Do you notice water on the floor at the base of the toilet? Don’t delay. Left unaddressed, your toilet will continue leaking slightly with each flush, allowing toilet water to pool on the bathroom floor and potentially causing expensive mold damage and rot in the subfloor.
A toilet oozing water at the base often signifies a faulty wax ring. This component should form 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 determine the wax ring needs to be replaced, we recommend calling a plumber for qualified toilet repair.
Test Your Leaky Toilet
Occasionally, a nearby leak can make the toilet look like it is leaking at the base. Follow these steps to find out specifically where the water is leaking from.
Check for Condensation
The “leak” around your toilet could not be a leak at all. Instead, water vapor might be condensing on the bowl or tank and dripping onto the floor. To check for this, soak up any standing water with a rag and flush the toilet. Look closely —if no additional water pools around the base, condensation is the likely cause. Using the exhaust fan when you shower is an easy solution.
Examine the Toilet Tank
Run your hands around the exterior of the tank for any moisture. To rule out condensation, wipe up any droplets with a paper towel. Then, examine it again, searching for loose bolts or cracked porcelain leaking water onto the floor. Tighten any loose bolts you see. If the tank is broken, you’ll need to replace your toilet.
Inspect the Water Hose
Check the cold-water supply line on the backside of the toilet. A loose connection, damaged hose or faulty shut-off valve could cause a leak. If tightening the fittings doesn’t help, you may need a plumber to replace the water supply hose.
Tighten the Tee Bolts
If these troubleshooting tips prove unhelpful, your toilet is probably leaking at the base like you thought. 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 reach the bolt at the bottom of. Be careful not to over-tighten, as this could crack the porcelain. If the bolts spin freely, you could need to buy new ones.
Look for Signs of a Worn-Out Wax Ring
If bolting the toilet tighter to the floor doesn’t fix the problem, a faulty wax ring could be the cause after all. Besides water pooling around the toilet, you may detect a sewage stink, indicating a broken sewer line seal. And if the toilet moves from side to side, this may mean it’s sitting on a broken flange, the part that connects the flush system to the plumbing line. A rocking toilet might also point to a soft subfloor resulting from the leak, which needs immediate attention to prevent the problem from causing more problems.
Hire a Plumber to Replace the Wax Ring
If you find that a broken wax ring is indeed the problem, fixing it involves removing the toilet, replacing the ring and reinstalling the toilet. While it’s possible to complete the work without a plumbing license, DIY toilet removal is not recommended. Here’s why you should leave the issue 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 break, forcing you to pay for a toilet replacement on top of everything else.
- Lifting and lowering the large plumbing fixture is a two-person chore. Even then, poor lifting techniques could leave you with an injured back.
- Checking for water-damaged subflooring requires a trained eye. And if any damage has been done, it should be fixed/repaired before reinstalling the toilet, something a plumber can help coordinate.
- If you detect that the entire flange underneath the toilet is damaged, it will need to be replaced. This is even harder than repairing the wax ring.
- Removing the toilet, making the required repair and reinstalling it can take a few hours, if not longer. You doubtlessly have better things to do, giving you yet another reason to leave the task to a plumber.
Schedule Toilet Repair with an Expert Plumber
At Eveready Service Experts , repairing toilet leaks is one of our specialties. Whether you complete the troubleshooting tips outlined above before calling, or you want us to handle everything from start to finish, we’ve got you covered. Every job is backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee,* so sit back, take it easy, and let us complete the repair. To schedule reliable toilet repair in your neighborhood, please contact Eveready 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.