Why Is My Toilet Leaking at the Base?
Do you notice water puddled near the toilet? Don’t delay. 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 points to a damaged wax ring. This piece of equipment is supposed to create a tight seal between the toilet base and the drainpipe. When it fails, water may escape every time you flush. Fortunately, it’s simple to locate the source of the leak and pinpoint the problem. If you determine the wax ring needs to be replaced, we recommend hiring a plumber for qualified toilet repair.
Test Your Leaky Toilet
Occasionally, a nearby leak can make the toilet seem like it is leaking at the base. Follow these steps to find out exactly where the water is leaking from.
Check for Condensation
The “leak” around your toilet could not be a leak at all. Rather, water vapor may be condensing on the bowl or tank and dripping onto the floor. To check for this, wipe up any standing water with a rag and flush the toilet. Look thoroughly —if no additional water pools around the base, condensation is the likely problem. Using the exhaust fan when you shower is an easy way to solve this problem.
Examine the Toilet Tank
Look closely around the surface of the tank for any moisture. To rule out condensation, wipe 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 see. If the tank is broken, you’ll need to replace your toilet.
Inspect the Water Hose
Examine the cold-water supply line on the backside of the toilet. A loose connection, defective hose or faulty shut-off valve may 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 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 take off the decorative plastic caps with a putty knife or flathead screwdriver to get to the bolt below. Be careful not to screw the bolt too tight, as this could crack the porcelain. If the bolts spin freely, you could need to get 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 faulty wax ring could be the culprit after all. Besides water pooling around the toilet, you may smell 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 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 demands immediate attention to prevent the problem from getting worse.
Hire a Plumber to Replace the Wax Ring
If you find that a broken wax ring is indeed the problem, fixing it requires 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 chip, forcing you to pay for a toilet replacement on top of everything else.
- Lifting and lowering the cumbersome plumbing fixture is a two-person chore. 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 been done, it should be fixed/repaired before reinstalling the toilet, something a plumber can help coordinate.
- If you determine the entire flange at the bottom of the toilet is damaged, it will need to be replaced. This is even more challenging than replacing the wax ring.
- Removing the toilet, making the required repair and reinstalling it can take a few hours, if not longer. You doubtlessly have better things to do, giving you yet another reason to leave the task to a plumber.
Schedule Toilet Repair with an Expert Plumber
At San Antonio Air Service Experts, resolving toilet leaks is one of our specialties. Whether you go through the troubleshooting tips outlined above before reaching out, 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 take care of it. To schedule dependable toilet repair in your neighborhood, please contact San Antonio 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.