Proper Way To Set A Toilet

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Old 04-05-2013, 11:51 AM   #41
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Re: Proper Way To Set A Toilet

I've always caulked around the toilet leaving about 1 inch at the back un-caulked. I've thought that if there ever was a wax ring failure, that 1 inch gap would expose it quickly. (I don't know why you'd get a wax ring failure if you're carefull to get a good sit-down test on the ring, but I've sure seen alot of rotten flooring at the ring when I've pulled old work)

My thought with calking was both to prevent an overflow from migrating under the toilet, but also to add a good firm multi-point support to a toilet that normally needs some shimming. I do use a good "microbial" silicon, figuring it helps to prevent any mold/growth.

If it's a little more difficult to clean off in any future re-set, I don't think that a big deal.

I've never asked my inspectors, but I've sure never had a problem.


PS: Why would we want to use a wax-less seal. What are it's purported advantages. Seems a wax set is kinda of a time proven seal (except for the rotten wood I've sometimes found).

Has anyone have good/bad experience wiith it.

I got called by a friend for his "Toto" toilet that he had a hell of a time with odor and a bad toilet seal. (Thought maybe it was a dry floor drain nearby but it wasn't. It was the toilet seal.I couldn't help him as I never set one and it is really different) but that seal (waxless) gave him repeated problems and multiple recalls of plumbers. Someone apparently figured it out and it's been good for about 6 months now.

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Old 04-10-2013, 09:57 AM   #42
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Re: Proper Way To Set A Toilet

Originally Posted by fourcornerhome View Post
My plumber shims with pennies, wood shims can compress. Inspectors here want to see caulk on front and sides, no back.
Why would one need shims?
A) Closet ring mis-aligned or too high.
B) Wax gasket with reinforcement adding height.
C) Sub-floor rotten, not level.

Rather than shims, how about just fixing the problem.
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:57 AM   #43
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Re: Proper Way To Set A Toilet

Originally Posted by skyhook
Why would one need shims?
A) Closet ring mis-aligned or too high.
B) Wax gasket with reinforcement adding height.
C) Sub-floor rotten, not level.

Rather than shims, how about just fixing the problem.
Or a crappy tile job.
“The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.” - Aldo Gucci
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:33 PM   #44
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Re: Proper Way To Set A Toilet

cut the pipe and raise it or add a new flange/ fix the floor. Im new on this site but have set alot of toilets I wouldnt just trust wax ring to seal the water...
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:09 PM   #45
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Re: Proper Way To Set A Toilet

Originally Posted by bob hutson View Post
cut the pipe and raise it or add a new flange/ fix the floor. Im new on this site but have set alot of toilets I wouldnt just trust wax ring to seal the water...
i have set a few myself. the stinky ones had a wax ring that was not smashed tite and stuff leaked out with every flush. most had calking on the outside so the urine getting under from sloppy users theory was impossible.
we're not in Kansas anymore Toto
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:21 AM   #46
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Re: Proper Way To Set A Toilet

Some new floors in old houses are not flat / level. Ignoring tile work, usually whoever did it got it as good as it's going to get without *very serious* work. Gutting a bathroom to keep from shimming is over the top for these.
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:25 AM   #47
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Re: Proper Way To Set A Toilet

Well this thread is not too old and based on some of the comments I feel this is an appropriate place to add todays toilet setting experience.

HO's husband (now deceased) had done the tile work. Uneven, but nothing a shim won't fix. I typically use pieces of laminate samples or scraps of FRP if I need more thickness.

Biggest problem was the toilet was installed by the city during their "Low water consumption get a free toilet week". Whatever yahoo they had do the install broke the closet flange. Not entirely their fault because the flange was installed at an angle and not level. They probably did not realize no matter how much they tightened it, no way it was going to sit flat. Their solution was to use 10d nails shims; one of which ended up cracking a tile.

I thought about the options and would appreciate the plumbing pros solution.
1. Install a threaded post into the flange. You know, the kind that is a wood screw on one end and a machine screw on the other.
2. Use one of those ss repair flanges and then shim like heck because the existing flange would still be off.
3. Sawzall off the flange and install a new flange and screw it into the concrete floor using ss screws in plastic wall anchors.

I went with option 3. Worked great, no rocking and no leaks. Only concern is this type of flange has a rubber gasket that fits into the 4" ABS resulting in a smaller inside diameter. Still more than 3" so probably not a big issue but I am not an expert.

So what other ways would a real plumber fix this?
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:07 PM   #48
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Re: Proper Way To Set A Toilet

Hi all - New here but have been at JLC for years. I am a carpenter but have been remodeling for many years and worked with the best plumber (God rest his soul) who taught me the how and why of setting a toilet.
Eaglie said it best but here is the reason.

Years ago the toilet was required to be set on tile and sealed to the floor or if the floor was wood a marble base was necessary under the toilet. The bowl is set dry over the flange and a pencil mark drawn around the base so you know where to lay out the plaster. Put the wax seal on the bottom of the toilet - mix the plaster wet and spread it over the pencil line - set the bowl over the johnny bolts and into the plaster and put a level across the bowl. Tighten the bolts to level the bowl getting it tight at at least one point. Take your finger and wipe the plaster under the bowl and remove the excess with a damp rag.

The plaster should be under all of the bowl not just the front and sides. The purpose of the plaster is two fold. One - it will let you set the bowl level and solid. Two - It seals the bowl from the floor not to stop water or urine although this is good, but to seal the humid air from getting under the bowl where the cold water being flushed will cause condensation on the outside of the toilet trap that is under and out of sight and will seep around the flange at the bolts and rot out the floor under the bowl. Even with tile or marble any condensation under the bowl will seep past the flange bolts. Of course on a concrete floor you only use the plaster to level the bowl.

On a further note and as mentioned earlier - the plaster of today cracks easily and some sort of additive or a grout is a better solution. Todays plaster was changed to allow a lot more working time and is does not hold up like it did years ago. Years ago you did not have much time to set and clean the plaster before it was dry.

Sorry for the long story but too many people don't know why they do things even if they do it right. These forums are a great source of information. Keep up the good infomation


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