the Kohler unit.

When I opened the box the hinge on the toilet seat was broken.  Lowes replaced the seat with one stolen from another in stock toilet.  It is flimsy and moves side to side and does not feel stable.  I got a Kohler soft close seat with the capability to be instantly removed if cleaning is required (put the toilet seat in the dishwasher? [eek]).  In any case I had the same type of seat on my old toilet and it was very good.  I will install it this weekend.

So this becomes "recommended".  It works well, and I was two-bolts-not-tightened-enough away from a successful install.  And it is a really excellent value at $99.00.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Project-Source-Project-Source-Pro-Flush-2-Piece-Single-Flush-Elongated-Chair-Height-White-1-28-GPF/1003066162




Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 1152
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2022, 04:36 PM »
Hate to see anyone give up a toilet that can actually flush something down.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1394
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2022, 04:40 PM »
The old toilet used far more water and took far longer to refill.  The flappers required were hard to find and would intermittently stop sealing closed, and would run water all night if I did not use it.  And apparently the previous owner broke the tank lid and bought a replacement which did not quite fit. 

So, all in all, I was happy when the thing finally needed to be replaced.  I was not happy with the process however.


Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 1649
Re: New toilet, achy back
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2022, 06:03 PM »
I deliberately avoided caulking or sealing under the toilet base so that if there were a leak it would be immediately apparent.  If it were sealed then the water would run somewhere and cause water damage without me knowing about it.  I did this with both of the toilets I installed.  To me it looks perfectly acceptable without bedding the toilet.

I was told this by a plumber many years ago, for that exact reason. If you have a leak, it is going to go somewhere, best that you see it simply run across the floor. Then you know you have a problem, now, instead of later when I shows up somewhere else.
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