Do you notice water on the floor near 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 leaking at the base often is a sign of a bad wax ring. This piece of equipment is supposed to make a tight seal between the toilet base and the drainpipe. When it breaks, water may escape every time you flush. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to find the source of the leak and troubleshoot the problem. If you decide the wax ring needs to be replaced, we advise reaching out to a plumber for quality 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 specifically where the water is coming from.
Check for Condensation
The “leak” around your toilet might not be a leak at all. Instead, water vapor might be condensing on the bowl or tank and dripping onto the floor. To check for this, wipe up any standing water with a rag and flush the toilet. Look carefully —if no additional 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
Look closely around the outside of the tank for any moisture. To rule out condensation, dry up any droplets with a paper towel. Then, look again, searching for loose bolts or cracked porcelain leaking water onto the floor. Tighten any loose bolts you find. If the tank is cracked, you’ll need to replace your toilet.
Inspect the Water Hose
Look at the cold-water supply line located on the back of the toilet. A loose connection, broken hose or faulty shut-off valve could cause a leak. If tightening the fittings doesn’t fix the problem, you may need a plumber to replace the water supply hose.
Tighten the Tee Bolts
If these troubleshooting tips don’t help, your toilet is most likely leaking at the base like you suspected. Before calling 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 get to the bolt underneath. Be careful not to screw the bolt too tight, as this could crack the porcelain. If the bolts spin freely, you may need to get new ones.
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 problem after all. Besides water soaking the floor around the toilet, you may detect a sewage smell, indicating a broken sewer line seal. And if the toilet moves from side to side, this might mean it’s sitting on a broken flange, the part that connects the flush system to the plumbing line. A rocking toilet might also indicate a soft subfloor resulting from the leak, which demands immediate attention to prevent the problem from doing more damage.
Hire a Plumber to Replace the Wax Ring
If you determine that a failed wax ring is indeed the problem, resolving it necessitates removing the toilet, replacing the ring and reinstalling the toilet. While it’s possible to do the work without a plumbing license, DIY toilet removal is not recommended. Here’s why you should leave the job to a experienced plumber:
- Porcelain is a surprisingly delicate material. If you whack the toilet on the floor or hit it too hard with a plumbing tool, it could break, forcing you to pay for a toilet replacement in addition to everything else.
- Lifting and lowering the heavy plumbing fixture is a two-person chore. Even then, poor lifting techniques could leave you with an injured back.
- Checking for water-damaged subflooring requires a Expert eye. And if any damage has happened, it should be addressed before reinstalling the toilet, something a plumber can help coordinate.
- If you determine the entire flange underneath the toilet is damaged, it will need to be replaced. This is even more difficult than repairing the wax ring.
- Removing the toilet, making the required fix and reinstalling it can take a few hours, if not longer. You probably have better things you’d rather be doing, giving you yet another reason to leave the repair to a plumber.
Schedule Toilet Repair with an Expert Plumber
At Comfortech Service Experts , repairing toilet leaks is one of our fortes. Whether you follow 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, don’t worry, and let us take care of it. To schedule reliable toilet repair in your community, please contact Comfortech 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.