Leaking Toilet problem and Solution

Question

Hi  Contractor John, I have a question for you and wanted to find out if you have any suggestions. I have a bathroom toilet that sits on a not so even floor and is secured by the 2 screws in the back of the stool to the floor. The trouble is the front of the toilet is sliding around sideways even though we have put plastic splints to secure it. Do you have any other suggestions that would secure the toilet. We use the elongated ring into the piping but because of the sliding of the toilet it only lasts about a year. We are now leaking into our basement so it is time to change it again. Some suggestions would be great!!!Thanks!1

 

Answer

An uneven floor can be the kiss of death with a toilet. Seems like you have the uneven part handled using the plastic shims to level it, but the toilet is pivoting on the back of the toilet and the front is moving, loosening the wax ring seal.

First I want you to check and see if the actual drain pipe for the toilet is moving. Have someone place their hand on the pipe as the heaviest person using the toilet sits on it. If there is any downward movement you will have to install a 2×4 brace under the pipe to secure it.

I have a suggestion to keep the front of the bowl from swinging or moving. Before you remove the toilet apply some blue painters tape to the area around the bowl on the floor to form an outline, making marks on the tape where your shims are placed. When that is complete remove the toilet and clean the floor inside the taped area. Remove the existing wax ring and apply the new ring. Some experts suggest installing the ring on the bottom of the toilet, but I suggest you install it on the collar and then set the toilet onto it.

Install your shims using the marks on the blue tape as a guide. Using some mold resistant silicone caulk lay a thick bead just inside the tape outline two to three times as high as the shims. The goal here is when you set the toilet in place it should sit on the shims but also embed itself into the silicone. There needs to be enough silicone so that the weight of the toilet will push it up inside the edge forming a “bumper inside and under the bottom edge, so when the silicone sets it will stop side to side motion.

Be careful not to move the toilet when finishing the installation.  If at all possible I would not use the toilet for 12 hours allowing the silicone to completely set.

Finally take a picture of the bottom pipe area, the plywood so you can compare it at a later date to see if there are any additional stains from leakage.

I think you will find your problem is solved……,. and if the toilet mounting flange is broken, watch this video to help repair it.

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