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CNC_guy 11-12-2009 06:55 AM

Commode problem
I researched (a little) the forum for my specific problem but didn't find a thread so I joined and started a new thread....sorry if this has been discussed before.

I recently replaced the wax ring on a toilet. The home is just 5 yrs old but the toilet had been plunged quite a bit and it also probably rocked some. The closet flange was broke at the bolt location so I installed a metal ring that fits over the flange using 6 screws. I re-set the toilet and flushed and there was a little trickle of water that came out from under the toilet. Being that this was my first time doing this, I had bought a second wax ring just in case. I pulled the toilet again and cleaned all surfaces and then set it again. Flushed about 10 times and no leak. This was on Monday. I turned the water off to the toilet just to be safe because I had also replaced the supply line.

I came home Tuesday evening and everything was fine. Toilet bowl and tank were full and no leaks. I turned the water back on and flushed the thing about 5-6 times and everything is still dry. This is an upstairs water on the floor or the ceiling below. I turned the water off again before bed. I'm a little OCD about this because this commode leaked when it was first installed. Plumber couldn't tell me exactly why it anyway.

Wednesday I came home and the tank was empty. The bowl was still full. When I turned on the water, the tank filled up but then leaked out. Everything is dry....floor, ceiling below, space between tank and commode. I put in a new flapper. Same thing. The water seems to be flowing right into the drain. The bowl water is not disturbed and the level remains the same. It's just a slow trickle out of the tank to what sounds like the drain. I can put my hand in the tank and press around the flapper but the flow of the water out of the tank remains the same.

I did remove the tank from the commode when I changed the wax ring. I did NOT replace the gasket between the tank and commode. It did have a look of not being exactly centered (seal was warped a bit) but there is no water coming out between the tank and commode.

Is it possible this seal is allowing the tank to leak off without water leaking on the outside?

Could this have anything to do with the wax seal?

Thanks for any help I can get.

CNC_guy 11-12-2009 06:08 PM

Update. I replaced the gasket between the tank and base and it seemed to slow the tank drain but the tank still drains in about 45min to an hour.

I've also noticed that the water running out seems to be louder. I can hear it really well as it runs out and through the drain pipe. The commodes in the other bathrooms are not like this. Also, after the tank fills and the ball is "bottomed out" at it's highest point, I can still hear water running through the valve. This stops when I turn the water off.

Should I just pull the commode again and start all over with new wax ring and all new internals? There is no leak around the floor and I can't smell any fumes at the base and the ceiling below is dry. I can't figure out why the water running out is so much louder now though.:confused:

Blue Jay 11-12-2009 08:19 PM

Would not have anything to do with wax ring, you have a leak inside the tank letting the water thru the commode and down the drain. Flapper valve, overflow tube or gasket under this assembly between this and the tank.

Redwood 11-12-2009 08:53 PM

The bowl refill tube that goes from the fill valve to the overflow tube is it clipped on the top of the overflow tube or, is it stuffed way down inside the overflow tube?

CNC_guy 11-13-2009 09:21 AM

The tube is clipped at the top of the over-flow tube. The water level is about an inch below the top of the over-flow tube.

If I pull up hard on the ball float, the valve shuts completely off. If left alone, I can faintly hear water running through the valve.

Any ideas as to why I can hear the water running out of the drain so much more loudly now? Is it possible that I didn't get a good wax ring seal and it's just not leaking water?

Thanks for the help. I'm no plumber.

Speedbump 11-13-2009 11:54 AM


If I pull up hard on the ball float, the valve shuts completely off. If left alone, I can faintly hear water running through the valve.
In that case, you need to replace the fill valve so it can shut itself off when the float tells it to.

The only time the wax ring is going to leak is when water is added to the bowl. That problem is totally isolated from the tank leaking down. They are not related in any way.

CNC_guy 11-16-2009 10:21 AM

OK....replaced the fill valve with a Fluidmaster 400A and also replaced the flapper again with a better(?) one from the plumbing supply store.

The tank still leaks out in around an hour. I think I'll replace the overflow tube assembly now. That will mean all the internals are new. If that doesn't work I'm going to toss it out the upstairs window and see how many pieces it breaks into.;)

Redwood 11-16-2009 10:44 AM

CNC Guy,
Before you get into this too deep I'd recommend pushing down in the center of the flapper with your finger tip and see if the leakage stops. Also check the seat of the flush valve to be certain that it is clean and smooth. On some toilets Kohler in particular the rubber gasket under the flush valve in the tank deteriorates and ripples up causing interference not allowing the flapper to seat. This Rippling can be trimmed away with a razor knife if need be without resorting to a new gasket or, flush valve. The replacement flapper may also be an issue if it is incompatible with your toilet or is not installed correctly.

I would check all these factors before getting into a flush valve replacement.

Do you know the make and model of your toilet?

Speedbump 11-16-2009 11:12 AM


Before you get into this too deep I'd recommend pushing down in the center of the flapper with your finger tip and see if the leakage stops.
I had to replace the flapper in one of my rentals a few weeks back. The chlorine had damaged the old one so bad that part of it was stuck to the seat the new flapper was going to sit on. I had to clean the seat as well or the new flapper wouldn't have worked either.

CNC_guy 11-16-2009 05:05 PM

The commode is a Gerber 1.6 gallons per flush. It's about 5yrs old.

I have pushed around on the flapper and nothing changes and surface of the seat is nice and smooth.

The flapper is the same brand/type that was originally in the toilet that has worked for five years. I'm fairly certain I didn't bump anything when I initially took the tank off for the wax ring replacement and then the seal between the tank and base replacement.

What do y'all suggest I do next? My local plumbing supply house suggests I allow the flapper to "seat in" for a few days but I really don't buy that solution.

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