Repairing a toilet with a leaking base
If you have a leak on the floor at the base of your toilet most likely you have a bad wax lining, so let me go through the steps on how to replace it, and for this project you should just need two tools an adjustable wrench and adjustable pliers, so go through the steps and the first thing you will want to do is turn off the shut off valve to the tank. I turned off the shut off valve going to the tank and the next thing we are going to want to do is flush the tank get all the water out of here, I am going to use a sponge to mop up all the excess water and I am also going to take a plunger and get all the excess water out of the bowl. So I removed most of the water from the bowl using a plunger and I used a sponge and got the water out of the tank, now I am going to put a small dish or pan underneath the valve and I am going to loosen the nut on the supply line that connects the supply line to the tank, and it might drip a little bit so its good to have a little pale or something underneath there.
And now the next thing we are going to do is remove the two nuts from the bolts holding the toilet to the floor, and what I do was about half an hour or so I put a little bit of penetrating oil on the bolts and hopefully that will loosen them up, so now all you need is an adjustable wrench and we are just going to loosen the nuts hopefully, so it’s coming free so I will unscrew this on both sides, now if this wouldn’t break free and if this was completely rusted what you could do is take a hacksaw blade and come straight down along the side of the bolt itself and cut right through the nut, so I removed the nuts on both sides.
So this has become a trouble shooting video this nut came off pretty easily and on the other side what’s happening is the whole bolt and the nut are spinning so its not grabbing hold of the flange, so what we are going to have to do is cut off the nut on the other side, so what I am going to use is just a hacksaw blade all by itself I am going to hold it with a pair of leather gloves and I am going to hold the top of the bolt and nut with a pair of locking pliers, because this is such a narrow area I may not be able to show you but basically I am just going to be holding on to the top of the bolt with the clocking pliers and then by hand I am going to saw right through the bolt.
So if you have a bolt that’s just spinning and you can’t get the nut off and there is nothing to grab on top, just grab it with locking pliers and your just going to have to hack it through. The next step we are going to remove the toilet and I put down a couple of rags and we are just going to move the toilet onto that, you need to be careful if you’re on tile the porcelain you don’t want to crack anything, so this is what’s left of the old wax ring and this one had a flange on it so we are going to remove the flange and catch some of this so it doesn’t go in the main drain, and now I am just going to take a scraper and I am going to remove all the old wax and clean this up.
So I have most of this cleaned up but the wax ring allowed a little bit of moisture to weep out here so what I am going to do is just take a 100% distilled white vinegar undiluted in a spray bottle and just spray the area let’s say 15 to 20 minutes that’s going to kill a lot of the germs, okay so you saw what a hassle it was on this bolt here we actually had to cut it off because the nut rusted to the bolt itself and then the whole bolt was spinning underneath this flange so we couldn’t remove it.
So the trick I like to do is buy an additional stainless steel washer and a stainless steel nut and I am just going to attach this toilet bowl right to the flange and I am going to tighten it down on both sides and then when I put my toilet back not only will it stay in place making it easier to seat the toilet but in the future if I ever have to remove it it’s going to be very easy to remove that nut.
Right now I am going to put the new toilet gasket down and you can see the problems we had with the old wax, and if you have toilet that moves a little bit you’re going to compress the wax and it does not spring back so you’re going to have a leak and also if you get it clogged and you plunge your toilet you can actually break the wax ring and cause a leak.
So what I have been using is this Sani seal it’s a non-wax toilet gasket it has a lifetime guarantee and it springs back to shape it just does a fantastic job of sealing the toilet and what’s nice is it’s a little bit wider than a regular wax ring and so the toilet bolts go right through it, and now we locked ours in place but if you didn’t have it locked in place it actually helps hold the toilet bolts, and you can use this whether your three eights of an inch above your tile or three eights of an inch below it, and you can stack them if you have your flange lower than the tile and lower than three eights from the surface, you can stack two of these on top of each other.
So we will set this in place and what I did was check the bottom of the toilet and removed any wax from there and now we are just going to seat it on top of our Sani Seal, so we are just lining up our bolts and dropping the toilet straight down, so I am going to tighten down the toilet now and another tip is I like a stainless steel washer and I have also got a thin rubber washer to put under it to protect the porcelain so now I am just going to tighten this down on both sides, one thing you can do is you can have somebody sit on the toilet if you have a helper and if you don’t then you can just lay on the toilet tighten one side slightly and alternate between the two nuts.
So I turned the valve on I filled the tank and flushed it a couple of times just to make sure it wasn’t leaking anymore and that’s all there is to resetting a toilet .