My mom's toilet moves because one of the bolts in the floor is loose. It just moves a little and takes some effort to do it. We had a handyman come look at it and he can't fix it.

It will probably cost hundreds to get a plumber to come fix it. I'd rather not pay the money if we don't need to fix it but I'm concerned that there is a bad seal.

Do you think we should fix this? Or can we let it go?

  • When it leaks, are you damaging a ceiling below,or just a crawlspace? Jan 8 '17 at 23:27
  • Just a crawl space.
    – gaefan
    Jan 9 '17 at 1:25

Probably just needs new seal. Get someone to help you with the following. You will need: 1 wax ring, putty knife, plunger, wrench, new hold down screws if old ones are rusty, towel or small container, trash bag. Cut water valve off, flush toilet to empty tank, use plunger to remove last bit of water in bowl, place small container or towel under tank incase excess water drips, then unhook water line from toilet. Place tank lid in a safe place so it wont get broken. Remove the two hold down nuts on either side of the commode. Lift toilet and Lay the toilet on its side . Take putty knife and scrape old ring off bottom of toilet then scrape and clean the flange in floor. Place new ring on the bottom of the toilet. Replace toilet on flange and put on new hold down nuts. Hook water line back up. Good luck.


The right thing to do is get under there and see if you have any structural or subfloor rot. If you do, just get it fixed. This will probably include replacing the finish floor.

Assuming the framing/floor is decent, a carpenter could probably add framing to solidify the flange/bowl. Once that's done, pull the toilet and replace the seal.


If your mother has an older house, she could have cast iron pipes. If she does, it's very possible the wax ring became brittle and broke, which allowed water to seep out and rust the flange out. This happened to my neighbor.

The good news is they have a PVC tension flange you can install to replace it if this is the case. Just have to break the old flange out (be careful, as it's secured to the pipe by molten lead), put a new wax wing on the bottom of the base, attach the flange to the base over the ring, and use the base to push the flange into the pipe.

  • She doesn't have iron pipes but I do in my house so this is good to know.
    – gaefan
    Jan 9 '17 at 17:49

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