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Another toilet problem

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by rhtwist, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. rhtwist

    rhtwist South Florida Member

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    Hello,
    Maybe someone knows of a product that can help me. I live in 25 year old townhouse. When they roughed in the bottom bathroom toilet, the set it too close to the wall. The top of the lid won't fit and water leaks out into the sheetrock. Worse off is that it is the floor is tile and it is cut around the base of the toilet. Help?!? Any ideas from someone who is familiar with plumbing or not.
    rhtwist
     
  2. Sawz

    Sawz Aurora OR. Member

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    Toilets have rough in measurements of 10", 12" (common), and 14". Measure from the back wall to the center of the flange, or bolts, and get the correct size. If it is screwed up and you have say an 11" from the wall you will need the 10" rough in bowl to give you clearance from the back wall. That is the easy part. As for the tile, the installer worked way to hard to wrap it around the toilet. It should be run under the toilet to the flange. If you are lucky you might have some left over tile. If not, trying to find a match to 25yr old tile is like trying to thread a needle in the dark. Possible, but highly unlikely. Good Luck
     
  3. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    You might be able to leave the base and tile alone. The toilet bowl and toilet tank are separate units connected by a standard rubber collar. The tank is usually free-standing. You might be able to shop for a used tank with a different depth profile, which will fit on your existing bowl and clear the wall. Take good measurements of how far that rubber collar is from the wall, and seek a tank to fit..........................elsullo :winkkiss:
     
  4. Mutoman

    Mutoman North Bend Active Member

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    Water shouldn't be that high in your toilet tank. If it is, you might consider adjusting your float. If water is spraying out of your tank, there is probably a problem with the hose that should go into the fill valve.

    I have seen toilet tank lids that didn't fit properly, but the fit shouldn't have anything to do with keeping water in the tank.

    Before making any radical adjustments or replacing the tank or toilet, I would suggest taking a look at your water lever in the tank, which should be at least three or four inches below the hole for the flush handle. Keeping the lid off, flush the toilet and see what is happening; if you have water shooting out or a high water level, you have found your problem.
     
  5. rhtwist

    rhtwist South Florida Member

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    Hello and Thanks Sawz, elsullo and Mutoman. Thank your for your time and knowledge. You given me a path to follow, I appreciate it. A secondary issue on the same toilet is that the flapper valve and overflow pipe are ancient. The holes in the base of the plastic seat and pipe assembly are out of round and no new Flapper valve will 100% of the time drop and seal. This off course leads to days with the water running until noticed. I put a stick on tie wrap holder on the flapper arm assembly and a rubber band to fishing line to the edge of the tank and out. By applying slight pressure in the correct direction, the flapper valve arm never comes out of proper alignment and works 100% of the time. Till the rubber band disintegrates. This means I have to replace the "unit" whatever it's called that has the overflow tube and tank drain hole and flapper assembly on it, and it also seals the tank to the bowl, correct? Since this will eventually need replacing maybe something will come up. Nasty thought.
    Yes at this time the water is higher so I will adjust it down more. The tank is so tight to the wall that I had to pull it to slide a plastic notebook cover behind it to keep the water out of the wall. So there is no room for the lid to drop down properly.
    Greatly appreciative for your help, if you think of anything else, please give a holler.
    rhtwist
     
  6. Mutoman

    Mutoman North Bend Active Member

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    Sounds like you have had your share of problems with this toilet. It is probably ready for a rebuild in which you could shop around for a tank that will fit properly. It is always worth the time and money to re-kit the entire toilet tank, you may save a couple of bucks on the flush handle; but the fill valve, flush valve, tank-to-bowl gasket kit, and flapper should all be replaced at the same time.
     
  7. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    It's relatively easy to replace the "guts" of the tank. The flush valve/pipe/flapper has a separate hole from the big draing hole into the bowl. You only need a crescent wrench to remove it, and it is replaced with soft rubber washers that seal the hole to the water supply line, which probably needs replacing too (get the flex type with soft rubber washers---not the old semi-rigid kind with copper compression rings.) Chose a model to match the measured depth of the tank. Get one with the biggest, softest flapper you can so that it seals to the out-of-round issue. Follow the package directions EXACTLY, especially about the order and placement of soft and rigid washers!

    True story: I once was hired to clean out a vacant commercial photographer's storefront studio. It had various cubicles of different color of carpets, which covered floor and walls too; some had cedar paneling. EVERYTHING, including the subfloor, was soaked and destroyed and covered with mold and mildew of a rainbow of colors. The building had been vacant for months, and an un-noticed, slow-leaking toilet fill-stem had completely soaked all of the carpets and paneling all the way up the walls. I tracked down the leak: The toilet water supply had been connected with the hard washer above the soft washer, instead of the reverse. Or was it the soft washer above the hard? I can't remember--- what matters is that a fifteen-cent washer had DESTROYED a building, because somebody ignored the package directions! Amen........................elsullo :huh:
     
  8. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    good dope here.
    If you need to adjust the wall distance you can do an offset flange for the drain line.
     
  9. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    +1 A tank shouldn't leak or spray anything, even with the lid gone. You can buy a whole new internal tank float and valve assembly for less than $20 at any hardware or home improvement store. Now everything's new. Not hard at all to install. That doesn't solve the problem that the lid won't go on right or the tile around the base (really bad idea whether tile or vinyl) but at least it dries everything out for now, and you can figure the other out later.

    They do make offset flanges to attach the tank to the base and that would probably get it done. An offset flange for the floor gets you right back into that tile issue.

    They also have those handicapped bases which are larger than your base. They raise the toilet a few inches. At least it would cover the tiled area and give room for an offset flange. That would be my last choice.
     
  10. rhtwist

    rhtwist South Florida Member

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    Thanks again Gentlemen,
    I replaced the valve and flapper, and it already has the hose connections to the water line. Where could you find an offset bowl to tank connector and flapper/overflow kit? That seems the easiest to do. The fact that it should not spray water with the lid off, is interesting and I quess I'll experiment with the water level. 3 -4 inches below the handle was mentioned. That will be my project today. Can't tell you how much you guys are helping.
    rhtwist
     
  11. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Somehow there is an overflow tube sticking up as part of the whole assembly. It's about an inch in diameter. The water level should be at least an inch below that and is adjusted by the float. The handle height is completely irrelevant. The float is either the old style bulb float on an arm, or a ring around the unit, depending on what you bought. Its shutoff height is adjustable by adjusting the height of the float. On the float on an arm, it's a screw you turn at the end of the arm where it pivots. If it's the ring, it's a keeper you can slide up or down a steel or brass rod.

    There may be a flexible tube/plastic hose depending on design. If so, it's supposed to go into that overflow tube.

    You'll want to ask a home improvement/good hardware store about the offset flange for the tank. Be sure the flange comes with new rubber gasket(s). If not, get those too.

    Edit. If the water shuts off at a lever higher than the top of that overflow tube, the toilet will "run" constantly.
     
  12. rhtwist

    rhtwist South Florida Member

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    Hello Gunner3456,
    From previous recommendations I adjusted the float to 3" below the flush handle and found that it corresponds with a water level line on the inside of the tank. There is also a water level mark higher up. I put some tissue around the lid, where it was soaking the wall causing it to disintegrate. After a days use the tissues are still dry.
    Since I have to install the overflow tube/flapper valve and flush tube to the bowl, I am going to be on the look out for an offset unit. Is this something Home Depot would have or will I have to contact plumbing supply companies?
    Thanks for the suggestion, GET WASHERS!
    rhtwist
     
  13. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    It's been 25 years since I bought an offset flange so I don't know. It's been 5+ years since I replaced the entire guts on the inside of a tank for one of my kids. Used to do those things all the time when I owned apartments.

    I don't know who has them but Lowe's and Home Depot often hire retired plumbers so someone will know where to get one.

    Glad to hear it's staying dry for you. That should never be a problem if all is installed and adjusted properly.
     
  14. Will

    Will Everett Active Member

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    Good to hear at least therere isn't any more water damage. Did you ever measure the didtance to discover if it is a 10, 12 or 14" set up? The reason I ask is the house I bought five years ago had a 1/2 bath in a truly small room. The tank lid didn't set right (much like your issue) and when the bowl seat/lid was open it would come right back down unless held open. I learned by asking and measuring that the plumber had set it up for a 10" tolite due to the small size of the room and the contractor installed a standard 12" tolite. I think I spent less than $200 and replaced the complete unit, I did the work myself, it was surprisenly easy thanks to the advice I got from the guy working at Lowes. I didn't have to replace tiles as the bowel base covered the gap (the tiles were cut for the drain hole and the base set ontop of the tiles). I did have to drill new mounting holes and had to buy a bit to drill throught the tiles. A standard bit would have cracked the tiles or so I was told and expect it to be true. I also filled the old mounting holes with caulking to prevent sub floor rot (another suggestion from the guy at Lowes).
     
  15. Mutoman

    Mutoman North Bend Active Member

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    I've never heard of an offset for tank-to-bowl applications. There is an offset for bowl-to-floor applications that requires some cutting though the floor, cutting the toilet drain pipe, etc....a lot of work!

    Best bet would be to measure the distance from the drain hole in the tank to the wall and go to the plumbing supply store to find a tank that sets further away from the wall. This would probably save you time and effort in remodeling your bathroom floor, and would solve your problem for the least expense. That is unless you were planning on remodeling anyway.
     
  16. rhtwist

    rhtwist South Florida Member

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    Thanks again Gentlemen,
    I haven't measured it, but the townhouse has three bathrooms with the same toilet type. Two of the three have the toilet sitting on the tile and are far from the wall, the third problem one has the tile cut around the toilet and the tank and lid contact the wall. I believe it is just shoddy workmanship.
    The options do range in price. So far I believe that an offset tank to bowl connection (sorry for unprofessional names), since I have to replace that anyway seems the least expensive.
    I think a replacement toilet that would cover the cutout tile properly would be much more expensive and lucky, if not impossible to find. The alternative is to do that and replace the floor tile which again adds to the cost. An offset bowl to floor connection change would seem to be difficult IMO because the original installer had to cut out the tile to get it to fit, and changing that must be a bear.
    From the wall to the bolts is approx. 10 3/4" on the problem toilet, while the others are over twelve inches.
    Any help is greatly appreciated by me and my wallet.
    rhtwist
     
  17. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    As I said, I haven't bought that tank offset for many years but they exist. I agree that a different tank could solve the problem. In larger towns, there are places which carry used fixtures including toilets. There's even one here in Medford. Since budget is a real factor here, he might be able to find an appropriate tank that way.

    If he's renting, he might just choose to leave the lid askew. He had a moisture problem from tank spray, but that appears to be fixed, all is dried out, and a loose lid shouldn't cause that problem.

    The only way I can see to move the whole toilet forward without re-tiling the floor is to use a handicap base for starters because it's bigger. No part of moving the base/bowl forward would be simple or cheap.

    He got his tank's guts replaced and adjusted inside the tank and that's fine now. When I was much much younger and renting, I remember a toilet like that where the lid wouldn't fit. We just left it that way and lived with it. In that case I think the original lid had been broken and replaced with one that didn't fit.

    If this were my house my goal would be to re-tile the floor, and replace the toilet with one that's for a 10" spacing. In the meantime, I'd just leave it be.

    $.02
     
  18. Mutoman

    Mutoman North Bend Active Member

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    If you come across one of those offsets, I sure would like to see it, got my curiosity up now.

    When I worked for public housing, I had a shelf full of toilet tank lids of all sizes; they were constantly being broke so I kept any lid of any toilet I totally replaced.

    Another option is to find a lid that works, which may be more difficult than it seems. However, if there is a used building materials store nearby, something like a Habitat for Humanity Re-use store, one may get lucky in finding something that will work...or perhaps a toilet tank that will work or one of those old offsets.
     
  19. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    OK. I've been down with the flu and haven't been out of this house for two weeks, but if I get caught up I'll see what I can do.

    If the tank is against the wall, I think we agree that no lid will fit unless a guy had the guts to cut and grind the whole lip off the back of the lid with a disc for ceramics. What a mess.

    I'd be looking for a thinner tank, drain to wall, as that seems the easiest. Either that or I'd leave it alone until it's fixed right including new tile and toilet.
     
  20. rhtwist

    rhtwist South Florida Member

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    Excellent information and advice. Again Thanks. Don't know what I'm going to do yet. The last thing I think I want to do is to move the bowl. I'd have to either get a new toilet that would clear and fit the 10" and re-tile or get handicapped base, or get offset bowl to plumbing and reinstall the original toilet after fixing the overflow/flapper seal problem and re-tile or get a handicapped base, or try to find and offset tank to bowl overflow/flapper seal kit if I can find one, or try to find a smaller tank that would clear the wall and fit my bowl and use a standard (hopefully) overflow/flapper seal to correct the broken on.
    Please read the above and see if I correctly understand the options.
    Aaaaargh! again.
    rhtwist