Toilet Bowl Leak Troubleshooting???

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gator

George
Corporate Member
So, a small pool of water around one side of the base of the toilet bowl. Not real bad, maybe 8-10 square inches in a 12 hour period. Wax ring? Water connection to tank? Leaking bolts from tank to bowl?

I put red dye in tank and let it set for a few hours - water at base is clear and no red streaks down the side of the bowl under the tank. Flushed everything clean and put blue dye in bowl -water at base clear. Did the bowl a few more times adding dye while flushing so it would go through the siphon channel (or whatever its called) and sit - still clear water at base. Felt water connections at wall, at entrance to tank, around the bolts that hold tank to bowl and can feel no water - still clear water around base.

I'm stumped as to where the clear water around the base is coming from and I don't really want to take the bowl up and change the wax ring and still have a leak.

Ideas?

Thanks
George
 

Gofor

Mark
Corporate Member
Could it be condensation dripping off the tank?

Also could be a small leak on the inlet line.

Go
 

buildintechie

New User
Jeff
Just had to tear up all the flooring (3 layers of linoleum and 2 layers of VCT) in one of my bathrooms...all due to a wax ring that failed.

Cheapest way to start would be to replace the ring.
 

Joe Scharle

Joe
Corporate Member
Had a tiny, tiny pinhole leak in the supply tube once, that shot a tiny stream up under the seat. I wrapped a paper towel around the tube and sure enough, I could see the damp spot. Before I could get the tube replaced with hose, that hole opened up big time. You guessed it; while I was sleeping.
 

RayH

New User
Ray
George,

Try taking off the tank top and pressing down on the float enough to start the water flowing freely. Does it all go into the tank? I just found a "leak" where the valve housing has failed and squirts water up onto the inside of the tank top. That created a small intermittant drip down the side of the tank that was always dry when I checked. Just the floor stays wet.

Good luck.
Ray
 

Tarhead

Mark
Corporate Member
Are you having a problem with your aim George?:rotflm:
It has to be be a leaking hose, hose connection or stopcock. I don't think it's cold enough to see condensation on the tank yet.
 

Glennbear

Moderator
Glenn
Had a tiny, tiny pinhole leak in the supply tube once, that shot a tiny stream up under the seat. I wrapped a paper towel around the tube and sure enough, I could see the damp spot. Before I could get the tube replaced with hose, that hole opened up big time. You guessed it; while I was sleeping.

Since both of of your dye tests were negative I agree with Joe that the likely culprit is the supply piping hence clear water. As he said a paper towel or some tissue is very handy for finding leaks. :wsmile:
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Staff member
Corporate Member
Older toilet supply piping of copper had an issue with the ferrule sleeve leaking if it was ever loosened and re-tightened (DAMHIKT). Replace the supply tube with one of the steel braid jacketed flex connections that has a rubber sleeve. Get one long enough to make a loop in it before it's attached to the tank. They are available at any BORG, and many independent hardware stores (Ace, etc.). It is compatible with all standard supply stops and available in 3/8" and 1/2" supply tube sizes. It will also help avoid the bursting issue Joe mentioned.
BTW, these are also available as washing machine supply hoses and if anyone on public water doesn't have a pressure regulator for their domestic service, it is a wise investment.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
Based on 30+ years of plumbing experience, your leak is most likely coming on supply line. Put a small dish, with a piece of newspaper in it under stop valve. Wait 30 minutes, and any leak will show up as a wet spot on paper. The stem packing nut may need to be tightened. Also take top off tank, and, make sure fill tube isn't out of place, or has a hole in it. Because you did dye both in bowl and tank, a crack in either is eliminated. Check under the adjorning vanity to make sure leak isn't from there.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I agree with the suggestion that it is most likely the supply line and not the wax ring. On the other hand, wax rings are cheap and not hard to replace. In the process, you can take care of both possibilities. If I could not see water coming from the supply, I would buy a wax ring (soft kind, with the plastic guide built in) and a new flexible supply line. Turn the water off, flush, use a sponge to remove the rest of the water from the tank and the bowl, then take the supply line off and the bolts off that hold the base down. Then you just lift the toilet up and off the wax ring. Then you can clean off the old ring and install the new one and then put everything back. Probably take about an hour.

If the supply shutoff to the toilet leaks - not uncomon - you can shut the water off to the house but then you better get done in an hour.

Jim
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
just curious as to why the loop? i've seen it done a lot but don't know the why?
Because the shorter ones are often just a tiny bit too short:BangHead:. Longer ones work no matter what height water closet, which means only stocking one size on the truck.
 

jerrye

Jerry
Corporate Member
Because the shorter ones are often just a tiny bit too short:BangHead:. Longer ones work no matter what height water closet, which means only stocking one size on the truck.

Another reason that you always want to ensure a flexible fluid supply line has enough length (and putting a loop in it does this) is because of the dynamic type of pressure such a line endures. With dynamic pressure, each time the fluid flows through the line the line swells, decreasing slightly in length, causing the line to flex a little. If the line were stretched tight, over time this swelling and flexing will cause the fittings to begin leaking.

VERY true of hydraulic hoses, probably true with a flexible water supply line also...
 
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