Is your toilet on the run?

No, this is not a joke where I ask you if your toilet is running, and then tell you that, well, you had better go and get it.

Over the years, some toilets may become wobbly and loose, no longer adhering to the laws of gravity. You take a seat and the whole commode shakes and moves. Additionally, or perhaps alternatively, every time you flush the toilet, a little bit of water leaks out from the base. Or, worse, there is a water spot developing on the ceiling below the toilet upstairs. Typically, this means that the toilet is no longer properly fastened in place, and the flange holding it to the floor may be damaged or (gasp!) completely eroded.

Such was the case with my contractor friend who called when he pulled his old toilet to install a new tile floor, and realized that he could not fasten the new toilet. The existing toilet flange was almost completely lost; over the years, and probably due to a slight leak, the toilet flange (an old cast iron flange) eroded away and no longer properly held the bolts and nuts for securing the toilet to the floor.

In most cases, the repair is relatively inexpensive. Pictured below is a replacement flange, a simple metal ring sold at most plumbing supply stores. The ring can be installed on top of the existing flange, fastened directly to the floor over the flange, or both. Below, you can see that I used six stainless steel screws going directly into his concrete floor to fasten the repair ring on top of his existing flange.

I reset the toilet and the wobble was gone.

Repaired Water Closet Flange

If your toilet has a mind of its own when you take a seat, or you notice some water escaping from the base each flush, call a licensed plumber (hint: me!) to check it out.