Leveled toilet now leaking

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Reelsix

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Hi - I had a leak with my tank gasket and took steps to replace all tank hardware and the gasket. That leak has stopped. However, when repairing the tank I noticed the toilet was out of level and dipping towards the front. I added shims to the front to level the toilet (there were some visible on the back already). It took two shims stacked in the front to get it to level. I loosened the bolts on the base to allow some play for the bowl to move while leveling. I then tightened them both back once leveled. I am now seeing a small leak at the front of the toilet after use. What could be the cause of this based on what I described? Thanks for your help.
 

bud16415

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Sounds like you broke the wax seal when you lifted the front. If you pull it again and reshape the ring (maybe) then have the shims in when you set it that will work. Or start again with a new wax ring.
 

Reelsix

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Okay. I was afraid it was something like that. Thanks for reply.
 

Snoonyb

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Had you simply loosened the bolts slightly, and removed the shims in the back, you mat have cured the problem.

Now, with the WC removed, level both ways across the closet ring, refresh or replace the wax ring, reset the Wc and adjust th level accordingly.
 

ajaynejr

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Make all of the adjustments and put all needed shims in place (glue preferred) and do a test fit of the toilet without the wax ring. The toilet bottom must not touch the floor flange and the toilet must not rock during the test fit.
 

Billbill84

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Unless it was visibly rocking around does that gap at bottom bother u that much? Most cosmetic things like that can be hidden well with a good caulk job. Never adjust a toilet without replacing the wax ring and reseating it to your liking. Glad I'm not the only one with handyman's OCD It can bite ya sometimes 😂
 

Spicoli43

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Fireguy5674

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Once you get your toilet set level with a new seal, if you have a large gap, another way to stabilize it is using a quick set grout. I have worked on toilets that were shimmed and ended up with with large gaps. Caulk will fill the gap but may not keep the toilet from moving and eventually causing another leak. Mix a small amount of quick setting grout and push it in between the floor and the toilet. Use your finger to finish the exposed material just like you would for caulk. I have used this trick to solve several issues. Once, I used this approach to fix a toilet in an assisted living home. The floor was not level under the toilet and they had put assist arms on the toilet. We could not keep the toilet from leaking even with a rubber seal. After putting the grout under it I was never called back to work on that one. The grout is usually a close enough color match to the toilet it is not an eyesore.
 

Billbill84

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Once you get your toilet set level with a new seal, if you have a large gap, another way to stabilize it is using a quick set grout. I have worked on toilets that were shimmed and ended up with with large gaps. Caulk will fill the gap but may not keep the toilet from moving and eventually causing another leak. Mix a small amount of quick setting grout and push it in between the floor and the toilet. Use your finger to finish the exposed material just like you would for caulk. I have used this trick to solve several issues. Once, I used this approach to fix a toilet in an assisted living home. The floor was not level under the toilet and they had put assist arms on the toilet. We could not keep the toilet from leaking even with a rubber seal. After putting the grout under it I was never called back to work on that one. The grout is usually a close enough color match to the toilet it is not an eyesore.
Maybe they grew tired of calling and called someone else? 😂
Caulk is simply for cosmetics and is not intended to support weight in this scenario or any other. Examine bottom of the bowl before setting it to see where in the base will support a shim. I've cut paint stir sticks to shape and that works great too if u can't slip one under the putter edge but that's why we examined the bowls underside in the last step. I've never seen a toilet sitting on a bead of grout in my life
 

Fireguy5674

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Maybe I am an innovator? 🤔

Another place I used this trick was where they had removed a tile floor and replaced it with a thinner floor (vinyl?). This was a third floor apartment with no access underneath to change the flange height and cast iron plumbing. Also, section 8 housing. Fix it, but don't do damage or spend money! I had shimmed the toilet but could not hold the seal until I grouted around it. Again no callback.

Sometimes you have to use what works.
 

MrMiz

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Once you get your toilet set level with a new seal, if you have a large gap, another way to stabilize it is using a quick set grout. I have worked on toilets that were shimmed and ended up with with large gaps. Caulk will fill the gap but may not keep the toilet from moving and eventually causing another leak. Mix a small amount of quick setting grout and push it in between the floor and the toilet. Use your finger to finish the exposed material just like you would for caulk. I have used this trick to solve several issues. Once, I used this approach to fix a toilet in an assisted living home. The floor was not level under the toilet and they had put assist arms on the toilet. We could not keep the toilet from leaking even with a rubber seal. After putting the grout under it I was never called back to work on that one. The grout is usually a close enough color match to the toilet it is not an eyesore.
this is really common in my area where the original basement was dirt and then cement was poured in much later. The quality of the pour is .... never good. I don't know if there was just a really bad contractor doing it at the time. Or if nobody cared. They kind of just sloshed it in as fast as they could, but the floors are not even remotely flat, and in some places is hardly even 1/2 thick. The trick with grout/thinset does the job as long as you use the correct product. I though it was basically white thinset, but maybe it's white sanded grout? I've replaced a couple in my rentals that looked like they had used drywall mud under them. I chipped it all up cleaned the surface really good and then used white thinset. I haven't had to do anything with those 2 toilets in probably 7 or 8 years. So it's a solid fix. I've also wondered what it's going to be like when I have to removed one as the porcelain under the toilet doesn't have that enameled finish on the bottom, but maybe I'll never have to remove one. Fingers crossed.
 

Fireguy5674

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Sorry, my terminology is probably poor. I wasn't referring to tile grout. I used a quick setting product called "Cement All" made by Rapid Set. It is a concrete patching product. Also used it for patching around lines run through foundations etc. Carried it on the truck for many purposes.

Kind of the same thing only different? 😁
 

BuzzLOL

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Nothing magic about toilet wax... I just push it back up into a ridge with putty knife or scraper and jam the toilet back down onto it... scrape off any dirty surface wax first... wax is very stable substance with 100+ years life... Of course the toilet mounting bolts should be fixed and secured first as necessary to prevent any wiggle ability of the toilet...
 

tomtheelder2020

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I've never seen a toilet sitting on a bead of grout in my life
On a different forum, a retired professional plumber recommended I place a plaster of paris seam between shims before seating the toilet. Because the shimmed gap was about 1/4 inch, what I actually did was:
1. Place the bowl without seal and outline it with painters tape;
2. Place flat shims (no worry about going out of level if bowl placement not perfect) that extended well under and well outside the toilet, then taped them to the floor (no worry about them shifting).
3. Remove bowl, place seal, and reseat bowl. Tape outline on floor makes accurate bowl placement easy.
4. Use a grout bag to inject plaster of paris under edges of bowl. Smooth it with a finger, then pull up tape to have a perfect, clean line on the floor.
5. After grout hardened, remove the shims and grout those small gaps.

I just finished this project so can't speak to long term performance but I am confident. If the shimmed gap had been much narrower I would worry about getting it completely under the rim of the bowl and placing the grout before replacing the bowl would be safer. This approach takes way too much time to be practical for a professional but for a DIYer who resets a toilet maybe once per decade, or even less often, this seems like an almost foolproof* way to go.

*Recognizing, however, that nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently determined fool.
 

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