Do you see water pooling around the toilet? Don’t ignore this problem. Left unaddressed, your toilet will continue leaking slightly 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 signifies a bad wax ring. This component is supposed to form a tight seal between the toilet base and the drainpipe. When it fails, water may leak every time you flush. Fortunately, it’s easy to test the source of the leak and troubleshoot the problem. If you determine the wax ring needs to be replaced, we suggest hiring a plumber for professional toilet repair.
Sometimes, 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 coming from.
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 dripping onto the floor. To check for this, soak up any standing water with a rag 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.
Run your hands around the surface of the tank for any wetness. To rule out condensation, clean up any droplets with a paper towel. Then, examine it again, looking 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.
Look at the cold-water supply line located on the back of the toilet. A loose connection, defective hose or faulty shut-off valve could cause a leak. If tightening the fittings doesn’t help, you may need a plumber to replace the water supply hose.
If these troubleshooting tips prove unhelpful, your toilet is probably leaking at the base like you thought. Before calling a plumber, try tightening the tee bolts that attach the toilet to the floor. You may need to remove the decorative plastic caps with a putty knife or flathead screwdriver to access the bolt underneath. Be careful not to over-tighten, as this could damage the porcelain. If the bolts spin freely, you might need to replace them.
If bolting the toilet tighter to the floor doesn’t help, a faulty wax ring could be the problem after all. Besides water puddling around the toilet, you may smell a sewage odor, 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 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 determine that a failed wax ring is indeed the problem, fixing it requires removing the toilet, replacing the ring and reinstalling the toilet. While it’s possible to do the repair without a plumbing license, DIY toilet removal is not recommended. Here’s why you should leave the job to a certified plumber:
At Epperson Service Experts, fixing toilet leaks is one of our specialties. Whether you complete the troubleshooting tips outlined above before calling, or you want us to handle the whole job 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 it. To schedule reliable toilet repair in your community, please contact Epperson 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.
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