Do you notice water puddled at the base of the toilet? Don’t ignore this problem. Left unaddressed, your toilet will continue leaking a little bit with each flush, allowing dirty water to pool on the bathroom floor and potentially causing unsanitary mold damage and rot in the subfloor.
A toilet leaking at the base often points to a damaged wax ring. This piece of equipment is supposed to create a tight seal between the toilet base and the drainpipe. When it breaks, water may seep out every time you flush. Fortunately, it’s easy to test the source of the leak and pinpoint the problem. If you decide the wax ring needs to be replaced, we recommend reaching out to a plumber for professional toilet repair.
Test Your Leaky Toilet
At times, a nearby leak can make the toilet appear to be leaking at the base. Follow these steps to find out specifically where the water is coming from.
Check for Condensation
The “leak” around your toilet may not be a leak at all. Rather, water vapor could be condensing on the bowl or tank and puddling onto the floor. To check for this, clean up any standing water with a rag and flush the toilet. Look closely —if there are no new water pools around the base, condensation is the likely problem. Using the exhaust fan when you shower is an easy fix.
Examine the Toilet Tank
Run your hands around the exterior of the tank for any wetness. To rule out condensation, dry up any droplets with a paper towel. Then, examine it again, checking for loose bolts or cracked porcelain leaking water onto the floor. Tighten any loose bolts you see. If the tank is cracked, you’ll need to replace your toilet.
Inspect the Water Hose
Check the cold-water supply line behind the toilet. A loose connection, damaged hose or malfunctioning shut-off valve may cause a leak. If tightening the fittings doesn’t fix the problem, you may need a plumber to replace the water supply hose.
Tighten the Tee Bolts
If these troubleshooting tips prove unhelpful, your toilet is most likely leaking at the base like you originally guessed. Before reaching out to a plumber, try tightening the tee bolts that attach the toilet to the floor. You may need to take off the decorative plastic caps with a putty knife or flathead screwdriver to get to the bolt underneath. Be careful not to screw the bolt too tight, as this could break the porcelain. If the bolts spin freely, you may need to buy new ones.
Look for Signs of a Worn-Out Wax Ring
If bolting the toilet tighter to the floor doesn’t help, a damaged wax ring could be the culprit after all. Besides water puddling around the toilet, you may smell a sewage stink, indicating a broken sewer line seal. And if the toilet rocks back and forth, this may mean it’s sitting on a broken flange, the component that connects the flush system to the plumbing line. A rocking toilet might also be a sign of a soft subfloor resulting from the leak, which demands immediate attention to prevent the problem from causing more problems.
Hire a Plumber to Replace the Wax Ring
If you discover that a faulty wax ring is indeed the problem, resolving it requires removing the toilet, replacing the ring and reinstalling the toilet. While it’s possible to do the repair without a plumbing license, DIY toilet removal is not recommended. Here’s why you should leave the task to a qualified plumber:
- Porcelain is an unforgiving material. If you bang the toilet on the floor or hit it too hard with a plumbing tool, it could crack, forcing you to pay for a toilet replacement on top of everything else.
- Lifting and lowering the cumbersome plumbing fixture is a two-person job. Even then, poor lifting techniques could leave you with an strained back.
- Checking for water-damaged subflooring requires a experienced eye. And if any damage has occurred, it should be fixed/repaired before reinstalling the toilet, something a plumber can help guide you through.
- If you determine the entire flange below the toilet is damaged, it will need to be replaced. This is even harder than swapping out the wax ring.
- Removing the toilet, making the required repair and reinstalling it can take a few hours, if not longer. You most likely have better things to do, giving you yet another reason to leave the job to a plumber.
Schedule Toilet Repair with an Expert Plumber
At Falso Service Experts, fixing toilet leaks is one of our fortes. Whether you complete the troubleshooting tips outlined above before reaching out, or you want us to handle the whole job from start to finish, we’ve got you covered. Every job is backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee,* so sit back, relax, and let us take care of the problem. To schedule dependable toilet repair in your area, please contact Falso Service Experts today!
*Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.