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Unread 04-05-2010, 07:11 PM   #1
Karly
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water leak question

Hi Guys,

This one might be stretching whether this is the right place to go for advice, but with all the great tips I've gotten I'm thinking someone may have seen this problem before.

Situation: One full bath upstairs, half bath downstairs. I bought this house in the fall of '09 and the upstairs bath had tiles popping off right around the toilet and the plywood underneah was damp and rotted through. Not sure how long the problem has been there. It looks like they patched the ceiling downstairs directly below it at some point, but I haven't had any issues with leaking until now.

Because the floor issues were so obvious I decided to rip out everything but the tub and start from scratch. I replaced the rotted floorboards and everything has stayed dry upstairs. The thing is, ever since I pulled the toilet (it hasn't been replaced yet), every once in a while during my shower (upstairs) water pours out of the ceiling fan in the downstairs bathroom. Not a ton, maybe 1/4 cup, and it pours out and then stops, no slow leaks. It also doesn't happen every time- maybe once a week or so. This never happened before I pulled the toilet, and there isn't any water leaking from the tub or anything.

Any ideas???
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Unread 04-05-2010, 08:00 PM   #2
Kman
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What kind of tub are we talking about here, Karly? Is it a standard tub with tile up the walls, or is it a fiberglass tub/shower combo?

Does it have whirlpool jets in it? Sometimes those have been installed improperly as a shower and they're really not designed for that.

Could be drain problem as well.
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Unread 04-05-2010, 08:07 PM   #3
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What year was the house built? What are the pipes made from? Cast iron? Plastic (white or black)?
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Unread 04-06-2010, 04:16 AM   #4
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The house was built in 1954 and the bath was remodeled somewhere between then and now. The tub is a fiberglass tub/shower combo without any jets.

The pipes are a mix of cast iron and white plastic.
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Unread 04-06-2010, 05:21 AM   #5
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It sounds like a plumbing leak. You need to inspect all the plumbing from the tub to the stack, including the toilet drain. Check the piping from the shower head down to the control valve, too. Intermittant leaks through your ceiling may be from water puddling somewhere, then draining as the water reaches a leak path.
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Unread 04-06-2010, 06:12 AM   #6
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I agree with Bob, sounds like a drain line leak. Probably the pipe from the shower to the main stack, which IME is the usual culprit
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Unread 04-17-2010, 02:09 PM   #7
Karly
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Replacing a cast iron toilet flange

Hi Everyone,

I'm looking for some help on the entire toilet flange situation. When I pulled the toilet the flange came with it (everything is cast iron). It doesn't appear to be broken, but now that it's off I'm wondering if it would be more effective to replace it with an updated PVC one. I'm imagining there is more than just the appropriate diameter to look for- what else do I need to know? I've read all the old threads but am still confused. It sounds like there might be a specification for PVC to cast iron...? Compression flange...? (Not willing to trust this to the Lowe's or HD guys...)

Also- when replacing my subfloor, I'm confused about how to make sure it's the correct height so that the subfloor and tile run under it, but it's flush with them. Do I plywood and tile right up to the pipe and then this entire flange fits over that? Do I need to leave any space or get as close as possible?

Thanks for the never-ending help!
Karly

Edit: After more research I've found this: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

Sounds like this is what I'm looking for- just to confirm, I tile right up to the pipe and then this goes in and pushes down until it's flush with the finished floor, correct? Thanks!!
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Unread 04-17-2010, 06:14 PM   #8
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Hi Karly, I've never used a drain like in that Home Depot link but it does look like what you need. The drain flange should fit down on top of the tile floor.
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Unread 04-17-2010, 07:39 PM   #9
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If your old cast iron is good, then by all means leave it. You will not get a better drain pipe than cast iron.
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Unread 04-17-2010, 08:05 PM   #10
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Can you post some pictures? That could be real helpful. How'd they tie the PVC in to the cast?
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Unread 04-18-2010, 05:15 AM   #11
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Thanks for the responses!

My plan to change to PVC was because the current cast iron flange was attached using that whole oakum deal and I really wasn't sure I wanted to figure all that out. The nice compression fitting that I can just pop in there seems easier. Plus it leaked all around the toilet and came right up with it, so I'm a little leery of how well I'd be able to seal it if I were to reinstall it. Am I wrong to go this route?

Steve- right now I'm just working with the cast iron pipe and planning on installing the PVC flange. There is PVC used elsewhere in the house but this pipe is still cast iron.
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Unread 04-18-2010, 07:58 AM   #12
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Waste not

First thing if that toilet is off the waste line and you have not already, please plug that waste hole with a test plug or old cloth to stop any fumes from seeking you out.
That toilet flange rests on top of the subfloor or tile and will screw to the top of the underlayment in six places tight. Make sure that plywood is under that flange everywhere it is supposed to be to support it.The screws must be exterior grade please no drywall or wood screws.

There are many styles of toilet flanges. 4", 3", offset, here is a website that offers a cast iron flange with compression. http://www.plumbingsupply.com/toiletflanges.html

HD only sells what they can get rid of very quickley, they dont carry many things. If you want a cast iron compression fitting or anything else your local Plumbing supply house will have it.

The toilet footprint itself will cover the tile ends so just get close to the flange you do not need to get under it. Wax ring makes up the difference.

The toilet flange however is plastic, PVC or ABS. I personally dont like them. They dont do well on movement at all so if the toilet is not completley flat and level it will move when someone sits on it and over time it will work itself loose and allow water to pass by.

If your confident in the PVC or ABS go with the plastic as it being readily available. Make sure you test the fit and see that it will go into the waste line sufficiently to make that connection.
Things i can think of that may be a deal buster is cutting that cast iron waste to install the new flange, if that is the case call in a plumber.
Hope I helped
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