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Old 02-01-2010, 01:09 PM  
powermatic
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Agree with Redwood. In 30 years of contracting, I've never seen a plumber pull the tank off first to remove a toilet from it's flange-would double the time necessary for a simple job, and for the amateur would just be another potential 'new' leak. Just flush the tank dry, remove flange nuts, straddle the bowl while grabbing the bottom sides of the tank, and 'waddle' it out of there. Reverse for installation.



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Old 02-01-2010, 01:48 PM  
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Default Salix species (Willow)

That looks like a willow (Salix species) tree root.

Willows are riparian, meaning they grow along streams and waterways, and have incredibly strong roots designed to seek out the merest hint of water.

I would remove any willow within 10 feet your home as it will eventually find another microscopic leak in your sewer and crack into it.



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Old 02-01-2010, 01:50 PM  
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<snip>We called a plumber, who used an auger to go down the drain and pulled out some large clumps of gunk... and also told us to replace our wax ring - that it might be old. The toilet flushed for about 24 hours, but when it began to slow again, we went and got the wax ring replacement. Upon removing the toilet to replace the wax ring, <snip>
Okay, some plumbers in this thread. Hey Redwood, longtime no chat.

I'm curious why the plumber didn't pull the toilet. Its easy and fast and i'm would be very surprised if he didn't have a wax ring in his van.

Also, i have never heard of a wax ring going bad on a toilet that's properly attached. Do they? And if the plumber identified a need why wouldn't he just do the work? a $2 part and 15 minutes of labor that he could have billed an hour for.

My guess is the homeowner just told the plumber to snake and get out and when things improved after the snake off he went. Just seems to me an incomplete job given the history and complaint.

Also, redwood - any comments on this video or will it qualify for your slop list? Ever see a toilet fill valve go bad like that?

Video – Toilet Repair – Fill Valve Replacement
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:13 PM  
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Also, redwood - any comments on this video or will it qualify for your slop list? Ever see a toilet fill valve go bad like that?
Ah the old water fountain in the toilet tank...

Yea I've seen a few of those. I like they ones better where they shoot out about 6 jets downward though for obvious reasons.

The only critique I'd give on that video is you didn't show how to adjust the height of the Fluidmaster 400A and the water level. Also I shy away from reusing the existing water supply lines and replace them instead.

How did I do with this one?
How To Replace Your Toilet Fill Valve With A Fluidmaster 400A
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:26 PM  
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Originally Posted by powermatic View Post
Agree with Redwood. In 30 years of contracting, I've never seen a plumber pull the tank off first to remove a toilet from it's flange-would double the time necessary for a simple job, and for the amateur would just be another potential 'new' leak. Just flush the tank dry, remove flange nuts, straddle the bowl while grabbing the bottom sides of the tank, and 'waddle' it out of there. Reverse for installation.
I'm more thinking about putting the toilet back in place. Sometimes I find it kinda hard to get the bowl back over the flange bolts properly... they can move and not want to thread through the holes in the bowl. Sometimes the wax ring sticks up almost even (or a bit higher) than the flange bolts, so you have to be able to see that those bolts are going to go through the bowl before you commit yourself to lowering the bowl down. It takes some precision to get the bowl back over those bolts in some cases.

And, in my view, taking the tank off the bowl allows the DIY better chance at success simply because the porcelain pieces he's lifting and maneuvering are smaller and lighter. That fact alone allows the DIY'er better control over how precisely he can move those pieces.

There is no right or wrong way here. I'm not saying that it's wrong to take the tank and bowl off together. But, no one can fault me for recommending DIY'ers take the tank and bowl off separately (cuz in my mind, the extra two minutes it takes is not wasted time).
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:12 AM  
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The same thing happened to my parents a year or two ago. The roots were growing under the house and up through the toilet pipes.
Large size: http://nickdrewe.com/image/toiletroothires.JPG

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Old 02-02-2010, 07:11 AM  
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Ah the old water fountain in the toilet tank...

How did I do with this one?
How To Replace Your Toilet Fill Valve With A Fluidmaster 400A
Ah yes, thats a great post!
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:13 AM  
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The same thing happened to my parents a year or two ago. The roots were growing under the house and up through the toilet pipes.
Large size: http://nickdrewe.com/image/toiletroothires.JPG

Damn that's a nice root...
How long was it once you got it all out of the pipe?
I think it may have been why the toilet wasn't flushing too well.

Did you apply root killer and seal the area where they were entering?
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:19 AM  
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Let me CAUTION any DIY that is thinking about dis-assembling a toilet for no other reason than to make it easier to move out of a cubby hole.

In the category of: If It Ain't Broke Don't Fix It!

In most cases two-part toilets have seals inside the tank and between the tank and the bowl frame. Typically these seals are made of rubber and over time the rubber will harden. Once that seal is disturbed the rubber components may not compress a second time when reassembling the parts and leaks will develop. NOW, one would have to find the proper rubber seals for replacement. That in and of itself could be a real hassle and time consuming. "Don't mess with those seals."

In the case of replacing a wax ring seal at floor level...
When the toilet unit is placed over the hole and onto the wax ring seal it should come to rest slightly above the floor being stopped by the height of the new seal. It is then necessary to apply some weight to the toilet unit to press it down to the floor thereby compressing the new wax seal and assuring a proper fit.

If one finds the toilet immediately sits on the floor with no resistance from the wax ring seal then YOU DON'T HAVE A TALL ENOUGH SEAL. In that case, one additional seal can be added on top of the first seal.

Seals come in a standard size, in addition there is an "extra tall" seal size. In addition to that, wax ring seals also come with a plastic funnel built into the wax ring. The plastic funnel type seal is what I recommend to go into/over the hole first. Then, if additional seal height is required, a second wax ring seal WITHOUT the funnel can be placed on top of the first.

Stabbing the bolts also isn't rocket science.

Most bolts have a retainer that threads down on top of the flange thereby holding the bolts firm, straight, and erect. In the absence of the retainer device, plumber's putty or even modelling clay can be used to pack around the bolt in the flange and again hold the bolt firm, straight and erect. Toilets aren't THAT heavy and re-stabbing them over the bolts isn't a real challenge.

If one is still having an issue viewing the location of the bolts and thereby stabbing them, one can slide a soda straw over each bolt thereby increasing the height and visibility of the bolt location. Once the toilet is in place, remove the soda straws and install the remaining hardware.

DO NOT use the nuts to draw-down the toilet. The nuts are only used to snug everything into place. Too much tightening could crack/break the toilet and ruin it. The entire toilet unit should be in its final resting place BEFOR any attempt is made to tighten the nuts onto the bolts.

AGAIN, separating the tank from the bowl for no good reason could be a foolish and stupid mistake, DON'T DO IT, without a good reason.

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Old 02-02-2010, 07:11 PM  
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In most cases two-part toilets have seals inside the tank and between the tank and the bowl frame. Typically these seals are made of rubber and over time the rubber will harden. Once that seal is disturbed the rubber components may not compress a second time when reassembling the parts and leaks will develop. NOW, one would have to find the proper rubber seals for replacement. That in and of itself could be a real hassle and time consuming.
Now you're starting to make stuff up, Bud.

I don't know if there's some strange African toilet that is different in that respect, but it's not right to scare newbies away from their toilets like you're doing. If it's an American Standard or Crane toilet, and it was made within the past half century, the only thing you'd need to replace between the tank and the bowl is the sponge gasket, and you can buy one of those at every hardware store in the country.

Also, they can just use a flashlight and mirror to confirm that the sponge gasket is the only rubber item between the tank and the bowl in 99% of cases.

Some American Standard toilets used a rubber bumper between the tank and the bowl, but that can be reused, and if push comes to shove, you can buy new ones. Ditto for Eljer.

Besides, what advice would you give a 98 pound divorced soccer mom that wants to save money by replacing her wax seal herself. She'll break her back trying to lift the tank and the bowl together. If such a newbie were to read your post, she'd be scared to take the tank off the bowl for all the problems she'll create for herself.

That paragraph in your post is completely misleading people without qualifying it by saying that 99.9% of the time, the only thing that will need to be replaced between the tank and the bowl is the sponge gasket on the bottom of the flush valve, and they're readily available everywhere. Which, in truth, is almost diametrically opposite of the way your paragraph reads.


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