Do you spy water on the floor near the toilet? Don’t put your head in the sand. Left unaddressed, your toilet will continue leaking a little bit with each flush, allowing toilet water to pool on the bathroom floor and potentially causing potentially dangerous mold damage and rot in the subfloor.
A toilet leaking at the base often points to a bad wax ring. This component is supposed to make a tight seal between the toilet base and the drainpipe. When it quits working, water may escape every time you flush. Fortunately, it’s simple to locate 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 look like it is leaking at the base. Follow these steps to find out precisely where the water is coming from.
Check for Condensation
The “leak” around your toilet may not be a leak at all. It’s possible, 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 towel and flush the toilet. Look closely —if no more 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
Feel around the outside of the tank for any moisture. To rule out condensation, dry up any droplets with a paper towel. Then, check again, searching for loose bolts or cracked porcelain leaking water onto the floor. Tighten any loose bolts you find. If the tank is damaged, you’ll need to replace your toilet.
Inspect the Water Hose
Look at the cold-water supply line behind the toilet. A loose connection, damaged hose or malfunctioning shut-off valve sometimes can 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 prove unhelpful, your toilet is most likely leaking at the base like you originally guessed. Before calling a plumber, try tightening the tee bolts that secure the toilet to the floor. You may need to pry off the decorative plastic caps with a putty knife or flathead screwdriver to access the bolt below. Be careful not to over-tighten, as this could break the porcelain. If the bolts spin freely, you could 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 problem after all. Besides water pooling around the toilet, you may notice 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 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 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 attempt the fix without a plumbing license, DIY toilet removal is not recommended. Here’s why you should leave the issue to a certified 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 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 trained eye. And if any damage has occurred, it should be fixed/repaired before reinstalling the toilet, something a plumber can help arrange.
- If you discover the entire flange below the toilet is damaged, it will need to be replaced. This is even harder than repairing the wax ring.
- Removing the toilet, making the necessary change 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 Parker Pearce Service Experts, resolving 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 take care of the problem. To schedule reliable toilet repair in your area, please contact Parker Pearce 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.