What Causes a Rocking Toilet

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A loose toilet is prone to seepage which can damaging flooring

If you have ever experienced a rocking toilet, then you know the feeling is quite unsettling. We’re not talking about a porcelain god jamming to Jimi Hendrix, we’re talking about an unstable fixture that can lead to serious problems. This post will cover the most common reasons that can cause your toilet to become loose or just not sit right. In addition, it will also discuss what can happen should you ignore the problem and just let it be.

Broken Flange Bolts
Two flange bolts secure the toilet to the flange, which is attached to the end of the drainpipe and floor. Over time, the flange bolts or the screws that secure the flange to the subfloor can succumb to corrosion, loosen or even snap off. When this happens, there is nothing securing the toilet to the floor but maybe a thin bead of caulk or grout around its base. To replace the bolts, your plumber must remove the plumbing fixture entirely and install new bolts or flange mounting screws.

Broken Flange
While this problem is most common in older homes utilizing cast iron sewer lines, it also occurs regularly with the newer PVC “Poly Vinyl Chloride” flanges used in today’s construction. Slots on the cast iron flange can also corrode or succumb to the constant strain of toilet use. PVC flanges on the other hand seem to be less durable and can crack or snap from everyday toilet use. Your plumber must remove the toilet fixture entirely to replace the toilet flange.

Deteriorating Wax Ring
Toilets require a thick, wax ring to seal the bottom of the fixture to the toilet flange. This prevents water leakage and seepage from the toilet. As the years go on, the wax ring can flatten or deteriorate causing the toilet to become loose and rock when used. If you notice a discoloration around the base of your toilet, this is a sure sign that seepage and/or leakage has occurred. Contact your plumbing contractor ASAP to prevent damage to your floors and flooring substrate.

Uneven or Sagging Floor
An unlevel floor or poorly installed ceramic tile can prevent a solid installation of your toilet. Since a toilet requires a smooth, flat and level surface to operate and mount correctly, any changes in the floor level can cause it to loosen and rock when in use. In addition, a leaking toilet can cause the subfloor and joists to rot and/or deteriorate. When this happens, the floor level can also change, often appearing to develop a dip and uneven appearance not suitable for toilet mounting and proper function.

Consequences of a Rocking Toilet
Failure to address the problems mentioned above can lead to decreased energy efficiency as well as extensive damage to your floors, subfloors and substrate due to leaking water. These additional repairs can prove to be costly so it is to your benefit to address a rocking toilet as soon as possible.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.

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