Do you spy water on the floor around 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 spraying out water at the base often is a sign of a bad wax ring. This component should create a tight seal between the toilet base and the drainpipe. When it fails, water may seep out every time you flush. Fortunately, it’s easy to test the source of the leak and troubleshoot the problem. If you determine the wax ring needs to be replaced, we recommend reaching out to a plumber for professional toilet repair.
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.
The “leak” around your toilet could not be a leak at all. It’s possible, water vapor could be condensing on the bowl or tank and puddling onto the floor. To check for this, wipe up any standing water with a rag and flush the toilet. Look carefully —if there are no new water pools around the base, condensation is the likely culprit. Using the exhaust fan when you shower is an easy fix.
Feel around the exterior of the tank for any wetness. To rule out condensation, wipe up any droplets with a towel. Then, check again, searching for loose bolts or cracked porcelain leaking water onto the floor. Tighten any loose bolts you see. If the tank is damaged, you’ll need to replace your toilet.
Look at the cold-water supply line located on the back of the toilet. A loose connection, broken hose or worn out 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 prove unhelpful, your toilet is more likely than not leaking at the base like you suspected. Before contacting a plumber, try tightening the tee bolts that attach the toilet to the floor. You may need to pry 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 may need to get new ones.
If bolting the toilet tighter to the floor doesn’t help, a failing wax ring could be the culprit after all. Besides water puddling around the toilet, you may notice a sewage odor, indicating a broken sewer line seal. And if the toilet moves from side to side, this could mean it’s sitting on a broken flange, the part 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 requires immediate attention to prevent the problem from causing more problems.
Hire a Plumber to Replace the Wax Ring
If you determine that a broken wax ring is indeed the problem, fixing it necessitates removing the toilet, replacing the ring and reinstalling the toilet. While it’s possible to attempt the repair without a plumbing license, DIY toilet removal is not recommended. Here’s why you should leave the job to a qualified plumber:
At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, fixing toilet leaks is one of our fields of expertise. 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, don’t worry, and let us take care of the problem. To schedule superior toilet repair in your area, please contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today!
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