Submitted by critter_bus t3_zk642y in DIY

So, I noticed a small leak near the base of the toilet and I noticed one of the bolts that held the toilet to the floor had broken. Based on what I saw, I decided to get a new "better than wax" toilet seal. However, upon taking the toilet off of the plate I noticed a plant was growing and the plate was extremely dirty (nothing like any of the YouTube videos I watched 😄). Anyways, I was thinking of just cleaning everything up and installing. Is there anything I should be worried about or anything else you think I should do prior to putting in the new seal and replacing the toilet?

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sonia72quebec t1_izykunm wrote

You should have your drain inspected with a camera. You may have roots damaging it.


Fuzzzer777 t1_izzwmd0 wrote

This. If you have roots coming in the drain line you it could lead to some serious issues quickly.


miami-architecture t1_j00frlu wrote

also, duct tape off toilet flange (the pipe) so sewer gas doesn’t leak into your house.


critter_bus OP t1_j02d4p3 wrote

I saw a guy on YouTube put a disposable coffee cup in there to block out the gas and it's worked like a charm.


SuperMegaBeard t1_izyigqa wrote

Put it in soil and see what it grows into. Think it deserves a chance, must be nails.


ToolMeister t1_izyhopl wrote

Feed me Seymour!.....roots under your toilet aren't normal. Also, that flange sits too low (should be sitting on your finished floor, not below). The flange also has bunch of gunk in it, needs to be clean or you'll never get a good seal.


TheColorDead t1_j00mhnk wrote

Probably tiled after it was originally the right height for the original flooring


koderdood t1_izy064g wrote

Nope. The plant thing can happen. Pull em out, spray root kill if you want. Clean away loose gunk, don't let it go in the pipe. Install new stuff.


undeleted_username t1_izz7hld wrote

I misread "toilet seat" instead of "toiled seal", and was wondering how on earth could you have a whole plant growing there without noticing it before...


userid666 t1_izz5on0 wrote

OP do you have Willow trees? If so you'll want to get an inspection done.


critter_bus OP t1_izz74b2 wrote

No willow trees for me. Also, for context, this bathroom is in the basement of my house with no trees on that side.


redditguysays t1_j006e0t wrote

Why? We had a willow tree that was growing almost right next to the house.


userid666 t1_j00hdgd wrote

They have a tendency to find their way into sewer drains and cause a lot of damage.


redditguysays t1_j01q36w wrote

Thanks. We had to replace a portion of our main sewer line. I wonder if the willow was the culprit.


userid666 t1_j05eobv wrote

In my case they found an already weakened section and then grew enough to cause a blockage, leading to me discovering the problem(s)


turdballer69 t1_izzz7mi wrote

That, “extreme dirty” you are referring to is Doo-doo cake build up


OozeNAahz t1_j00bgvv wrote

Firstly you need to change the type of fiber in your diet so you don’t grow a forrest in your drains.


Bman2U t1_izza37t wrote

I was expecting a cornstalk 😅


Raul_McCai t1_izztnkp wrote

look for the rotting lumber that has to exist subsequent to all that water.


critter_bus OP t1_izzw68e wrote

It's on the basement level, so no wood, just tile and concrete.


[deleted] t1_j00p3he wrote

My toilet started to drain slowly. Then adjoining shower started to slowly fill up. Was my weekend home so didn’t pay much thought to it. Guest bathroom fixtures were draining fine, so i started to use it. After about 6 months finally saw neighbor and asked if she was having issues. She wasn’t. I continued to ignore and finally saw lady from HOA office. As soon as I mentioned issue she said roots. But closest ficus hedge is 30’ away. Finally I lifted the toilet and sure enough, roots had found their way and went between wax seal and sewer pipe. Needed hacksaw to cut 1” thick root. And when i was finally able to pull out the roots, it was a total ‘nest’ of roots about 4” in diameter and ~2’ long. Long story short. No roots through the pipe (sewer pipe is clear) but minuscule gap in wax allowed root to get through. There’s a product, forget what it’s called, root out or root away, but available at big box stores, it’s blue crystal stuff in a black plastic bottle about 8” tall.


ApexSharpening t1_izyucng wrote

Buy a thing of root out and run that through your pipes after replacing the toilet. Just follow instructions....stuff works wonders.


NotObviouslyARobot t1_j00mdqu wrote

The flange is always dirty in my experience. I reseated two toilets the other day.

Regarding this fix. About the only thing that can go wrong for you right now is the flange breaking. I would carefully clean everything up, reset the toilet with a new seal, and then test it. If it tests good, I would use blue painters tape, and a suitable silicone/caulk to caulk around the bottom edge of the toilet. Maybe use a root killing chemical product.

You can replace the flange if you like, but this depends entirely on what kind of flange it is. PVC flanges are easy. Cast iron flanges are hard.

As far as the better than wax ring goes, I find them inferior to a heavy duty Oatey wax ring


zerodmge t1_j018s5a wrote

Just curious, in all European toilets I've seen, the drain is above floor level and the toilet slots into it with the seal built in. What's with the wax rings?


elktonkool t1_j028pp9 wrote

How old is the house? If that is an older cast iron drain system there could be breaches which can cause all sorts of issues.


DeVonSwi t1_j02qlor wrote

Also, you should rase your toilet flange so it is level with your tile surface. It looks like who ever did your tile work skipped a step to save a few bucks. Also ,that friend of a friend that knew a plumber that dated his sister once who suggested a double wax ring is giving bad advise


ebonwulf60 t1_j00819u wrote

Pick up your pencil? I have never used this type of seal, only wax bowl rings. They work great unless the toilet wobbles because it is not secured properly and then they will leak. I think I paid about $3 for one the last time I replaced a toilet.