everything that a plumber can do for you

everything that a plumber can do for you

Troubleshooting A Leaking Toilet Base

by Christopher Taylor

Your toilet endures a great deal of wear and tear through everyday usage, and over time this can result in leaks coming out of the base of the toilet. These leaks can be problematic, as they can affect the proper drainage of your toilet, cause water damage to your bathroom floor, and can increase your water bills significantly over time. There are three main reasons why your toilet base may be letting water out onto the floor, each of which can be easily fixed using a few simple tools once it's been identified.

Loose Bolts

One of the most common reasons why your toilet may be leaking water out of its base is because of loose bolts in the base. On most toilet models, these will be covered with a plastic cap on the base of the toilet, securing the toilet to the floor. Simply pop these coverings off by hand or with a flat headed screwdriver, and then use an adjustable wrench to tighten the bolts by turning them clockwise. Take care to tighten all the bolts equally, and to avoid over tightening them, as this can cause the porcelain to crack. Keep in mind that if your toilet is sitting unevenly on the ground, the issue likely lies with the wax ring instead.

Broken Wax Ring

If the wax ring under the base of your toilet has degraded, the toilet itself will be sitting unevenly on the floor. To fix this, you'll have to purchase a replacement wax ring from a hardware or plumbing store. Then, unscrew the bolts holding the toilet to the floor by turning them counter-clockwise. Detach the water supply line from your toilet, and get a helper to lift the toilet onto its side. You may want to stuff a rag into the flange (the exposed pipe in the floor that the toilet sits on) to prevent odors from wafting up. Next, take a putty knife and scrape away the old wax ring from around the flange in the ground, and slide the new wax ring into place. All you have to do now is lift the toilet back on top of the pipe, lining the base of the toilet up with the wax ring, and pressing down. Reattach the bolts and water line, and your leaking problem should have disappeared. If it has not, the issue likely lies with structural issues, like hairline cracks, somewhere on the body of your toilet which would require replacing the entire toilet.


About Me

everything that a plumber can do for you

Many people think that a plumber is there to be called to unclog toilets and drain pipes, but they don't understand that there are a number of other tasks that a plumber can do around the home. As the wife of a plumber, I know very well how much my husband does when he is out working. He comes home and tells me his fun stories about the superhero that was flushed down the toilet or the hot water heater that nearly exploded. My blog is filled with all sorts of tips, stories and information that can help you get a better idea of everything that a plumber can do for you.