How to Fix Leaking Toilet Flanges


If you ever see a pool of water at the point where the toilet and the floor meets, then you may be facing a possible toilet flange leak.  The pool of water does not necessarily have to be big, but if the floor around the toilet feels spongy or the finished flooring is rising, these are other confirmation symptoms of the problem.  So what do you do if you have a leaking toilet flange?  You need to act fast to make sure that the problem does not escalate any further to the point where you may need to do some renovation work!

Broken Flanges

Do you have old cast iron or all-plastic toilet flanges installed?  If so, then you should know that these materials are susceptible to breaking.  When the toilet flange breaks, you may also observe that your toilet begins to rock.  Sometimes, overtightening of the flange nuts will also result in breakage.

A cracked toilet flange rim is also no good as the bolts holding it in place will no longer be as effective.  What should you do at this point?  Head on over to the nearest hardware store or home center and pick up flange reinforcement rings together with 6 pieces of 1 ½-inch oval-head stainless steel screws.  If the flange is anchored on concrete, you will need to 1 ¼-inch concrete flathead screws.

Rotting Around the Flange

With leaking toilet flanges, it is not uncommon to find floor rotting around the flange area.  And as the leak gets worse, the problem becomes more difficult to deal with.  So you have to fix the cause of the leak as soon as possible to remedy the rotting portion of the floor.

What is the easiest way to do this?  You will have to buy flange support brackets so that the load that the flange is supporting can be transferred and spread out to the areas of the subfloor that is not affected by rotting.  The support brackets usually are sold as complete kits.

It is vital to point out that these support brackets are only effective if there is solid flooring to support it.  If the flange has been leaking for years and you have not done anything about it, then this may not be the solution for you.  So what should you do?  You will have to cut out the damaged portion of the flooring, replace and frame it, so that you can have a new finished flooring.  You will have to inspect the extent of the damage before replacing any part of the flooring though to make sure that you only have to do replacement once.

Fixing Rocking Toilets

Another potential problem that you will face when it comes to leaking flanges is a rocking toilet.  This means that the toilet seal has already been broken causing it to rock.  Aside from affecting the toilet flange, this problem will also compromise the wax ring, which means you would need to reset the toilet in order to fix the problem.

You also need to make sure that it is not just an uneven floor that is causing the problem.  You need to check for gaps between the floor and the toilet base.  Sometimes the solution can be as easy as replacing the caulk around the toilet.  This can prevent rocking and damaging both the flange and seal.

If you have to replace the flange and wax ring, make sure that you push and wiggle the toilet a bit to ensure that the porcelain sticks to the horn.  This keeps everything in place as the bowl is lowered.  As you reset the toilet, make sure that it drops directly into place and remains aligned over the bolts.  This ensures that the wax ring meets the toilet flange properly, avoiding ruining the seal.

When you face any type of problems with your toilets, contact plumbers from immediately and save yourself from a lot of distress.