The point where the elbow joint from our flushometer meets the toilet bowl has begun leaking (dripping, really) whenever we flush (so, whenever water passes through it). I jiggled it a bit and the elbow joint popped right out. So the connection seems to be an unthreaded pipe with a plastic gasket that slides into a threaded mounting ring (is that the right term?) that then threads onto the toilet. update: it's a slip joint nut

The gasket appears to be intact, so I think I can fix this by reinforcing the seal at the threading. I have a jar of pro-dope, a tube of durst pipe thread compound and a roll of what teflon tape.

Two questions:

Am I on the right track here? and Which should I use for the best seal?

PS. What is a flushometer? Ours is a Sloan Gem for a "back spud bowl" (vs. a "top spud bowl") -- it reaches the toilet via an elbow rather than a straight pipe. Our toilet is a ways out from the wall so the joint has been extended by about 8".

Update: not using the toilet wasn't really working for us so I took a stab at using pro-dope and re-assembling.

Here's the halfway point, after I unscrewed the mounting ring slip joint nut: closeup of flange, gasket, mounting ring

And the after: enter image description here

You can kind of tell from the after image that the toilet and the flushometer aren't properly aligned so the elbow joint doesn't meet the toilet at a proper 90° angle.

That worked, but there was still a tiny bead of water making its way out with every flush. I thought I'd be clever and get someone stronger than I to tighten the mounting ring slip joint nut. Bad idea: as I was watching him tighten the mounting ring I could see the flange inlet spud assembly start to turn. We tried flushing again and tons of water came out all around the flange inlet spud assembly. So now my question is, do I have to replace the flange inlet spud assembly to fix this? We tried backing the mounting ring slip joint nut back out, but that didn't help.

  • FYI, the joint to the pipe is a compression fitting. The info in that article might be useful regarding understanding the original problem, though not the flooding flange. – Kevin Reid Jul 2 '12 at 2:10

The issues with the compression fitting have been addressed.

The brass flange fitting, the rubber gasket, and the threaded pipe is the "toilet spud". Replacements are available if the rubber is perished or the metal parts somehow damaged.

The flange nut looks pretty well bonded to the threaded portion. Soak well with WD-40 and let it soak in. There are splines inside the spud on which one would apply an internal spud wrench to keep the threaded pipe part from turning. You may find some other chunk of metal that will wedge against the splines, which in turn can be held by a conventional wrench. Holding the spud in place, remove the flange nut with a suitable tool.

Once the flange nut is removed, push the threaded pipe part inwards, but ensure it will not fall into the toilet. The part inside the toilet is conical shaped. Pushing it inwards will give enough free play that the rubber gasket can be pulled out. Once the rubber is out, there will be enough clearance in the toilet hole that the threaded pipe part can now be removed.

Examine the parts and evaluate if replacement is necessary. If the rubber is not too far gone, it may be possible to clean it, treat it with some sort of rubber treatment, and reinstall. If the rubber is cracked, hardened, rotted, or brittle, it will need to be replaced. The nut should be tightened firmly enough to ensure the rubber seals well against the toilet, but not so tight the rubber gets pushed out of position or the toilet gets cracked or broken.

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    The spud assembly came out exactly as described and a new spud assembly was $7. I replaced the slipnut assembly as well and I just flushed about 8 times. Not a drip. – Amanda Jul 26 '12 at 16:35

You have probably damaged the seal between your toilet and the flange. This seal is usually formed by a wax ring that forms closely to the flange and toilet base when the toilet is installed. If you've moved the toilet significantly, you may have opened up a hole in this seal where water can leak when your toilet is draining.

It's sometimes possible to improve the seal by readjusting where you've positioned the toilet. But you probably won't have a good seal unless you fully remove the toilet, scrape out the existing wax ring, and re-seat the toilet using a new wax ring. This is definitely worth doing because a leaky wax ring can drip water into your subfloor for a long time, causing rot and other damage. Plus at the same time you can turn your flange and/or flushometer so you get a better fit between the flushometer and toilet.

You've probably only damaged the wax ring. However, if your toilet remained bolted to the flange while your friend turned it, it's possible you've damaged the seal between the flange and your drain. You should inspect that when you have the toilet up.

By the way, the fitting between your flushometer and toilet is a compression fitting. These are not designed to accommodate an angled installation -- for best results the nut needs to be perpendicular to the incoming pipe. You should try to straighten the joint, and also find a new plastic compression gasket to replace the existing worn one.

  • My impression was she was referring to the brass flange at the back with a rubber gasket, not the floor flange the whole toilet sits on via a wax ring. Some clarification would be useful. – bcworkz Jul 7 '12 at 3:28
  • @bcworkz You're correct. The leak is clean water coming in to fill the bowl (thankfully). – Amanda Jul 13 '12 at 16:00

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