Do you see water puddled around the toilet? Don’t delay. Left unaddressed, your toilet will continue leaking slightly with each flush, allowing toilet 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 part 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 not difficult to test the source of the leak and find the problem. If you conclude the wax ring needs to be replaced, we recommend calling 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 specifically where the water is leaking from.
Check for Condensation
The “leak” around your toilet might not be a leak at all. It’s possible, 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 carefully —if there are no new water pools around the base, condensation is the likely problem. Turning on the exhaust fan when you shower is an easy solution.
Examine the Toilet Tank
Feel around the surface of the tank for any dampness. To rule out condensation, clean up any droplets with a towel. Then, examine it again, looking for loose bolts or cracked porcelain leaking water onto the floor. Tighten any loose bolts you find. 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 help, 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 contacting a plumber, try tightening the tee bolts that hold the toilet to the floor. You may need to take off the decorative plastic caps with a putty knife or flathead screwdriver to access 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 stop the leaking, a damaged wax ring could be the culprit after all. Besides water pooling 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 piece of equipment that connects the flush system to the plumbing line. A rocking toilet might also point to a soft subfloor resulting from the leak, which requires immediate attention to prevent the problem from getting worse.
Hire a Plumber to Replace the Wax Ring
If you discover 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 complete the repair without a plumbing license, DIY toilet removal is not recommended. Here’s why you should leave the task to a certified plumber:
- Porcelain is a sometimes brittle 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 on top of everything else.
- Lifting and lowering the cumbersome plumbing fixture is a two-person task. Even then, poor lifting techniques could leave you with an hurt back.
- Checking for water-damaged subflooring requires a experienced eye. And if any damage has happened, it should be fixed/repaired before reinstalling the toilet, something a plumber can help arrange.
- If you detect that 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 required repair 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 Midland Air Service Experts, fixing toilet leaks is one of our fields of expertise. Whether you go through the troubleshooting tips outlined above before scheduling an appointment, or you want us to handle the entire problem 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 reliable toilet repair in your community, please contact Midland Air 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.