After I plunged my toilet, there was a leak to the downstairs ceiling. Could this be a wax ring issue? It doesn't leak when I flush afterwards.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. It's tough to know for sure, but it sounds likely to me. May 10, 2020 at 11:26

1 Answer 1


Yes, that could certainly be a wax seal issue. I've resealed a number of toilets after people had plunged them. It usually happens because the flange is installed below the finished floor so the compression on the seal is compromised. If the blockage is below the flange, the pressure exerted from the plunger can easily blow through the wax seal. You won't see a leak when you flush because the water is going down to the ceiling of the floor below. You should think about resealing that toilet as the problem probably won't fix itself. Check the position of the flange, it should be installed on top of the finished floor. There are flange extenders if needed. Good luck and stay safe out there.

  • 1
    I agree that a plunger can cause issues with a bad seal that doesn’t normally leak. I keep a spare urethane center wax seal in the shop, I find these hold up best especially with a low flange or wobbly seat that wipes the seal out also. Seals are not that hard to change , I wear rubber gloves and a putty knife to clean the old one out. Sucking the water out of the trap with a shop vac can help make the job less messy+
    – Ed Beal
    May 10, 2020 at 17:08

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