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Possible Leak From Toilet Base Wax Ring


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A month ago I installed a dual flush toilet in our guest bathroom and now there's water coming from beneath the tiles + grout, as well as into my son's closet (carpet) located behind the bathroom. There's no noticeable drips or leaks from the base, tank, spigot and hose when I installed it until present. The base doesn't leak on top of the tiles. I'm at work now (night-shift) and when I get home I plan to check the water meter while all taps are turned off to see if the dial is spinning or not... to rule out an incoming/ copper pipe leak. I will also pull the toilet and check the (extra thick) wax ring to look for leaks. I hope that it is just a bad wax ring seal.

About half of the closet floor is wet and a 2' x 2' spot near the closet. His room smells like mildew, should I replace my son's (commercial grade) carpet and padding or wet vac the carpet and replace the wet pad section?

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Sounds like a typical leak from the wax ring.

Wet vac the carpet, lift it up, and put a fan under it. You can rent fans with cowls specially designed for blowing under carpets. After everything is dry, hire a carpet cleaner to clean the mildewy area.

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Thanks Jim

I plan to wet-vac and fan the bathroom tiles too. Should I be concerned about mold/mildew under the tiles?

You'll probably get mold under the tiles. Whether you should be concerned about it is up to you.

It's a slab, right?

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Turned off all water taps in house and meter dial does not move (good news). Removed toilet and it doesn't seem to be leaking, but I will use a funnel gasket when I replace it.

There's wetness near my air handler when I felt where the drain connects to the air handler, but no obvious drip.The air handler is located in a closet in the utility (washer/dryer) room, next to the bathroom. The air handler and the hot water heater are on a wood platform about 2 feet above the floor. Underneath the air handler is an enclosed air return and drain pipe from the handler. It's a bit wet in the adjacent space (under the platform) that is not enclosed under the water heater. The water heater is definitely not leaking and it has a 2" high drain pan . We just had a new split system unit installed 3 months ago and it has a valve that will not allow the a/c to run if drain water is backing up. However, the a/c runs and blows cold air as normal. If, it is leaking from the a/c it might be flowing underneath the tub and through the wall bottoms into my son's closet. If not my next guess is:

It might be leaking behind the shower wall and only leaks when the shower is on. My son's closet is wet in the corner directly behind the shower/bath tub. Now I am debating whether I should spend $300 for a leak detection company or just cut out part of the closet and get to the plumbing and use those funds for the repair.

I called the company that installed the a/c unit and they are coming out today to check it out.

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I just replace the wax ring with this http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unbranded-To ... er_reviews . The old wax ring didn't seem to have any visible issues or tears and the pipe flange is solid. Hard to tell if the new ring is sealing because of the water being pushed up from under the tiles.

AC company came by a bit ago and the drain from the air handler through the slab to outside near compressor was completely blocked. They suctioned it out with a vacuum and added a bit of bleach to water to check drainage, which is fine now. He informed me now, what he didn't inform me during installation that the flow valve cannot be tilted or the cap loose (angled) at all or it won't work properly. They installed so tight that when we open the closet doors it must have affected the flow valve because the a/c never shut off (like it should have) and it was leaking out of the condensation pan. I' going to opt for installing a condensation pump to help avoid this issue in the future. i spoke with him about one before installation three months ago and he didn't think it was necessary.

I cut a few access panels through my son's closet as I wanted to make sure it was a tub drain or valve leak. I didn't see any leak from top (behind shower head) to bottom (tub drain), but I did see water that appears to be running from the back side of the tub (near the air handler). I hope opening the a/c condensation drain solves this issue, but it may take a few days to monitor.

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Thanks for the clarification of the float valve/switch. They told me there is a trap in the drain, but I can't tell as it's covered by the plywood in front. i want to rip that piece off, but when I pried a bit of it up I felt a suction. I am not sure if it serves a purpose in the return air flow?

I ended up tearing out the wet drywall under the air handler and water heater and underneath the return duct there was a good amount of water. I am convinced the a/c condensation is the issue. I aimed a high power fan at the bottom of the return duct to hopefully evaporate the water.

So, do I hold the AC company accountable for the float valve not working properly? I feel I should as it's single function is to protect from what i am experiencing now. I've used the a/c guy a few times over the past few years and I hope he is willing to be civil about it. Total repairs will be low if the carpet is salvageable. We planned on replacing the bathroom + kitchen tiles anyway. Underneath those tiles is black (probably asbestos) cut back which is a whole 'nother issue that I am dreading.

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Mechanical things fail, your on your own unless there was a defect in the way it was installed and likely even then.

Test the switch to see if it shuts the unit down when it is tripped but realize NOTHING is 100% guaranteed to prevent damage from mishaps.

Dry it out, fix the damage and move on.

Perhaps a moisture alarm could be installed (about $10 at home depot) in the area of the offense as an added degree of protection and periodic cleaning of the drain line. Some swear by using bleach or tablets to prevent blockages like this but I am not convinced that is does much good.

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I tell people a lot of things during the inspection, followed by putting it in writing in the report.

I still get the occasional call back about "Why didn't you tell me?" followed by their embarrassment when I point out to them where it says that in the report and remind them of the analogy I used to explain it to them in person.

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