My potty moves... - Family Handyman DIY Home Forum
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My potty moves...

Posted: 1 Apr 2013 1:46 PM By: jackieshoes Replies: 3

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  • My potty moves...

    Hi everyone! I bought my house last September, and it was BRAND NEW so no one has ever lived here but me. There's a whole lot to be desired about the shoddy construction work that passes for inspection these days, but well get to that, lol. My guest bathroom toilet is wobbly. I noticed it about 2 weeks ago and wasn't too concerned but lately I have been hearing a sound if it moves side to side. I put something under it to stabilize it while I checked on it. I guess it's just the house "settling" that's what I'm told anyway but from what I can see it looks like there's a plastic piece under it (maybe a shim) and some concrete, no caulk. 

    Anyway, I wanted to check before I tried to fix it and had a few questions.

    should a house this new even have this issue?! If there are already plastic things under there, would more help? I don't really have the money to hire a plumber, and thought it was prob something easy. 

    Thanks in advance!! 

  • Re: My potty moves...

    I am an experienced DIYer, it sounds like it might be a few simple things that could be the problem. These are multiple ideas, each one can depend on what kind of subfloor you have ie concrete slab, raised foundation, if its on the 2nd floor, wood/laminate floor, or even tile. If you can reply with more of this information and someone can give you a more specific idea on a fix for you particular problem. But again, here are some ideas.

    1. it could be that the wax ring used to seal the toilet to the pipe could be too big. there are thick and thin wax rings. if the wrong one was used it could cause a rocking issue. 

    2. the toilet when set on the wax ring might not have been pushed down and sealed all the way and is high on one side and compressed on the other.  

    3. the two bolts that hold down the toilet might not be tightened all the way, be careful not to tighten too much as it could crack the base of the toilet and you would have to replace the toilet. 

    3. the plastic things you saw, could be shims to level out the toilet. Depending on what the toilet is sitting on (slab concrete, or raised foundation). If the floor isn't level that its sitting on shims could have been used to level out the toilet and with use those shims could have shifted and are not supporting the toilet anymore. Plastic shims would be good to use as this is a wet location and wood shims would swell and shrink do to moisture. 

    With it being a new house, if its a raised foundation you more than likely don't have a leak and a dry rot issue. For a quick fix what you could do is go to your local hardware store and pick up some plastic shims and a level if you don't have one. loosen the two bolts at the base of the toilet. close the lid on the toilet and place the leve on it from side to side and see if it is out of level. if so shim the lower side to level. Cut the shim to match the shape of the base of the toilet. then place the level on the toilet seat front to back, shim the lower side again, cut shim to match base shape. recheck the left to right level. Once this is done snug the bolts down on the base of the toilet, then give 1/4 turn, for appearance, you can use caulking around the base of the toilet to give it a clean appearance and a more seamless match to the floor. 

    If it is a tile floor, the tile guy could have missed a chunk of thinset or grout under the toilet that is causing the wobble...

  • Re: My potty moves...

    Jackie, I am Not a plumber, but at the base of the potty, there is a plastic cover on both sides, under the plastic cover are bolts sticking up from the potty mounting flange. Try tightening them ever so slightly, a bit on one side, then the other. Please do not over tighten, as the potty may crack.

    If this does not work, perhaps the potty flange was not installed properly, then its probably a plumber issue.

  • Re: My potty moves...

    You have a serious problem, especially if you are on the second floor.  Regardless of the possible problems, it is clear that you must remove the toilet from its' base and start over. After the removal of toilet , examine the flange and its' relative height to the floor. If the flange is about 1/2" higher/lower  and level you are ok. Now the 2-tee bolts have to be checked, they should be solidly attached with a washer and nut prior to the toilet install. Placing a quality/thick wax ring is next and then the install of the toilet. during this phase as you slowly guide the toilet down to the tee bolts you should feel the contact made with the wax, at this point the toilet is around 1" above the floor, this is good and you can continue to push down the toilet for the final set and then attach the 2 remaining dome nuts/washer. Level the toilet the best you can and connect the water supply.

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