Do you spy water on the floor near the toilet? Don’t ignore this problem. Left unaddressed, your toilet will continue leaking slightly with each flush, allowing toilet 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 is a sign of a damaged wax ring. This component is supposed to form a tight seal between the toilet base and the drainpipe. When it breaks, water may leak every time you flush. Fortunately, it’s easy to find the source of the leak and troubleshoot the problem. If you conclude the wax ring needs to be replaced, we recommend reaching out to a plumber for quality toilet repair.
Test Your Leaky Toilet
Occasionally, 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 escaping from.
Check for Condensation
The “leak” around your toilet could not be a leak at all. Rather, water vapor might be condensing on the bowl or tank and running down onto the floor. To check for this, wipe up any standing water with a towel and flush the toilet. Look thoroughly —if there are no new water pools around the base, condensation is the likely problem. Turning on 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 moisture. To rule out condensation, wipe up any droplets with a towel. Then, check again, checking for loose bolts or cracked porcelain leaking water onto the floor. Tighten any loose bolts you find. If the tank is broken, you’ll need to replace your toilet.
Inspect the Water Hose
Look at the cold-water supply line on the backside of the toilet. A loose connection, broken hose or faulty shut-off valve may cause a leak. If tightening the fittings doesn’t resolve the issue, 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 originally guessed. Before contacting a plumber, try tightening the tee bolts that secure 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 screw the bolt too tight, as this could crack the porcelain. If the bolts spin freely, you might need to replace them.
Look for Signs of a Worn-Out Wax Ring
If bolting the toilet tighter to the floor doesn’t stop the leaking, a failing wax ring could be the cause after all. Besides water puddling around the toilet, you may detect a sewage smell, indicating a broken sewer line seal. And if the toilet rocks back and forth, this might mean it’s sitting on a broken flange, the piece of equipment that connects the flush system to the plumbing line. A rocking toilet might also indicate 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 necessitates removing the toilet, replacing the ring and reinstalling the toilet. While it’s possible to attempt the work without a plumbing license, DIY toilet removal is not recommended. Here’s why you should leave the issue to a experienced plumber:
- Porcelain is a surprisingly delicate material. If you whack 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 in addition to everything else.
- Lifting and lowering the heavy plumbing fixture is a two-person job. Even then, poor lifting techniques could leave you with an hurt back.
- Checking for water-damaged subflooring requires a experienced eye. And if any damage has been done, it should be addressed before reinstalling the toilet, something a plumber can help guide you through.
- If you determine 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 needed fix and reinstalling it can take a few hours, if not longer. You most likely have better ways to spend your time, giving you yet another reason to leave the task to a plumber.
Schedule Toilet Repair with an Expert Plumber
At R & M Climate Control Service Experts, fixing toilet leaks is one of our fortes. Whether you go through the troubleshooting tips outlined above before scheduling an appointment, 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 take care of it. To schedule superior toilet repair in your neighborhood, please contact R & M 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.