Toilet Leaking From Base

It’s a sight no homeowner wants to see: water pooling around the base of the toilet. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also cause damage to your flooring and lead to mold growth. So, why is this happening, and what can you do about it? Let’s dive in.

A cartoon of a toilet with a backdrop of water behind it. Put leaky toilets behind you and call CID Plumbing - Brooklyn's go to plumbers.

Why Is My Toilet Leaking From the Base?

  • Worn Out Wax Ring: The most common reason for a toilet leak at the base is a worn-out wax ring. This ring creates a watertight seal between the toilet and the floor flange. Over time, it can deteriorate, leading to leaks.

  • Loose Toilet Bolts: The bolts that secure your toilet to the floor might have loosened over time. If they’re not holding the toilet down tightly, water can seep out.

  • Cracked Toilet Base: It’s less common, but sometimes the toilet itself can develop a crack, especially if it’s been in place for many years.


What Should I Do?

  • Check the Tightness: Before you panic, check the tightness of the bolts securing the toilet to the floor. If they’re loose, gently tighten them. Be careful not to overtighten, as this can crack the toilet or the flange.

  • Replace the Wax Ring: If the bolts are tight and you’re still seeing a leak, it’s likely the wax ring. Here’s how to replace it:

    1. Turn off the water supply to the toilet.
    2. Flush the toilet to drain the water from the tank and bowl.
    3. Disconnect the water supply line.
    4. Remove the toilet by unscrewing the bolts.
    5. Once the toilet is removed, you’ll see the old wax ring. Scrape it off carefully.
    6. Place the new wax ring on the flange.
    7. Carefully set the toilet back in place, ensuring it lines up with the bolts and the new wax ring.
    8. Tighten the bolts, reconnect the water supply, and turn the water back on.
  • Inspect for Cracks: If the leak persists, inspect the toilet base for cracks. If you find one, it’s time for a new toilet. While you can attempt to seal the crack, it’s usually a temporary fix.


Prevention is Key

Regularly inspecting your toilet can help you catch issues before they become major problems. Look for signs of wear, loose bolts, or any water around the base. It’s also a good idea to replace the wax ring every few years, even if you don’t see a leak, to ensure a tight seal.


Conclusion: Don’t Let a Leaky Toilet Dampen Your Day

A leaking toilet base might seem like a daunting issue, but with a little know-how and some elbow grease, it’s a problem you can tackle. Whether you’re tightening bolts, replacing a wax ring, or installing a new toilet, you’ve got this! And remember, when in doubt, it’s always a good idea to call in a professional plumber.

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