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PLUMBING SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
AGE of PLUMBING MATERIALS & FIXTURES
AIR DISCHARGE at FAUCETS, FIXTURES
BACKUP PREVENTION, SEPTIC
BACKUP PREVENTION, SEWER LINE
BACKWATER VALVES, SEWER LINE
BATH & KITCHEN DESIGN GUIDE
BOD WASTEWATER TEST
BLOCKED DRAIN REPAIR METHODS
CHECK VALVES, WATER SUPPLY
CHLORINE IN SEPTIC WASTEWATER
CLEANOUTS, PLUMBING DRAIN
CLOGGED DRAIN DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
CLOGGED SUPPLY PIPES, DIAGNOSIS
CLOGGED SUPPLY PIPES, REPAIR
CLOGGED SUPPLY PIPES, HOT WATER
CONDENSATION or SWEATING PIPES, TANKS
CROSS CONNECTIONS, PLUMBING
DEPTH of DRAIN & SEWER PIPES
DEPTH of SEPTIC TANK
DRAIN & SEWER PIPING
DRAIN LINE DEPTH
DRAIN a WATER HEATER TANK
FAUCETS & CONTROLS, KITCHEN & BATH
FAUCETS, OUTDOOR HOSE BIBBS
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FLOODED HEATING EQUIPMENT REPAIR
FLOODED SEPTIC SYSTEMS, REPAIR
FLOODED WATER HEATER REPAIR
FLOOR DRAIN / TRAP ODORS
FLUSHOMETER VALVES for TOILETS URINALS
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
GALVANIZED STEEL PIPING
HARD WATER - SOFTENERS
HEAT TAPES, Heat, Insulation prevent Freeze-Up
KITCHEN & BATH DESIGN GUIDE
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LEAD PIPES in buildings
LEAD in WATER, ACTION LEVEL & REMEDIES
LEAK TYPES, Water Supply/Drain Pipe
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MIXING / ANTI-SCALD VALVES
MUNICIPAL WATER PRESSURE IMPROVEMENTS
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
NOISE CONTROL for PLUMBING
NOISE, PLUMBING DRAIN DIAGNOSIS
NOISE, PLUMBING DRAIN REPAIR
NOISE, PLUMBING CHECKLIST
NOISE, WATER HEATER
NOISES, WATER PUMP
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS IN WATER
ODORS, SEPTIC or SEWER
ODORS SEWER GAS in COLD WEATHER
ODORS, SULPHUR SMELL SOURCES
ODORS, URINE REMOVAL
OUTHOUSES & LATRINES
PIPING IN buildings, Clogs Leaks Types
PLUMBING FIXTURES, KITCHEN, BATH
REPAIR BURST LEAKY PIPES
SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SEPTIC METHANE GAS
SEPTIC SYSTEM ODORS
SEPTIC & CESSPOOL SAFETY
SEWAGE BACKUP, WHAT TO DO
SEWAGE BACKUP TEST & CLEANUP
SEWAGE BACKUP PREVENTION
SEWAGE BACKUP TEST & CLEANUP
SEWAGE & SEPTIC CONTAMINANTS
SEWAGE CONTAMINATION in buildings
SEWAGE CONTAMINANTS in FRUIT / VEGETABLES
SEWAGE EJECTOR / GRINDER PUMPS
SEWAGE NITROGEN CONTAMINANTS
SEWAGE PATHOGENS in SEPTIC SLUDGE
SEWAGE PUMP CLOG DAMAGE
SEWER BACKUP PREVENTION
SEWER GAS ODORS
SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT
SHUTOFF VALVE LOCATION, USE
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
SUMP PUMPS GUIDE
SWEATING (CONDENSATION) on PIPES, TANKS
TANK TYPES: WATER, OIL, EXPANSION, ALL
TOILETS, INSPECT, INSTALL, REPAIR
TRAPS on PLUMBING FIXTURES
TUBS & TUB REPLACEMENTS or RELINERS
WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER PIPES, Clogs Leaks Types
WATER PRESSURE & FLOW MEASUREMENT
WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS
WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE
WATER QUALITY TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER QUANTITY IMPROVEMENT
WATER SHUTOFF VALVE LOCATION, USE
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER SUPPLY & DRAIN PIPING
WATER TANK: USES, TROUBLESHOOTINGL
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT CHOICES
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Here we explain how to diagnose and repair a loose, wobbly toilet. A toilet that is loose is unsanitary and possibly unsafe. But worse, if it has rotted the bathroom floor or if the waste pipe flange below the toilet is damaged, repair can be more difficult (and expensive) unless you know these tricks of the trade.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
Tighten the Toilet Mounting Bolts?
It is tempting to simply try tightening the toilet mounting bolts that secure the toilet either to the floor or to a flange connected to the top of the sewer pipe. And indeed if those components are in good condition, this repair may seem to fix the loose toilet problem.
But as we pointed out above, if a toilet has been loose and wobbly, it has usually compressed and spread its wax ring seal between the toilet base and the top of the waste pipe. The result is a leak (photo at left), sometimes hidden, that sends unsanitary wastewater into the floor structure or into the ceiling below the toilet each time the toilet is flushed.
So a better loose toilet repair is to turn off water to the toilet, empty water from its tank and bowl, remove the toilet from the floor, remove and replace the old wax ring, and then bolt the toilet securely to the toilet mounting flange or floor. (Some toilet models use four bolts, two are connected to the waste pipe flange and two more lag bolts secure the toilet to the floor or subfloor.)
What if the Toilet Mounting Flange is Broken or the Floor Below the Toilet is Damaged and the Bolts Won't Tighten?
There are several fixes for this problem. If the floor around and below a toilet is badly damaged, the best repair is to remove the toilet, remove and replace the damaged subfloor and finish floor, and then reinstall the toilet, mounting it securely with its bolts and perhaps also with a thin bead of caulk around the toilet base for extra security.
Toilets that are intended to be secured by bolts connecting to a flange at the top of the waste pipe (photo at left) use a flat-headed T-bolt. The "T" is inserted into a slot in the toilet mounting flange, moved in a slot around the flange to the proper location, and the toilet is set over the protruding bolts and bolted down (with a new wax seal).
If the subfloor does not provide enough purchase for a lag-screw toilet mounting bolt, or if the subfloor is soft, but yet the finish flooring outside the toilet footprint is in good condition, you may not want to tear out the whole bathroom floor to fix this condition.
If there is access to the floor around the toilet from below, perhaps by removing drywall from the ceiling of the room below the toilet, it is usually possible to cut two 3/4" thick solid core plywood braces that surround the waste pipe. Screw these flat plates to the underside of the subfloor below the toilet, and use longer lag-screws to reach through the old soft subfloor or flange and into the new solid repair material.
Alternatively, a four-bolt toilet may afford two more mounting positions to secure the toilet to the floor.
We use a thin bead of caulk applied to a clean under-side of the edges of the toilet base, combined with careful cleaning of the floor around the toilet, to provide additional adhesion of the toilet to the finish floor when it is reinstalled. Use just enough caulk to glue down the toilet, but not such a wide bead that later removal of the toilet will be difficult. To remove a glued toilet later, we use a utility knife to simply cut through this caulk bead.
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