Do you notice water pooling around the toilet? Don’t delay. 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 points to a bad wax ring. This piece of equipment is supposed to form a tight seal between the toilet base and the drainpipe. When it fails, water may escape every time you flush. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to test the source of the leak and troubleshoot the problem. If you determine the wax ring needs to be replaced, we recommend hiring a plumber for quality toilet repair.
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 coming from.
The “leak” around your toilet might not be a leak at all. Instead, 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 there are no new water pools around the base, condensation is the likely culprit. Using the exhaust fan when you shower is an easy way to solve this problem.
Feel around the exterior of the tank for any moisture. To rule out condensation, clean 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 see. If the tank is damaged, you’ll need to replace your toilet.
Check the cold-water supply line on the backside of the toilet. A loose connection, broken hose or malfunctioning shut-off valve could cause a leak. If tightening the fittings doesn’t help, you may need a plumber to replace the water supply hose.
If these troubleshooting tips prove unhelpful, your toilet is probably leaking at the base like you thought. Before calling a plumber, try tightening the tee bolts that hold 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 underneath. Be careful not to over-tighten, as this could break the porcelain. If the bolts spin freely, you might need to buy new ones.
If bolting the toilet tighter to the floor doesn’t help, a faulty wax ring could be the culprit after all. Besides water puddling around the toilet, you may smell 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 piece of equipment 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 getting worse.
Hire a Plumber to Replace the Wax Ring
If you determine that a failed wax ring is indeed the problem, fixing it requires 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 issue to a qualified plumber:
At Levy & Son Service Experts, fixing toilet leaks is one of our specialties. Whether you complete 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, relax, and let us take care of it. To schedule reliable toilet repair in your community, please contact Levy & Son 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.
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