Do you see water on the floor near the toilet? Don’t ignore this problem. Left unaddressed, your toilet will continue leaking a little bit 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 spraying out water at the base often signifies a damaged wax ring. This component is designed to form a tight seal between the toilet base and the drainpipe. When it quits working, water may seep out every time you flush. Fortunately, it’s simple to test the source of the leak and pinpoint 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
At times, a nearby leak can make the toilet look like it is leaking at the base. Follow these steps to find out specifically where the water is coming from.
Check for Condensation
The “leak” around your toilet might not be a leak at all. It’s possible, water vapor could be condensing on the bowl or tank and puddling onto the floor. To check for this, clean up any standing water with a paper towel and flush the toilet. Look carefully —if no additional water pools around the base, condensation is the likely problem. Running the exhaust fan when you shower is an easy way to solve this problem.
Examine the Toilet Tank
Feel around the surface of the tank for any dampness. To rule out condensation, dry up any droplets with a towel. Then, check again, searching for loose bolts or cracked porcelain leaking water onto the floor. Tighten any loose bolts you find. If the tank is damaged, 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, damaged 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 don’t solve the problem, your toilet is most likely leaking at the base like you thought. Before contacting a plumber, try tightening the tee bolts that attach 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 underneath. 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 stop the leaking, a failing wax ring could be the cause after all. Besides water soaking the floor around the toilet, you may notice a sewage smell, indicating a broken sewer line seal. And if the toilet rocks back and forth, this could mean it’s sitting on a broken flange, the component 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 causing more problems.
Hire a Plumber to Replace the Wax Ring
If you find that a broken wax ring is indeed the problem, repairing it necessitates 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 job to a certified plumber:
- Porcelain is an unforgiving material. If you bang 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 in addition to everything else.
- Lifting and lowering the large 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 trained eye. And if any damage has occurred, 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 replacing the wax ring.
- Removing the toilet, making the required fix and reinstalling it can take a few hours, if not longer. You most likely have better things you’d rather be doing, giving you yet another reason to leave the job to a plumber.
Schedule Toilet Repair with an Expert Plumber
At Jack Nelson Service Experts, fixing toilet leaks is one of our fortes. Whether you complete 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, relax, and let us take care of the problem. To schedule reliable toilet repair in your community, please contact Jack Nelson 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.