Do you see water puddled near the toilet? Don’t put your head in the sand. Left unaddressed, your toilet will continue leaking slowly with each flush, allowing unsanitary water to pool on the bathroom floor and potentially causing expensive mold damage and rot in the subfloor.
A toilet leaking at the base often signifies a damaged wax ring. This piece of equipment is designed to create a tight seal between the toilet base and the drainpipe. When it quits working, water may seep out every time you flush. Fortunately, it’s easy to find the source of the leak and troubleshoot the problem. If you decide the wax ring needs to be replaced, we suggest reaching out to a plumber for professional toilet repair.
Test Your Leaky Toilet
Sometimes, a nearby leak can make the toilet appear to be leaking at the base. Follow these steps to find out precisely where the water is leaking from.
Check for Condensation
The “leak” around your toilet may not be a leak at all. It’s possible, water vapor could be condensing on the bowl or tank and running down onto the floor. To check for this, soak up any standing water with a towel and flush the toilet. Look carefully —if no more water pools around the base, condensation is the likely culprit. Turning on the exhaust fan when you shower is an easy solution.
Examine the Toilet Tank
Feel around the exterior of the tank for any wetness. To rule out condensation, clean up any droplets with a towel. Then, examine it again, looking 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 located on the back of the toilet. A loose connection, defective 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 don’t solve the problem, your toilet is most likely leaking at the base like you suspected. Before reaching out to a plumber, try tightening the tee bolts that attach the toilet to the floor. You may need to remove the decorative plastic caps with a putty knife or flathead screwdriver to access the bolt at the bottom of. Be careful not to tighten it too much, as this could crack the porcelain. If the bolts spin freely, you might 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 damaged wax ring could be the cause after all. Besides water soaking the floor around the toilet, you may smell a sewage smell, indicating a broken sewer line seal. And if the toilet wobbles, this could mean it’s sitting on a broken flange, the component that connects the flush system to the plumbing line. A rocking toilet might also point to a soft subfloor resulting from the leak, which demands immediate attention to prevent the problem from doing more damage.
Hire a Plumber to Replace the Wax Ring
If you discover that a faulty wax ring is indeed the problem, fixing it necessitates removing the toilet, replacing the ring and reinstalling the toilet. While it’s possible to complete the repair without a plumbing license, DIY toilet removal is not recommended. Here’s why you should leave the issue to a qualified plumber:
- Porcelain is a surprisingly delicate material. If you drop 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 along with everything else.
- Lifting and lowering the large plumbing fixture is a two-person task. Even then, poor lifting techniques could leave you with an strained 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 guide you through.
- If you detect that the entire flange underneath the toilet is damaged, it will need to be replaced. This is even more challenging than repairing the wax ring.
- Removing the toilet, making the needed fix and reinstalling it can take a few hours, if not longer. You probably 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 Climate Control Service Experts, resolving toilet leaks is one of our specialties. Whether you follow the troubleshooting tips outlined above before calling, 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, take it easy, and let us take care of it. To schedule superior toilet repair in your area, please contact Climate Control 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.