Do you notice water puddled near the toilet? Don’t ignore this problem. Left unaddressed, your toilet will continue leaking slowly 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 component 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 test the source of the leak and find the problem. If you determine the wax ring needs to be replaced, we advise hiring a plumber for professional toilet repair.
Occasionally, a nearby leak can make the toilet appear to be leaking at the base. Follow these steps to find out exactly where the water is escaping from.
The “leak” around your toilet might not be a leak at all. Rather, water vapor could be condensing on the bowl or tank and dripping onto the floor. To check for this, soak up any standing water with a towel and flush the toilet. Look carefully —if there are no new water pools around the base, condensation is the likely culprit. Using the exhaust fan when you shower is an easy solution.
Feel around the outside of the tank for any wetness. To rule out condensation, dry up any droplets with a dry washcloth. Then, check again, checking for loose bolts or cracked porcelain leaking water onto the floor. Tighten any loose bolts you notice. If the tank is cracked, you’ll need to replace your toilet.
Examine the cold-water supply line located on the back of the toilet. A loose connection, damaged hose or malfunctioning shut-off valve sometimes can cause a leak. If tightening the fittings doesn’t fix the problem, you may need a plumber to replace the water supply hose.
If these troubleshooting tips don’t solve the problem, 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 reach the bolt underneath. Be careful not to tighten it too much, as this could damage the porcelain. If the bolts spin freely, you could need to replace them.
If bolting the toilet tighter to the floor doesn’t fix the problem, a faulty wax ring could be the cause after all. Besides water pooling around the toilet, you may detect a sewage smell, 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 be a sign of a soft subfloor resulting from the leak, which demands immediate attention to prevent the problem from doing more damage.
Hire a Plumber to Replace the Wax Ring
If you find that a faulty wax ring is indeed the problem, repairing it involves removing the toilet, replacing the ring and reinstalling the toilet. While it’s possible to do the work without a plumbing license, DIY toilet removal is not recommended. Here’s why you should leave the issue to a qualified plumber:
At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, resolving toilet leaks is one of our fortes. Whether you follow the troubleshooting tips outlined above before reaching out, 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, don’t worry, and let us take care of the problem. To schedule superior toilet repair in your community, please contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 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.
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