Do you spy water on the floor around the toilet? Don’t ignore this problem. 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 oozing water at the base often points to a damaged wax ring. This part should make a tight seal between the toilet base and the drainpipe. When it breaks, water may leak every time you flush. Fortunately, it’s easy to locate the source of the leak and pinpoint the problem. If you decide the wax ring needs to be replaced, we advise hiring a plumber for qualified toilet repair.
Test Your Leaky Toilet
At times, a nearby leak can make the toilet appear to be 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. It’s possible, water vapor might be condensing on the bowl or tank and running down onto the floor. To check for this, soak 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 culprit. Running the exhaust fan when you shower is an easy solution.
Examine the Toilet Tank
Look closely around the surface of the tank for any dampness. To rule out condensation, clean up any droplets with a paper towel. Then, examine it again, checking for loose bolts or cracked porcelain leaking water onto the floor. Tighten any loose bolts you notice. 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, defective hose or faulty shut-off valve could 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 solve the problem, your toilet is more likely than not leaking at the base like you originally guessed. Before calling a plumber, try tightening the tee bolts that attach the toilet to the floor. You may need to remove 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 could need to buy new ones.
Look for Signs of a Worn-Out Wax Ring
If bolting the toilet tighter to the floor doesn’t fix the problem, a damaged wax ring could be the problem after all. Besides water pooling 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 part that connects the flush system to the plumbing line. A rocking toilet might also point to 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 broken wax ring is indeed the problem, fixing 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 qualified plumber:
- Porcelain is a surprisingly delicate material. If you drop 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 task. Even then, poor lifting techniques could leave you with an strained 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 detect that the entire flange underneath 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 necessary repair 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 Chief/Bauer Service Experts, resolving toilet leaks is one of our fields of expertise. Whether you complete 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, don’t worry, and let us complete the repair. To schedule superior toilet repair in your area, please contact Chief/Bauer 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.