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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    10

    Default Toilet keeps coming loose.

    I own an investment property, and the toilet keeps wiggling and coming loose. In a past post, someone suggested the reason for this was because the back side of the toilet didn't have tile under it. I have put tile down now, and this is still a problem. Every time I tighten the nuts to the point that the toilet starts feeling like it's actually about to be held in place, the bolts come loose from the thing they're connected to under the toilet (I'm not sure what the name of this part is) and I have to pick it back up, re-set the bolts, and try it again only to have it happen over and again. Am I doing something wrong, or does it sound like the part the bolts hook onto is damaged/worn out and needs replacing? If it needs replacing, how difficult would it be to do myself?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,259

    Default Re: Toilet keeps coming loose.

    The flange is broken or it's not fastened to the floor.
    John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    8,068

    Default Re: Toilet keeps coming loose.

    If you are relying on those press on retainers to hold the bolts in place while you set the toilet, THROW THEM AWAY!!! Instead, get yourself another set of 1/4" nuts and fender washers and nut the hold down bolts in place on the flange, this will prevent the bolt from turning on you later when you are trying to tighten or remove the toilet hold down nuts.

    To be clear, you want 4 nuts and 4 washer, 2 to hold the bolts in place, 2 to hold the toilet in place.

    If the flange itself is damaged beyond use, they you'll have to either install a repair ring or replace the flange.

    If the flange is in good condition but loose in the floor, then you will need to screw it down using some stainless or other rust resistant screws. If you are on concrete slab, and the flange is loose, you've got bigger problems that will entail breaking the concrete to repair.
    Come to Hidden Content for all your DIY needs

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,259

    Default Re: Toilet keeps coming loose.

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    If you are relying on those press on retainers to hold the bolts in place while you set the toilet, THROW THEM AWAY!!! Instead, get yourself another set of 1/4" nuts and fender washers and nut the hold down bolts in place on the flange, this will prevent the bolt from turning on you later when you are trying to tighten or remove the toilet hold down nuts.

    To be clear, you want 4 nuts and 4 washer, 2 to hold the bolts in place, 2 to hold the toilet in place.

    If the flange itself is damaged beyond use, they you'll have to either install a repair ring or replace the flange.

    If the flange is in good condition but loose in the floor, then you will need to screw it down using some stainless or other rust resistant screws. If you are on concrete slab, and the flange is loose, you've got bigger problems that will entail breaking the concrete to repair.
    On concrete you can fasten the flange down with tap cons.
    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    8,068

    Default Re: Toilet keeps coming loose.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnjh2o View Post
    On concrete you can fasten the flange down with tap cons.
    Interesting. Here on the west coast, flanges in slabs are "poured" in place, so if it's loose something is severely wrong. By and large, what I've seen in failed flanges in slab are that a cast iron flange has rotted out. One can purchase a metal flange ring and tapcon that into place or, if there is space, there is an ABS insert flange with a rubber gasket that will slip inside the existing flange and screw into place. Personally, I prefer breaking concrete and doing a proper repair, but that's me.
    Come to Hidden Content for all your DIY needs

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Montreal Canada
    Posts
    387

    Default Re: Toilet keeps coming loose.

    I always ran a bead of silicone caulking around the base of any toilet i installed. I had to guarantee my work for a year, so if the toilet started loosen up i had to go back and fix it for free. By the way i always screwed down the
    toilet flange with 4 # 14 x 1 1/2 screws and installed lead shims to make it a rock solid installation. even with this sometimes the toilets would be loose a couple of months later. use the silicone trick and forget about it .

    Bill

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    3,201

    Default Re: Toilet keeps coming loose.

    a bead of caulking is required by the plumbing code round these parts. I leave the back two inches or so open so we can tell if the wax ring gave out

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,743

    Default Re: Toilet keeps coming loose.

    If white caulking is OK I prefer "DuoSil" by Siroflex. Much better adhesion, once cured it is less compressible than silicone, and it seems to be as mold/mildew resistant as anything else. In rentals were I need a fast turn-around I shim with wood then use the DuoSil to allow cure-time.

    Toilet flanges are my bane and I've not yet found an idea fix but the repair flanges which have extra tabs for screws outboard and a built-in foam ring are close. If only they were stainless I'd be happy. Often there's nothing solid left to mount a regular flange to if the wax ring has leaked and softened or rotted the wood but the floor is otherwise solid. I go under the house and add 2X 'bridging' tight to the flange or pipe then screw into that. I also do that from the start with all my subfloor replacement jobs. You can also screw through the flange between the 4 cast-in holes as long as the projecting screw heads don't hit the porcelain bowl.

    And don't get me started on ABS flanges- those are too soft for this use and the bolts always tend to pull out. When setting those I rotate the flange to use the "U" shaped slots instead of the long ones because the plastic is more solid there. I add screws just outside the bolts leaving hem slightly proud so the bolt can't slide out of the slot. I do PVC the same way though it's much sturdier.

    Just another reason I despise doing plumbing work- they've stayed with a system which was fine for cast iron but should have been made better decades ago. I can't recall the brand but I did re-set an old oddball toilet once which had 4 hold-down bolts: 2 at the flange and 2 'picket screws' closer to the front. Rock-solid and it'll never go anywhere- THAT should be the standard. Another 'oddball' toilet had the tank and bowl cast as one piece; no more rusted screws, rotted rubber washers, or leaky donuts between tank and bowl. It can be done a lot better than it is now so why ain't we doing it?

    Phil

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Toilet keeps coming loose.

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    If you are relying on those press on retainers to hold the bolts in place while you set the toilet, THROW THEM AWAY!!! Instead, get yourself another set of 1/4" nuts and fender washers and nut the hold down bolts in place on the flange, this will prevent the bolt from turning on you later when you are trying to tighten or remove the toilet hold down nuts.

    To be clear, you want 4 nuts and 4 washer, 2 to hold the bolts in place, 2 to hold the toilet in place.
    I will try this, and adding some caulk around the base, and if it doesn't work, I'll replace the flange.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    8,068

    Default Re: Toilet keeps coming loose.

    let us know how it goes.
    Come to Hidden Content for all your DIY needs

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