We just purchased a house that's about 30 years old. On the first floor a water mark developed on the ceiling, so I've been debugging the upstairs plumbing. My kids' bathroom toilet had some moisture around the base, but I have a seven year old son with imperfect aim so it's hard to know where the source is.

I took up the toilet intending to replace the wax seal. I was hoping the flange would be either obviously ok or obviously in need of replacement; instead I can't tell. As you can see from the picture, a blue coating is clearly chipped and deteriorating. But that doesn't seem crucial to me, and the part under has no visible signs of deterioration.

Am I ok not replacing the flange?

EDIT: I should also say that the bolt on the side where the blue is most deteriorated wiggles quite a bit. Is that a sign that the flange is cracked?

enter image description here

  • Looking at the picture it seems there is a visible crack (at about 11 o'clock); is that a trick of the light or confirmed crack? Aug 20, 2016 at 22:00
  • Is this an adapter ring to raise the height? It looks like plastic abs / Pvc below. I have had trouble with rings to raise the flange height cracking. Now I ether raise the flange with a coupling, or use a urathane filled wax seal.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 20, 2016 at 22:09

1 Answer 1


It's impossible to answer a question like this, even if the plumber is right there. Water can seep through very tiny cracks so there is no way to know without doing very expensive tests, tests that would be more expensive than just replacing the item.

Usually a plumber will just replace something if there is any question whatsoever.

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