Many parts can cause a toilet flange to fail when damaged. The most common culprit is usually the seal, be it wax or rubber. However, the metal or plastic ring that helps to hold the toilet to the floor can also cause a leak.
Basically, when your toilet starts to wet your lower floor ceiling or bathroom floor, you must inspect the toilet flange first so as to determine the kind of repair that it needs.
Below are the steps that you need to take to deal with this issue.
Empty the toilet tank
The first step to take is to shut off the water supply. Locate the shut-off valve on the wall behind the toilet and turn the knob clockwise. After this, flush the water in the tank and use a sponge to absorb the remaining water while pouring it into the bowl. Next, disconnect the water supply from the toilet tank.
Remove the toilet
Unscrew the nuts that hold the toilet to the flange on the floor using a wrench. If either one of them it too rusted to be unscrewed, simply cut it off using a small hand hacksaw because it won’t be reused. Once freed, lift up the toilet and place it aside.
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Inspect the flange
Removing the toilet should expose the toilet flange and this should make it easier to spot what the problem is.
- If the seal is worn out
Simply replace the seal. It is recommended to avoid using wax seals because their integrity is affected by temperature changes. When it gets too cold, the wax becomes very hard and loses its sealing ability. The best thing to do would be to replace it with a flexible rubber seal.
- If the metallic or plastic rings are worn out
Remove the seal then remove this part. If the ring is metallic, you might be forced to use a sharp tool to scrape it off because there is a high probability that the metal will be rusted and stuck to the flange.
Install a new ring then reinsert the seal if it is reusable (flexible rubber seals). However, if the seal is wax based, you must replace with a new one.
- If the toilet flange is cracked or broken
Although rare, a toilet flange might develop cracks or wear out, especially if it is metallic. Metallic flanges rust over time and this may get to the point where the rust forms tiny holes that cause the leak.
If this is the case, you have to replace the whole unit and it is recommended to install a plastic one because it does not rust. With this replacement, also replace the seal and ring so that you renew everything down there.
Reseat the toilet
After the repair is done, reinsert the toilet seat above the seal and make sure that the screws align with the holes on the toilet. Fit the washers and screw a nut into each bolt so as to fasten the toilet to the floor.
Next, reconnect the inlet hose to the toilet tank and reopen the valve. Fill the tank with water then test if everything works properly.
Repairing this component is actually a very easy task and instead of hiring the services of a plumber, you can save that cash by simply learning to do this yourself.
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