Do you notice water pooling near the toilet? Don’t put your head in the sand. Left unaddressed, your toilet will continue leaking slowly 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 signifies a bad wax ring. This component should form a tight seal between the toilet base and the drainpipe. When it breaks, water may escape 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 advise hiring a plumber for professional toilet repair.
Occasionally, a nearby leak can make the toilet look like it is leaking at the base. Follow these steps to find out precisely where the water is escaping from.
The “leak” around your toilet might 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, clean up any standing water with a rag and flush the toilet. Look closely —if no additional water pools around the base, condensation is the likely culprit. Turning on the exhaust fan when you shower is an easy solution.
Look closely around the outside of the tank for any wetness. To rule out condensation, clean up any droplets with a dry washcloth. Then, check 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.
Examine the cold-water supply line located on the back of the toilet. A loose connection, defective hose or malfunctioning 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.
If these troubleshooting tips don’t help, your toilet is probably 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 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 may need to buy new ones.
If bolting the toilet tighter to the floor doesn’t help, a failing wax ring could be the problem after all. Besides water soaking the floor around the toilet, you may smell a sewage stink, indicating a broken sewer line seal. And if the toilet rocks back and forth, 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 getting worse.
Hire a Plumber to Replace the Wax Ring
If you determine that a faulty wax ring is indeed the problem, resolving it involves removing the toilet, replacing the ring and reinstalling the toilet. While it’s possible to do the repair without a plumbing license, DIY toilet removal is not recommended. Here’s why you should leave the job to a experienced plumber:
At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, resolving toilet leaks is one of our fortes. Whether you complete 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, take it easy, and let us take care of it. To schedule dependable toilet repair in your community, please contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today!
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