Robert Lamoureux | Occasional leak around toilet likely irreparable

Robert Lamoureux
Robert Lamoureux

Question No. 1 

Hi Robert, 

I am experienced in minor construction and repairs, and have a leak that is beyond my expertise at this point. I’m hoping you can help with new ideas on what may be the problem here. I see the leak every few days, coming from under the toilet. 

I have rebuilt all mechanical elements within the toilet and now have lifted the toilet itself, three times. I’ve cleaned and inspected the underside of the toilet each time, and even added a second wax ring thinking that height could be an issue. 

No changes in results, it is still leaking in the same manner. Can you shed some light on what the issue is? 

— Jim J. 

Answer No. 1 


I can nearly guarantee that it is time for you to purchase a whole new toilet. 

I’ve had this same question posed to me many times over the years, and the answer has always been the same: 

There is likely a hairline crack internally in the trap that you cannot see, and though you’re doing all the right things you are never going to get it to stop leaking. This is one of those things that is irreparable and it is time to replace the toilet. 

Good luck to you.

— Robert
Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].

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