The Wobbly Porcelain Bowl: Fixing a Loose Toilet

Nope. We’re not talking about a rough night at the bar.

It’s one of our favorite expressions here at the office to describe a loose toilet. “I checked the toilet on the main floor– it spun like a top!”

A loose toilet is not just an inconvenience – it could be a sign of trouble. In fact, if you’ve got a leak in your building, and you don’t know where it’s coming from, make sure you check the toilets in the building – plumbers will tell you, often a loose toilet is a telltale culprit for a mysterious leak.

When toilets are installed by an amateur plumber and deemed “good enough” despite a missing bolt or two, there’s bound to be trouble.

There are three main causes for a wobbly toilet:

1 Loose Flange Bolts

The flange bolts keep the toilet anchored to the flange (see diagram below). These can be easily tightened using a wrench, however, tightening them too much may cause breakage or damage, so be careful not to overdo it!

2 Damaged Flange

A damaged flange will cause the toilet to rock. This is probably one of the trickier items to replace. If there’s a crack in the flange, it will need to be removed and replaced completely. It can be replaced with a plastic flange and drain pipe, but if there’s a crack in the soil pipe causing a leak, the soil pipe will need to be repaired too. A good plumber will add a metal soil pipe, take out his blow torch and solder a metal flange in place.

3 Damaged Wax Seal

Quite often what happens is that after a toilet has been secured with a wax seal, an inexperienced or amateur plumber will decide to lift the toilet or readjust, lifting it off the wax seal, thus breaking the seal. Bingo! Once a wax seal has been placed, it should not be moved. Once the wax is in place, it takes the form of the bottom of the toilet and the floor. When moved, this form never takes shape correctly again.

If the wax seal is disturbed, even a small amount of toilet movement will –over time—cause cracks and breaks in the toilet drainpipe, eventually leading to leaks.

If an adjustment needs to be made, a brand new wax seal should always be used. This may be an inconvenience at the time a repair or change is done, but worth it for long term peace of mind.

Toilet is still wobbly? It might be your floor. An uneven floor can make it very difficult to secure a toilet properly. If this is the case, you might need to find a handyman to come up with a solution for your situation.

Replacement of a soil pipe and Flange in pictures:

1 Soil Pipe Damaged from Loose Toilet

2 Plumber puts 12-inch metal soil pipe in that surpasses damaged soil pipe and solders it to the flange.

3 Job nearly complete- still needs wax seal and bolts on toilet.

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Lay Chan Wee
Lay Chan Wee
01:19 31 Aug 21
I was impressed with the service provided by Rui Su. He was organized, explained in detail area that I am not familiar... with. He provided a good report. I will recommend him if you need home inspection.read more
Mary Jane Caro
Mary Jane Caro
14:25 27 Aug 21
I am always pleased to recommend Carol Mose from Mose Home Inspection Services to my clients who have had offers... accepted on residential real estate properties. She is knowledgeable, thorough, provides clear explanations, and delivers comprehensive reports.read more
Massimo Pannunzio
Massimo Pannunzio
22:05 25 Aug 21
Michael has got to be on of the best home inspectors in all of Quebec. It was amazing working with him and he had my... best interest at heart when making a life changing decision. He made sure I had all the answers and made it easy to work with him. I will be using Mose inspection for any moment that I need an inspection done that's for sure!read more
Amanda Lee
Amanda Lee
19:14 16 Jun 21
Amazing experience with Carol Mose who helped me with a pre-purchase inspection! She was very approachable and... observant, and informed me of all her first impressions on-site. This gave me greater understanding of any conditions as I was able to ask any quick questions on the spot. Her reports are the most thorough that I've seen and include diagrams to help explain what any physical signs mean and potential consequences. Could not have asked for a better inspector!read more
Maeghan Banks
Maeghan Banks
15:38 14 Jun 21
Carol was wonderful to work with for our pre-purchase inspection. She was professional, thorough and communicative,... taking the time to explain her findings as we went through the house. After the inspection, we felt we had clear knowledge of the condition of the house (both pros and cons), allowing us to move forward with the purchase with confidence. Highly recommend!read more
Ryan Chalupovitsch
Ryan Chalupovitsch
13:43 01 Jun 21
Carol Mose is the best home inspector in the business. Approachable and extremely knowledgeable. She did an... inspection for me and really took the time to explain her findings and help me understand the home I was looking to purchase. Cannot recommend her enough. Don’t hesitate.read more
Elisabeth Faure
Elisabeth Faure
21:16 29 Apr 21
This is the second time I have used MOSE, and they are always really amazing. Very nice, very professional. they came... to have a look at my roof and let me know if we were due for a repair - I was very satisfied with everything and would recommend them to anybody!read more
Hannah S
Hannah S
22:05 16 Apr 21
I had a great experience with Mose home inspection. My husband and I are first time homebuyers and so had a ton of... questions about the process. Everyone we talked with was really informative and helpful. Michael was our inspector and was phenomenal. The inspection was very thorough and he explained everything in detail with realistic next steps for us to take. We came out of the inspection feeling really informed. Plus, he is just an absolute delight! He had very contagious enthusiasm and made the inspection a really positive experience. Would highly recommend!read more
Gabriel Lukuc
Gabriel Lukuc
03:05 16 Apr 21
Michael was amazing. He took the time to explain to us what’s really important and the reasoning behind it. We’re not... very handy nor savvy when it comes to home construction so we really appreciate him taking the time to explain to us all aspects of the inspection. Also, Michael was friendly, professional and timely; he provided the report over a holiday and a weekend.read more
Stephanie Ballard
Stephanie Ballard
14:24 19 Mar 21
MOSE is the best in the business. Once again we were happy with their inspection services - they are professional,... friendly and knowledgeable. Would not hesitate to recommend to friends and family (and have)!read more
Rodrigo Morales
Rodrigo Morales
18:27 10 Sep 20
Home inspection
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