attempt to fix loose toilet only made it worse

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by LMHmedchem, Feb 8, 2018.

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  1. Feb 8, 2018 #1

    LMHmedchem

    LMHmedchem

    LMHmedchem

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    Hello,

    I have a reasonably new Toto toilet that is has come loose from the floor. It rocks a bit from side to side. I took up a socket set and tightened down the nuts on the two screws on either side where it is attached to the floor. Now it is even more loose than before.

    On one side, the bolt is now too tall to put the plastic cap over it. It seems like tightening the new pulled the bolt up somehow. I don't remember what these things look like under the hood, so it's hard to visualize what is happening. I am afraid if I tighten the nuts more that I will break the porcelain.

    Are there any suggestions?

    LMHmedchem
     
  2. Feb 8, 2018 #2

    maxdad118

    maxdad118

    maxdad118

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    I’m a believer in these Saniseals!! You can stack them on top of each other to take up the slack. I have a bathroom where one seal wouldn’t quite seal and leaked a small amount around the base of the toilet. The portion on the floor wasn’t at the correct height and these did the trick, not a drip on the floor and toilet is stable. I will fix this when I redo the bathroom soon. It takes the place of the wax ring and they are reusable. Sounds like the bolt came out of its slot??

    A79D8FAC-A428-4ED3-8D5D-7BC109030CEC.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  3. Feb 8, 2018 #3

    johnjh2o

    johnjh2o

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    Sounds like you may have a broken flange.
     
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  4. Feb 8, 2018 #4

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    You need to pull the toilet and take a look under it to figure out the problem. Do not over tighten the nuts as you will crack the tank and then you will be replacing the whole thing.
     
  5. Feb 8, 2018 #5

    joecaption

    joecaption

    joecaption

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    Need to pull the toilet to see what's going on.
    It's very common to have an issue with a broken or rusted out flange.
    Do not put off fixing this, a leaking flange can rot out the floor and become a much bigger job.
    To late know because it needs to come back out but if the bolts are to long, there cut off with a hacksaw.
     
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  6. Feb 8, 2018 #6

    jeffmattero76

    jeffmattero76

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    Do a Google search for "closet bolts" . You will see that the head of these bolts is shaped like a rectangle. When you install a toilet, the toilet flange (the ring that is attached to your floor) has slots where those closet bolts would be installed. The bolt head goes through the slot in the flange, and the bolt is rotated 90 degrees. The threads of this bolt stick up, and the toilet is installed such that the threads come up through the holes on the base of the toilet. A washer and a nut are then installed to tighten the toilet to the floor.

    You say that tightening the nuts made the toilet looser and brought the threads to a higher level. That is happening for one of three possible reasons. First, the head of the closet bolt rotated back 90 degrees, and is no longer engaging the slot in the flange. Second, the head of the closet bolt broke, so again, not engaging the slot on the flange. Third, as a previous poster suggested, the flange broke and the broken piece is no longer attached to the floor.

    Regardless of which of the three occurred, you will have to remove the toilet to fix it. If the closet bolts turned or broke, reinstall them or replace them. If the flange is broken, they sell repair rings at the big box stores. Be sure to get a new wax ring while there. When reinstalling the toilet, be careful not to tighten the nuts down too hard, since you could crack the base of the toilet. It is best to snug them, and, after a few days of use, go back and snug them again.
     
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  7. Feb 9, 2018 #7

    LMHmedchem

    LMHmedchem

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    Alright, tomorrow I will pull the toilet and see what is going on underneath. The entire bathroom was remodeled about 5 years ago, so I would be surprised if something is already rusted out or broken.

    LMHmedchem
     
  8. Feb 9, 2018 #8

    nealtw

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Crap happens in bathroom all the time..:help:
     
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  9. Feb 10, 2018 #9

    aNYCdb

    aNYCdb

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    it's possible that its a plastic flange that simply broke either from the rocking or snapped when you tried to tighten the bolt.
     
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  10. Feb 11, 2018 #10

    LMHmedchem

    LMHmedchem

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    This is what happened, a piece of the PVC flange broke off where the bolt is seated. I fixed it with a steel ring that sits over the PVC.

    Oatey Stainless Steel Replacement Flange Ring ($6)

    I replaced the screws that were securing the flange with 2" coated deck screws.

    For the steal, I tried a Saniseal but I wasn't very impressed. There is an inner ring to the seal that is supposed to fit around the porcelin the protrudes from the bottom of the bowl. Then only way I could get this on was to put the seal on the toilet and then lower it onto the bolts. The seal wouldn't stay in place and I could never convince myself that everything was lined up correctly. They should include some heavy double sided tape with this so you can secure the seal in position on the toilet.

    I ended up using one of these,

    NEXT by Danco Perfect Seal Toilet Wax Ring with Bolts ($10)

    This is a kind of hybrid product with a wax ring and a silicone seal. It has much longer bolts than the saniseal product if that matters. I would have just used a reinforced wax seal, but there were allot of sizes there and I didn't have any way to know which size I needed. I didn't see anything stamped on the old one, which would have been nice.

    I also got my own stainless steel washers that are larger than those provided. I got the kind that are larger but have a small hole in the center. The slots in the porcelain on my toilet are wide and the washers that were on there were not wide enough to cover all of the slot so they didn't sit very flat. I also got some neoprene washers to go under the steel ones so I could tighten them up well against the porcelain.

    Overall, the toilet is sitting flat and not rocking anymore. I am still not entirely sure about the bolt in the broken area of the flange but it seems alright for now.

    Overall I am disappointed with this bathroom. It is 6 years old and was built with high quality, expensive fixtures bought at a well regarded regional plumbing supply company. Everyting is Symmons or Toto. So far I have replaced the spindle and seat on the shower blender, the drain in the pedestal sink, the entire inside of the toilet tank including the feeder hose, and now have repaired the toilet flange and replaced the wax seal. Also, the new toilet shutoff valve doesn't work and I still need to do that. Before the remodel, the bathroom that was there was installed in the 1950s and didn't require any repairs that I can remember in the 30 years I lived here before the remodel. Everything still worked but the floor needed attention and it was looking old and tired.

    ...but everything still worked

    It seems like you need to remodel every 5 years now if you want everything to work.

    Thanks for the help.

    LMHmedchem
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  11. Feb 11, 2018 #11

    aNYCdb

    aNYCdb

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    That is pretty surprising to hear, everyone always such great things about Toto toilets and generally most of the things you have described I would have expected to last much longer than you described. That said the interesting thing about "high end" fixtures is that they break in new and interesting ways. I'm a simple man I put in Moen Shower/Tub Controls (posi-temp) and Cadet 3 toilets (American Standard).

    All that said I would probably consider having the water tested, as most of the parts you describe corrode with acidic water, calcify in hard water, and deteriorate in highly chlorinated water.
     

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