Do you spy water on the floor near the toilet? Don’t ignore this problem. Left unaddressed, your toilet will continue leaking slowly 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 part 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 simple to find the source of the leak and pinpoint the problem. If you determine the wax ring needs to be replaced, we recommend hiring a plumber for qualified 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 precisely where the water is coming from.
Check for Condensation
The “leak” around your toilet may not be a leak at all. Instead, water vapor may be condensing on the bowl or tank and puddling onto the floor. To check for this, soak up any standing water with a paper towel and flush the toilet. Look closely —if no more water pools around the base, condensation is the likely cause. Running the exhaust fan when you shower is an easy fix.
Examine the Toilet Tank
Run your hands around the surface of the tank for any moisture. To rule out condensation, dry up any droplets with a dry washcloth. Then, look again, looking 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.
Inspect the Water Hose
Examine the cold-water supply line located on the back of the toilet. A loose connection, defective hose or faulty shut-off valve sometimes can cause a leak. If tightening the fittings doesn’t help, 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 more likely than not leaking at the base like you thought. 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 underneath. Be careful not to tighten it too much, as this could break the porcelain. If the bolts spin freely, you may need to replace them.
Look for Signs of a Worn-Out Wax Ring
If bolting the toilet tighter to the floor doesn’t help, a faulty wax ring could be the cause after all. Besides water puddling around the toilet, you may smell a sewage smell, indicating a broken sewer line seal. And if the toilet rocks back and forth, this may mean it’s sitting on a broken flange, the part 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 causing more problems.
Hire a Plumber to Replace the Wax Ring
If you discover that a broken wax ring is indeed the problem, repairing it necessitates 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 qualified 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 along with everything else.
- Lifting and lowering the heavy plumbing fixture is a two-person job. Even then, poor lifting techniques could leave you with an strained back.
- Checking for water-damaged subflooring requires a Expert eye. And if any damage has occurred, it should be fixed/repaired before reinstalling the toilet, something a plumber can help coordinate.
- If you detect that the entire flange underneath the toilet is damaged, it will need to be replaced. This is even harder than replacing the wax ring.
- Removing the toilet, making the needed change and reinstalling it can take a few hours, if not longer. You doubtlessly have better things to do, giving you yet another reason to leave the repair to a plumber.
Schedule Toilet Repair with an Expert Plumber
At Pardee Service Experts, resolving toilet leaks is one of our fortes. Whether you complete 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, don’t worry, and let us complete the repair. To schedule reliable toilet repair in your area, please contact Pardee 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.