Plumbing in the Home/Toilet reset problem


I would consider myself experienced with homeowner plumbing issues, but I have a recurring problem with one toilet in my home.  I have replaced the wax ring, trying flanged and unflanged, cheapest and high priced models, but have one stool in my upstairs bath that will typically hold a seal for six months or so, then begin to seep from beneath the base.  I have taken pains to make sure the toilet is NOT mobile or rocking, but this problem continues to reoccur.  I have never reused an old ring, or anything like that.  Is there something I am missing?  I would estimate this will be the seventh or eighth time I've had this seeping problem in the last five years. As I said, when I "fix" it, it seals for a while.  I would guess the longest period with no leaks was around a year, but typically I'm resetting a toilet every three-four months...

Dear Dave,

Occasionally a toilet flange may be set too low... this can be for many reasons, most often if the floor was redone at some point, but sometimes due to pipe settling or movement or occasionally house settling.

It sounds to me as though this may be the issue in your case here...  what I have had to do on occasion is to double up on the wax seals.  I would take a wax ring with the plastic horn, put it on first and then take a ring without the plastic horn and place it on top of the first.  It may take considerable pressure to squeeze it down, but this should provide a good long-lasting seal.

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Thomas Ambler


I am experienced at troubleshooting and solving all types of plumbing problems. Issues related to specific manufacturers fixtures and specifications though are beyond my field of expertise. I have dealt with problems in both rural and urban areas, and with water supply and drainage systems. Plumbing issues can be very obscure... such as odors, stains or occasional seepage. I have even had to chase rats from a customer's sewer line.


I have 25 years experience dealing with plumbing systems (which also includes hot water and steam heating systems). My main expertise is in diagnosing and solving problems. I have worked in construction and installation of new systems but do not regard myself as an expert in that area.

Asbury Park Press, Seattle Times, Denver Post.

I completed high school and one year of college. I served 4 years in the Marine Corps and have education in electronic and electrical troubleshooting and repair. I have attended classes on installing and repair of oil burners, and I have EPA universal certification for air conditioning and refrigeration. I am now enrolled as a full-time student at Everest college to re-train for a new career. Any donations of financial support would be greatly appreciated.

Past/Present Clients
All of Denny's Restaurants in NJ, Several Burger King stores, I have done work at two different homes for Bruce Springsteen. I have also worked for Jim Johnson (of J&J) and his family, Whitney Houston, Steve Forbes and many others.

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