Do you see water puddled near the toilet? Don’t put your head in the sand. Left unaddressed, your toilet will continue leaking slightly with each flush, allowing unsanitary water to pool on the bathroom floor and potentially causing potentially dangerous mold damage and rot in the subfloor.
A toilet oozing water at the base often is a sign of a bad wax ring. This part is supposed to create a tight seal between the toilet base and the drainpipe. When it fails, water may seep out every time you flush. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to test the source of the leak and find the problem. If you determine the wax ring needs to be replaced, we recommend hiring 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 leaking from.
Check for Condensation
The “leak” around your toilet might 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, 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 culprit. 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 dampness. 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 see. If the tank is broken, you’ll need to replace your toilet.
Inspect the Water Hose
Examine the cold-water supply line behind the toilet. A loose connection, defective hose or faulty shut-off valve may 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 prove unhelpful, your toilet is most likely leaking at the base like you originally guessed. 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 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 stop the leaking, a damaged wax ring could be the problem after all. Besides water soaking the floor around the toilet, you may detect a sewage odor, 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 component that connects the flush system to the plumbing line. A rocking toilet might also be a sign of 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 discover that a faulty wax ring is indeed the problem, resolving it necessitates removing the toilet, replacing the ring and reinstalling the toilet. While it’s possible to attempt the repair without a plumbing license, DIY toilet removal is not recommended. Here’s why you should leave the job to a certified plumber:
- Porcelain is an unforgiving 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 along with everything else.
- Lifting and lowering the large plumbing fixture is a two-person job. Even then, poor lifting techniques could leave you with an injured back.
- Checking for water-damaged subflooring requires a experienced eye. And if any damage has occurred, it should be addressed before reinstalling the toilet, something a plumber can help arrange.
- If you discover the entire flange below 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 needed change and reinstalling it can take a few hours, if not longer. You doubtlessly have better ways to spend your time, giving you yet another reason to leave the repair to a plumber.
Schedule Toilet Repair with an Expert Plumber
At A-PLUS 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, take it easy, and let us take care of it. To schedule superior toilet repair in your community, please contact A-PLUS 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.