Do you spy water pooling at the base of the toilet? Don’t delay. Left unaddressed, your toilet will continue leaking slowly with each flush, allowing dirty water to pool on the bathroom floor and potentially causing potentially dangerous mold damage and rot in the subfloor.
A toilet spraying out water at the base often is a sign of a damaged 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 suggest calling a plumber for qualified toilet repair.
Occasionally, a nearby leak can make the toilet seem like it is leaking at the base. Follow these steps to find out exactly where the water is leaking from.
The “leak” around your toilet might not be a leak at all. Instead, water vapor might be condensing on the bowl or tank and running down onto the floor. To check for this, clean up any standing water with a paper towel and flush the toilet. Look carefully —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 solution.
Feel around the exterior of the tank for any moisture. To rule out condensation, clean up any droplets with a towel. Then, look again, searching for loose bolts or cracked porcelain leaking water onto the floor. Tighten any loose bolts you notice. If the tank is damaged, you’ll need to replace your toilet.
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.
If these troubleshooting tips don’t help, 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 take off the decorative plastic caps with a putty knife or flathead screwdriver to reach the bolt below. Be careful not to tighten it too much, as this could damage the porcelain. If the bolts spin freely, you could need to replace them.
If bolting the toilet tighter to the floor doesn’t fix the problem, a failing wax ring could be the problem after all. Besides water soaking the floor around the toilet, you may detect a sewage odor, indicating a broken sewer line seal. And if the toilet wobbles, this could 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 be a sign of a soft subfloor resulting from the leak, which needs immediate attention to prevent the problem from getting worse.
Hire a Plumber to Replace the Wax Ring
If you find that a failed wax ring is indeed the problem, repairing 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 task to a experienced plumber:
At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, resolving toilet leaks is one of our fields of expertise. Whether you go through the troubleshooting tips outlined above before calling, or you want us to handle the entire problem 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today!
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