Rocking toilet can cause water leak

Q: I had water leaking from underneath my toilet where the toilet meets the floor. My neighbor agreed to help me replace the wax ring underneath. We got the toilet off with no problem, but when we cleaned off the wax from the floor, we noticed that the retaining ring is broken. What do we do now?

A: You might want to stuff a rag into the top of the pipe to keep the sewer smell at bay and find another toilet to use for the next hour or two.

The leak was caused by poor contact between the wax ring and the horn (the bottom of the toilet). The reason for the poor contact was a rocking toilet, that is, a toilet that wasn’t properly secured to the floor.

A toilet can become loose if the flange breaks, if a bolt holding the toilet to the flange breaks or if the toilet wasn’t installed correctly. You can also get a leak by changing the flooring, raising its level to where the wax ring no longer contacts the flange and horn properly.

This happens a lot when homeowners install ceramic tile in an upstairs bath. Not only will the tile raise the height, but the underlying mortar and cement board do as well. All this leaves the flange stuck in a hole when it used to be level with the floor.

You can replace the flange or repair it. It is much easier to repair it.

You can buy a reinforcement ring that screws on top of the broken flange. The ring will keep the toilet sitting in the same footprint. You can buy a ring with small tabs on it that will screw into the wood subfloor or concrete slab, or you can buy a ring without the tabs that screws directly into the broken flange.

Clean off all of the old wax from around the broken flange and the bottom of the toilet. Set your reinforcement ring on top of the flange and orient it until the slots are aligned. If you are using the ring with tabs, mark the locations of the tabs on the floor and predrill the holes.

For a wooden subfloor, use stainless steel screws; for a concrete slab, use masonry screws. Use the appropriate masonry bit for chewing through the concrete.

Lay a thick bead of silicone around the inside of the flange so there are no gaps between it and the reinforcement ring when it is installed. Lay the reinforcement ring over the flange and screw it down. Now you’re ready to reinstall the toilet.

Insert the toilet bolts into the grooves of the reinforcement ring and push them near the end of the slot. The bolts need to be aligned so that when the toilet is reset, they will easily go into the holes of the toilet’s base.

Once you have the bolts in the proper location, push the plastic friction washers over each bolt. These washers simply hold the bolts in position as you lower the toilet back down.

With the toilet on its side, use a scraper and clean any wax from around the horn.

Buy a new wax ring with a polyethylene sleeve. The sleeve will help guide the waste down the pipe. Place the wax ring around the horn with a slight twisting motion (the rounded end goes against the toilet, and the sleeve will go into the flange). This will hold the wax ring in place as you lower the toilet.

Straddle the toilet and hold it over the bolts. The toilet is heavy, so waddle it into position. This is the important part. You want to place the toilet over the bolts and gently guide it down so that the bolts pop through the holes and the wax ring seals against the new reinforcement ring.

Once the toilet is in position, place your weight on it. You will feel the ring compress into place. You are done once the toilet is resting on the floor around its entire perimeter.

Place the plastic washer from the bolt cap on the bolt first, followed by the bolt washer and then nut. Tighten the nuts a little at a time until the toilet is snug. Do not overtighten these nuts or you might crack the toilet. If the toilet won’t move, you’re done tightening. You can nudge the toilet with your knee to test it.

Snap the plastic bolt covers onto the washer.

You can caulk the base of the toilet, but I prefer to use plaster of Paris. If you use plaster of Paris, you can smooth some out onto the floor around the footprint of the toilet before you set the toilet on the bolts. Once the toilet is tightened, just wipe up the plaster with a wet sponge.

Mike Klimek is a licensed contractor and owner of Las Vegas Handyman. Questions may be sent by email to handymanoflasvegas@msn.com. Or, mail to 4710 W. Dewey Drive, No. 100, Las Vegas, NV 89118. His web address is www.handymanoflasvegas.com.

Life
MAGIC fashion convention showcases men's clothing trends
The MAGIC fashion convention has come to Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to showcase some of the hottest clothing trends for men. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Army medic’s Afghanistan story told in new book
The graphic novel “Machete Squad” is based on journals written by Las Vegan Brent Dulak.
Las Vegas man talks about losing his wife
Dwayne Murray, 37, lost his wife, LaQuinta while she was at Centennial Hills Hospital. A jury awarded him $43 million last week after it said the hospital failed to perform the standard of care in administering a drug for her sickle cell disease.
Barber sets up shop in grandfather’s old shop
Andres Dominguez’s new barber shop is filled with memories of his grandfather, who ran the El Cortez landmark for more than 30 years. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Life and times of a 90-year-old horse player
Leo Polito of Las Vegas describes meeting legendary jockey and trainer Johnny Longden on the beach at Del Mar. Mike Brunker/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Learning the history of singing bowls
Presentation at Summerlin Library teaches residents about the history of singing bowls (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learning live-saving techniques in Stop the Bleed class
Leslie Shaffer, an AMR paramedic, shows how to control bleeding during a Stop the Bleed course at the Summerlin Library. The class is designed to teach anyone how to control and stop life-threatening bleeding. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vicki Richardson speaks about on the power of art
Artist and arts advocate Vicki Richardson talks about the power of art to inspire and challenge. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DressCoders pairs tech with haute couture
DressCoders is a startup focused on haute couture garments. The company uses illuminated thread that is washable and can be sewn right into the fabric. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Brava infrared oven
In cooking with the Brava infrared oven,there’s no preheating. the bulbs can reach 500 degrees in less than a second. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sinks Merge Style And Utility
Study could determine cause of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s diseases
Dr. Aaron Ritter, director of clinical trials at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, discusses his research on how inflammation in the brain impacts Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holocaust survivors talk about tragedy and friendship
Janos Strauss and Alexander Kuechel share their perspectives on life. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
'Siegel Cares' Santa delivers toys to kids at Siegel Suites in Las Vegas
Siegel Cares, the charitable wing of The Siegel Group, delivered toys to families at their apartment complexes in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Revisiting “Christ the King” sculpture
A longtime admirer of the sculpture at Christ the King Catholic Community in Las Vegas shares her perspective. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Terry Fator Christmas House
Arguably better than a hotel holiday display, is Terry and Angie Fator's home located in southwest Las Vegas.
UNLV Winter Graduation Packs Thomas & Mack
UNLV's 55th winter commencement ceremony included approximately 2,146 undergraduate and graduate students who recently completed their studies. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Build-A-Bear comes to Reed Elementary School
Students participated in a Build-A-Bear-Workshop at Doris Reed Elementary School in Las Vegas, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the LVRJ
Rev. Father Seraphim Ramos talks about Greek Orthodox icons during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center art depicts names of God
Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center founder Sharaf Haseebullah talks about new diamond-shaped art panels featuring some of the 99 names of Allah at the main entrance the Las Vegas mosque. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holiday poultry with Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine
Tim and Chemaine Jensen of Village Meat & Wine explain the different types of poultry available for the holidays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Catholic Charities hosts early Christmas meal
Students from the Bishop Gorman High School football and cheerleader team helped to serve food at the Christmas meal sponsored by the Frank and Victoria Fertitta Foundation at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada on Sunday. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Incarcerated Christmas
This is the fourth year HOPE for Prisoners has worked with the Nevada Department of Corrections to create a Christmas for prisoners to visit their families. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2018 Homeless Vigil
Straight From The Streets holds its 23rd annual vigil to remember the 179 homeless individuals who died in Clark County this year.
Getting through the Holiday blues
Psychologist Whitney Owens offers advice on keeping your mental health in check during the Holiday season in Henderson, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military
Operation Homefront Holiday Meals for Military program gave meal kits to 200 families at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10047 in Las Vegas Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. It all started with a chance encounter in a supermarket in Utica, N.Y., near Fort Drum. A soldier, his wife and infant had a handful of grocery items they couldn't afford. A Beam Suntory employee picked up the $12 cost for the groceries. The program has grown from providing 500 meal kits to military families in 2009 to providing more than 7,000 nationally this holiday season.K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women
An elegant Tea Party for substance abuse and homeless women at WestCare Women Children Campus in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Former 51s manager Wally Backman chats about new job
Former Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman talks about his new job with the independent league Long Island Ducks during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Inside the kitchen at Springs Preserve
The staff of Divine Events do party preparation in the kitchen at Divine Cafe at Springs Preserve. With nine parties the following day, this is a particularly busy time for the crew. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing