Why Is My Toilet Leaking at the Base?

Do you spy water puddled around the toilet? Don’t delay. Left unaddressed, your toilet will continue leaking a little bit with each flush, allowing dirty water to pool on the bathroom floor and potentially causing expensive mold damage and rot in the subfloor. 

A toilet oozing water at the base often points to a damaged wax ring. This component is supposed to make a tight seal between the toilet base and the drainpipe. When it fails, water may leak every time you flush. Fortunately, it’s easy to find the source of the leak and find the problem. If you conclude the wax ring needs to be replaced, we suggest calling a plumber for professional toilet repair

Test Your Leaky Toilet 

At times, a nearby leak can make the toilet seem 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. Rather, 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. Running the exhaust fan when you shower is an easy solution. 

Examine the Toilet Tank 

Look closely around the outside of the tank for any dampness. To rule out condensation, clean 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 broken, you’ll need to replace your toilet. 

Inspect the Water Hose 

Check the cold-water supply line located on the back of the toilet. A loose connection, broken hose or worn out 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 don’t help, your toilet is probably leaking at the base like you suspected. 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 reach the bolt at the bottom of. Be careful not to over-tighten, as this could damage the porcelain. If the bolts spin freely, you might need to buy new ones. 

Look for Signs of a Worn-Out Wax Ring 

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 might 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 indicate a soft subfloor resulting from the leak, which needs 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, repairing it necessitates removing the toilet, replacing the ring and reinstalling the toilet. While it’s possible to do the fix without a plumbing license, DIY toilet removal is not recommended. Here’s why you should leave the task 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 task. Even then, poor lifting techniques could leave you with an injured back. 
  • Checking for water-damaged subflooring requires a trained eye. And if any damage has occurred, it should be addressed before reinstalling the toilet, something a plumber can help coordinate. 
  • If you discover the entire flange at the bottom of the toilet is damaged, it will need to be replaced. This is even more challenging than swapping out the wax ring. 
  • Removing the toilet, making the required change and reinstalling it can take a few hours, if not longer. You doubtlessly 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 Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, resolving toilet leaks is one of our fortes. Whether you follow the troubleshooting tips outlined above before reaching out, 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, relax, and let us take care of it. To schedule dependable toilet repair in your neighborhood, please contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 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. 

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >
Offer

$50 OFF ANY REPAIR

  • Save $50 on a Paid Service
  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Plus, ask how to save an additional 15% and waive your trip charge!
print
Offer

FREE PLUMBING INSPECTION

  • Prevent costly damage from water leaks, drain clogs and tank damage
  • Written 100% Expert Service Guarantee
print

© 2024 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *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.

Chat with a Service Experts Professional