Toilet Leak - Wax Ring Picture

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soparklion11

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I installed a Todo Drake toilet over one year ago. Last week, it clogged when it didn't flush properly, so I re-flushed. That clog stayed in place despite my attempt at plunging and use of a 3ft closet auger. It sat during the day with a high water level while I was at work and it had completely drained when I returned home. I then flushed and plunged to no avail that evening. The next morning, it had drained down again. I got a 6 ft closet auger and it finally gave way with a woosh...

Problem 1: The toilet leaked onto the ceiling of the room below. So after unclogging, I pulled the toilet. I could not identify the location of the leak. The attached picture shows the wax ring that was in place. It obviously leaked from above the flange, but I can't find an imperfection that would point to a leak. The flange and floor are both level. The toilet base did not have any imperfections, debris or retained wax. Question: Why did it leak? Should I expect that ~12-18 inches of water head for 12+ hours lead to a leak? Should I just replace with another wax ring or is there something else that I can do to improve that seal?

Problem 2: I fiddled with the water fill and it flushed and filled properly before I pulled the toilet.

I also scoped the drain afterwards and there was no drain issue.
 

bud16415

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There is not supposed to be standing water in the drain line below the toilet. The toilet has a built in water trap to keep gasses from coming back up and the wax ring form a seal albeit not perfect. When the clog is down stream the water backs up above the wax ring and that is not always going to seal for a long period of time. Normally the opening at the base of the toilet is smaller than the piping and if something makes it out of the toilet it will continue down the pipe.


The question is how new is your waste line and what is it made from. Over time it seems something has caused a place for a clog to get started. The only way to know for sure is to get someone in with a scope camera and go down and take a look. There are pro drain cleaners that can send augers down and clear obstructions also or if worse comes to worse the piping has to be replaced.


If you have kids they seem to know how to get toys to go down that snag along the way. You have it running now it may keep happening or it may never do it again. You could wait on the ceiling repair for a little while just in case.


There is nothing I know of to make that seal perfect. I would replace the wax ring and there are wax rings with a plastic piece that extends down the pipe a few inches that some people like to use.
 

pjones

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I had a plumber once tell me that he double stacks all his wax rings. He’s never had a problem with doing that and it provides more wax to make the seal.
 

soparklion11

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Thank you all. I did have an extended wax ring with a plastic hub. I will replace it in kind.
 

Puddlesx5

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Plunging a toilet will result in wax ring failure if the plug is in the actual drain line. The pressure from the plunger will in that case break the seal of a wax ring.
 

billshack

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the problem with wax seals is that they are good only if the toilet never moves. if a toilet does move it breaks the seal. that is why i always caulk the front 3/4 of the toilet bowl .
 

Eddie_T

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Has anyone tried the polyurethane waxless rings? I will try them if I ever have to re-seat either of my toilets as they are heavy one-piece Kohler Rochelles and a bear to seat.

I like to see improvements in century old techniques such as sink drains and toilet seals.
 

Puddlesx5

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the problem with wax seals is that they are good only if the toilet never moves. if a toilet does move it breaks the seal. that is why i always caulk the front 3/4 of the toilet bowl .
I will not caulk the th toilet down unless it what the customer wants.
Caulking down a toilet will hide a leak. I would want the water to leak onto the floor then leak down to the next level. Cheaper to fix a seal than floor replacement.
 

Junto

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"The attached picture shows the wax ring that was in place. It obviously leaked from above the flange, but I can't find an imperfection that would point to a leak."

Picture?
 

billshack

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I will not caulk the th toilet down unless it what the customer wants.
Caulking down a toilet will hide a leak. I would want the water to leak onto the floor then leak down to the next level. Cheaper to fix a seal than floor replacement.
I said that i always caulk the front 3/4 of the toilet bowl what leaves a space for any water to get out if required.
 

Puddlesx5

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I said that i always caulk the front 3/4 of the toilet bowl what leaves a space for any water to get out if required.
I understood what you wrote. I was give my reason for not caulking the toilet.
 

ajaynejr

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Before installing the new wax ring, test fit the toilet using a few layers of corrugated cardboard underneath so that its underside does not touch the floor flange. Use shims if needed. Then Then retest the toilet to be sure that it does not rock. Correct that using more or larger shims if needed.

Finally, do more test fits and use more corrugated cardboard underneath to figure out how thick a wax ring you need to make a complete seal.
 
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