Is Your Toilet Tight

Home Inspector with Watz Home Inspections

Some agents in the area tease me that I only find loose toilets on inspections for their buyers. The truth is that I find loose toilets in most homes. A lot of people do not think that it is problem worth addressing right away, but I have had a few clients call me a year later to tell me that wish that they had listened to me because nothing was done about the toilet being loose and now they are replacing the floor in their bathroom because the wax ring started leaking and rotted out the floor.


Posted By Jim Watzlawick


Comments (14)

Susie Roscoe
Signature Realty Associates - Brandon, FL
Real Estate Specialist | Brandon, FL
This is a somewhat FUNNY post!  Thanks for the giggle...
May 10, 2007 11:00 AM
Becky Troutt
No longer practicing real estate as of 2008. - Bradenton, FL
Hmm....I've been known to have a screw loose but not a loose toilet!
May 10, 2007 11:11 AM
Ann Guy
NA - Allentown, PA
That reminds me, I have to change my wax rings. I keep forgetting..... 
May 10, 2007 11:12 AM
Dan Carraher
Keller Williams Realty Platinum - Phoenix, AZ

This is no joke! My last sale had this EXACT issue! Very loose toilet, leaking occurred and rotted the floor boards. This created water stains on the drywall behind the water heater in the garage, so of course we had to cut a hole in the drywall to see what the heck was going on. So what was the resolution? New wax ring, removal of rotted wood, new plywood and 2x4's, and new tile to replace the old that had to be ripped up. A $2 wax ring and a little labor would have prevented this $800 repair.

May 10, 2007 11:28 AM
Roger Stensland
Keller Williams Realty Puget Sound - Maple Valley, WA
Let's Move!
I had a similar situation, except that I bought an FHA repo years ago with no inspection.  I ended up replacing the floor in the bathroom as a result. 
May 10, 2007 04:34 PM
Donald Sutherland
Marathon Constructors Inspection Services - Seward, AK
Inspector-Seward, Alaska

I find that loose toilets are not uncommon. Also the tank to bowl connection. It may sound nitpicky but as above, it could be a very expensive fix if ignored.

Alaska Don

May 11, 2007 04:48 PM
D.J Skelding
Safeguard Inspection Services, Inc. - Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee Home Inspections

A loose toilet is an excellent example of how a minor problem can turn into a major one.  I also see alot of toilets caulked between the base of the bowl and the flooring.  I advise not doing this either.  If there's a leak you want to know about it and caulking tends to hide it till the damage is done.  If the flooring is so uneven that shims created an unsightly wide gap in the front, then just caulk the gap and leave the rest open.


May 14, 2007 08:44 AM
Vicki Watzlawick
CORE Realty (The Watz Team) - Algonquin, IL
Illinois Foreclosure Expert, The Watz Team

I'd like to throw in my 2 cents and remind sellers that if they tighten the toilet themselves be careful!  I've seen several of my clients here in Illinois take a wrench and tighten that baby and CRACK.  Tightening it too much cracks the toilet and here youa re running out to buy a whole new toilet!

Jun 24, 2007 02:20 AM
Donald Sutherland
Marathon Constructors Inspection Services - Seward, AK
Inspector-Seward, Alaska

Fluidmaster has the answer to wax rings. They are a plastic insert with "O" ring gaskets. A local plumber gave me one to try out, and pointed out to him that I have five bathrooms, so he gave me five of them and they've been installed for over eight years with NO problems. I threw away all the spare wax rings I had.

Alaska Don

Jun 24, 2007 10:24 AM
Carl Winters
Canyon Lake, TX


I have seen this quite often when I do my inspections. I know it sounds picky but  it becomes a serious problems at a later date. Better to be picky now and  prevent finger pointing later. 

Jun 24, 2007 03:35 PM
David Helm
Helm Home Inspections - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham, Wa. Licensed Home Insp
All good comments.  The fluidmaster has been around for a long time and is the only ring to use.  Loose toilets suck.
Jun 25, 2007 04:31 AM
Scott Patterson, ACI
Trace Inspections, LLC - Spring Hill, TN
Home Inspector, Middle TN

For those of you checking for loose toilets, I hope that you are not grabing the bowl with your hands!  The best way is to straddle the toilet and gently try to rock it with your legs.  For those of you that wear shorts during the summer, I don't know what to tell you!

I have seen some inspectors who try to rock the toilet while sitting on the seat.  This is the wrong way, as your weight might keep it from moving.  I would say that about 60% of the homes I inspect have a loose toilet.

Jun 25, 2007 04:54 AM
Vicki Watzlawick
CORE Realty (The Watz Team) - Algonquin, IL
Illinois Foreclosure Expert, The Watz Team
Scott  You have actually seen Home Inspectors sit on the toilet to see if it was loose?  OMG!  What's this industry coming too?
Jun 25, 2007 03:26 PM
Dana Bostick
True Professionals, Inc. - North Hollywood, CA

It's not that my toilet is tight, I think my butt's too big.  LOL

Sorry, couldn't resist the straight line.


Jun 25, 2007 04:01 PM