Improperly Installed Toilet

This customer complained of water leaking into their basement.  ORMECO determined the cause of the leak was an improperly installed toilet.  The homeowner paid a previous contractor to install bathroom tile.  Unfortunately, the contractor failed to understand the importance of ensuring the water closet flange is flush with the surrounding floor.


Some well-meaning carpenter pulled the toilet and installed ceramic floor tiles.  As part of this "upgrade" the cast iron closet flange and sanitary tee were replaced with PVC components.  Unfortunately, the  sub floor underneath the toilet was rotted. The solution was to splice-in a section of plywood.  Unfortunately, this patch raised the closet flange above the surface of the tile.


Because the closet flange was now above the floor surface, the wax ring could not provide an adequate sealing surface.  When the toilet was placed, its weight squeezed most of the wax out of the sealing surface.  Consequently, waste water eventually leaked around the closet flange and flowed around the pipe and into the basement.


There are only three ways to resolve the problem: 1) tear out the tile and and replace the sub floor, 2) lower the closet flange to its original height (before the tile was installed), or 3) raise the elevation of the toilet.  All of these solutions put the closet flange where it belongs--flush with (or slightly below) the elevation of the surrounding floor.

Tearing out the tile is too expensive; plus, the added height means the bathroom floor would not be even with the hallway or master bedroom floors--an unacceptable proposition.

Lowering the closet flange to its original height is not possible (for the same reason the original contractor couldn't do it)--the sub floor is rotted. The closed flange and toilet cannot be anchored to rotten sub floor.

Raising the toilet is the most sensible and least costly solution.  ORMECO technicians fashioned a riser plate from plywood and set the toilet.  The thickness of the riser plate was slightly greater than the closet flange; therefore, the wax ring was able to provide a proper sealing surface.

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