Toilet leaking through porcelain seals


C

Coleman

About four months ago I installed a new toilet with a super reinforced wax ring. Yesterday, I noticed it was leaking from underneath through the grout around the base. I pulled up the toilet, put on a new wax ring and set it back down. After bolting it down, I decided to let the toilet run to seewhat would happen. Thirty minutes, nothing, 45 minutes, nothing, an hour..bingo - more water was leaking from the =front= of the toilet.

I pulled up the toilet and after flipping it on its side, I noticed that itwas very wet up inside under the front of the bowl where the water gets pushed through from the tank. There are a few areas in there where Kholer brushed on some glazing, I guess to reinforce or seal up some holes, but it must be leaking from those areas. I can't find any other reason why the toilet would be wet up inside of that cavity.

Has anyone else come across this? Now I need to buy another toilet tomorrow and call Kholer. Not sure what they'll do about this, but I'm curious ifanyone here has ever heard of something like this.

Thanks!
 
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H

hrhofmann

About four months ago I installed a new toilet with a super reinforced wax ring.  Yesterday, I noticed it was leaking from underneath through the grout around the base.  I pulled up the toilet, put on a new wax ring andset it back down.  After bolting it down, I decided to let the toilet run to see what would happen. Thirty minutes, nothing, 45 minutes, nothing, an hour.. bingo - more water was leaking from the =front= of the toilet.

I pulled up the toilet and after flipping it on its side, I noticed that it was very wet up inside under the front of the bowl where the water gets pushed through from the tank.  There are a few areas in there where Kholer brushed on some glazing, I guess to reinforce or seal up some holes, but it must be leaking from those areas.  I can't find any other reason why the toilet would be wet up inside of that cavity.

Has anyone else come across this?  Now I need to buy another toilet tomorrow and call Kholer.  Not sure what they'll do about this, but I'm curious if anyone here has ever heard of something like this.

Thanks!
Could the tank to the bowl seal not be working completely, and the
water seeps down and after many flushes finally appears where you see
it?
 
D

dadiOH

Coleman said:
About four months ago I installed a new toilet with a super
reinforced wax ring. Yesterday, I noticed it was leaking from
underneath through the grout around the base. I pulled up the
toilet, put on a new wax ring and set it back down. After bolting it
down, I decided to let the toilet run to see what would happen.
Thirty minutes, nothing, 45 minutes, nothing, an hour.. bingo - more
water was leaking from the =front= of the toilet.

I pulled up the toilet and after flipping it on its side, I noticed
that it was very wet up inside under the front of the bowl where the
water gets pushed through from the tank. There are a few areas in
there where Kholer brushed on some glazing, I guess to reinforce or
seal up some holes, but it must be leaking from those areas. I can't
find any other reason why the toilet would be wet up inside of that
cavity.

Has anyone else come across this? Now I need to buy another toilet
tomorrow and call Kholer. Not sure what they'll do about this, but
I'm curious if anyone here has ever heard of something like this.
There are only two places where it could leak...

1. at the connection of tank to bowl
2. at the waste exit

If it is leaking anywhere else then it is cracked. If it is cracked - and
you didn't crack it - then it is defective and there should be no problem in
returning it.

If there is a crack, I would think it would be visible with close
inspection. About the only places where you could have cracked it would be
the hold down bolts for the tank and bowl; cracks there wouldn't cause a
leak.

Regarding the area "up inside under the front of the bowl where the water
gets pushed through from the tank", could the wet be from condensation? I
rather doubt it so I'd be examining that area carefully. Glaze or the lack
of it wouldn't cause a leak.

--

dadiOH
____________________________

Winters getting colder? Tired of the rat race?
Taxes out of hand? Maybe just ready for a change?
Check it out... http://www.floridaloghouse.net
 
B

bob haller

Many years ago I installed a basement toilet which leaked. Good thng
it was in the basement!

The store took it back the new one worked perfect:)
 
D

David L. Martel

Coleman,

Sounds like a defective toilet. I'd dig out the warranty and call the
retailer. This shouldn't be hard to sort out but you'll be on the phone for
about an hour.

Dave M.
 
C

Coleman

Coleman,



Sounds like a defective toilet. I'd dig out the warranty and call the

retailer. This shouldn't be hard to sort out but you'll be on the phone for

about an hour.


Dave M.
Called Kholer this morning without the receipt. They said it could be a defective toilet. Was on the phone with them no longer than 10 minutes and they've already sent me a replacement certificate to bring to the store to get a free, replacement toilet.

Now =that's= customer service!
 
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T

TomR

Coleman said:
Called Kholer this morning without the receipt. They said it could
be a defective toilet. Was on the phone with them no longer than 10
minutes and they've already sent me a replacement certificate to
bring to the store to get a free, replacement toilet.

Now =that's= customer service!
That's good to know. Thanks for the follow-up info.
 
C

chaniarts

No, before you start returning porcelain as defective, you need to
investigate the matter conclusively, so that anyone hearing your story
will agree with what you've done and conclude the porcelain is defective
too. What you're doing now is guessing.

If a toilet is leaking at the wax seal, you're going to see water on the
floor after the first flush, not after letting the toilet water run for
an hour.

What you did is not reasonable. Letting cold water run through a toilet
for an hour is going to cause the toilet tank and bowl to get cold, and
atmospheric humidity is going to condense on the cold areas and drip
off. Just because you saw water on the floor after that, there's no
reason to believe there's a leak anywhere, especially if you weren't
looking for condensation forming on the tank and bowl during that hour.

And, any monkey working in the plumbing isle of your local home center
is going to think of that too and will be reluctant to return/refund
anything to you unless you come to him/her with more credible evidence
that there's a problem with the porcelain.

What you should do is set the toilet bowl ITSELF on a pair of 4X4's or
two concrete blocks or anything that will both support the bowl and
allow you to wipe up any water that leaks out of the bowl. Fill the
bowl with water until water just starts to come out the bottom of the
bowl and wipe that water up. Now, leave the bowl sitting with water in
it overnight and see if any more drips out. If there's no further water
leakage out of the bowl, there's nothing wrong with the porcelain.

Now, if this is a tile floor you're installing the toilet bowl on, it
could be that you need TWO wax seals. Note that the plastic insert on a
wax seal is there to prevent wax from squeezing INWARD and getting into
the toilet drain pipe. So, if you need two wax seals, it's best to
waste another two wax seals to check to see if those two plastic inserts
will nest inside one another like paper cups. If so, use two wax seals,
with each one having a plastic insert. If not, use a wax seal without
an insert on the bottom, and one with a plastic insert on top.

Now, when re-installing the toilet, it's actually best to put the bowl
on first and bolt it down to the floor, and then bolt the tank to the
bowl. That's because you simply have more control when you're holding
up a lighter weight like the bowl itself as opposed to the bowl and tank
bolted together.

When I reinstall a toilet bowl, I do it with the toilet seat OFF. That
way I can use a 24" spirit level and a stack of tapered shims to ensure
it goes down horizontally and level. I set a stack of tapered shims
where I can see that the front of the toilet bowl will be and set the
bowl down on the wax seal. Then I put my spirit level on the bowl rim
both this way and that to figure out which nut I have to tighten or if
I need to pull out a shim or push one in further to get the bowl sitting
level and horizontal. I keep on tighting the flange-to-bowl nuts down a
little at a time and sliding shims out a little at a time until the bowl
is down on the floor. That way I ensure the wax seal squeezes out
uniformly around the floor flange.

THEN put the tank on with a new sponge gasket between the bowl and the
tank. When tightening the tank down, DO NOT tighten the tank-to-bowl
bolts so that they're really tight. Doing that doesn't allow for any
thermal expansion or contraction of the porcelain. Better to leave the
bolts snug, but so the tank moves a little when you push or pull on it,
that way the sponge gasket between the tank and bowl isn't fully
compressed, and the tank can contract and expand with changes in
temperature.
the temp swings of a normal house won't expand/contract porcelain to any
great extent, that you can measure. heck, when i fire porcelain in my
kiln to 2300 it doesn't expand very much: just very small fractions of
an inch at those temps.
 
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C

Coleman

'chaniarts[_3_ Wrote:
;3021247']
the temp swings of a normal house won't expand/contract porcelain to any

great extent, that you can measure. heck, when i fire porcelain in my
kiln to 2300 it doesn't expand very much: just very small fractions of
an inch at those temps.


I'm not concerned about the variations in ambient air temperature that

happen from day to night or from summer to winter in a heated house.

I'm concerned about the thermal shock the tank gets when toilet tank

water that's warmed up to 70 degrees overnight quickly gets replaced

with 40 degree water after the first flush of the new day.



I understand that as a ceramic material, fired clay has less thermal

expansion than metals or plastics, but there's another good reason not

to tighten the tank-to-bowl bolts too much. It's because during a

drought, the house can move and shift as the clay in the soil under it

shrinks. That movement can cause the wall behind the toilet to start

pressing on the tank from behind. Leaving a bit of wiggle room in the

toilet tank helps the toilet accomodate that as well.
These are probably good points for another area than South Florida. Water comes out of my tap at 75 degrees. The foundation is a concrete slab and not too far under that is coral. We do get some movement here as evidenced by the cracks in the walkways, but that occurs when the ground gets saturated with water after heavy rainfall. The tank is an inch away from the wall, so no chance of the wall moving and pressing up against the tank.

In any case, I replaced the toilet last night and no issues. I'm convincedthat there must have been a small pinhole or hairline crack in the other toilet that caused the leak.

I appreciate everyone's input and all the good points. Not a bad one in the bunch.

Thanks, everyone.
 

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