Introduction: How to Fix a Leaking Toilet Bowl
Is there anything worse than a leaking toilet bowl?
Unfortunately this has happened to us.
Let me say this…
…never EVER double up the wax ring.
Today’s tutorial shows you how to fix a leaking toilet bowl for less than $9.
I promise it’s easy and you won’t have to call a plumber.
Step 1: Identify the Genesis of the Leak
Let’s cut to the chase,
If your toilet bowl is leaking it’s due to
Wax ring failure
Closet flange problems
Or, a cracked bowl
All three are straight forward fixes…most of the time.
Here are the supplies you need
- Oatey LiquiLock
- Mini Hacksaw or
- Oscillating Multi Tool
- Wax Ring (without plastic horn)
- Closet Flange
- Closet Flange
- Spacer Rings
- Extra Long Closet Flange Bolts
- 100% Silicone Sealant
- Caulking Gun (optional)
Let's start with a brief explanation of the closet flange.
Why do you need your neck?
It supports your head.
The same goes for closet flanges, they support the toilet.
ALSO: the closet flange is where you put your wax ring.
If the closet flange is broken the wax ring won’t seal the toilet properly.
Without a good closet flange you’d have dirty toilet water on your nice floor.
Fortunately you’ve got several options when it comes to flanges
Step 2: Installing a New Waste Stack...Use This Closet Flange
This flange is specifically for new waste stacks.
Especially if the new stack is PVC.
They also make this type of closet flange for ABS pipes.
*NOTE: the metal flange isn't my favorite, it will rust over time...so opt for one made from PVC or ABS...just my opinion
Step 3: Offset Closet Flanges
Consider an offset closet flange if your existing toilet needs to move closer or farther away from the wall.
Good option for older homes.
Step 4: Broken Cast Iron Flange Option
Cast iron flanges often crack or corrode.
Use a gasketed closet flange like this one to remedy your situation.
The tailpiece of this flange has a gasket which goes down into the cast iron waste stack.
Here in Pittsburgh we have a lot of older homes with cast iron, so this flange comes in handy.
Step 5: Metal Flange Repair
Is the metal flange broken?
This is a great solution and only a few bucks.
If your closet flange is cracked or broken you should fix it.
Knowing your options helps a ton…and that’s the big reason for my closet flange summary.
Do you know the age of your wax ring?
If you don’t it probably is the cause of a toilet bowl leak.
BUT: which type should you buy?
Step 6: What You Ought to Know About Wax Rings...Seriously, Read This
A few years back we replaced our hardwood floor.
The installer (yes, I paid a pro to do this) doubled up the wax ring.
He did this because the new hardwood was higher than the closet flange.
Six months later we had a nice toilet bowl leak.
Fortunately the toilet was on the first floor and dripped into the garage.
Could you imagine if this was a toilet above your kitchen.
The installer did a great job with the hardwood but shouldn’t have doubled the wax ring.
Instead, we should have added a closet flange spacer ring.
These rings come in 1/4″ and 1/2″ increments.
Step 7: How to Install a Closet Flange Spacers
Apply 100% silicone caulk to the clean closet flange and extender ring.
Place the ring on the closet flange and screw it to the finished floor or subfloor.
RULE of thumb: raise the height of the closet flange so it’s 1/4″ above the finished floor.
That way the wax ring won’t compress and create a gap between it and the toilet bowl.
Ideally the closet flange should be secured to top of the finished floor.
But sometimes this isn’t possible.
Especially if you aren’t moving the waste stack.
Step 8: Choose Your Wax Ring Wisely
When you choose your new wax ring get one that DOESN’T have a plastic horn
Instead, get a plain wax ring like this one
Step 9: Watch This Video for More Tips
Over the last 14 years of being a homeowner and landlord I’ve learn tons of tips.
My video shares several more… …for example,
how can you remove a toilet bowl without spilling one drop of water AND
what do you do if your closet flange nuts won’t budge?
DO you have to break the toilet bowl?
Check out my video for these tips — the first 10 seconds are meant to make you laugh
Step 10: Now Your Turn
Toilet bowls can be the bane of our existence.
But we’re lucky to have them…better than the alternative …which is a tree in the woods
That said, ask your questions down in the comments.
I’d be happy to help.
So ask away.