Why is my toilet leaking at the base?
If there is water around the base of your toilet, you likely have a toilet leak. Stop using the toilet immediately because the water that has leaked onto your floor is from the used water in your toilet bowl. Not only can this water damage your flooring and cause mold if left sitting for a long period of time, but it can also create a health hazard in your bathroom if not cleaned up thoroughly with disinfectant after the leak is fixed.
You may be able to fix the leak yourself by tightening the toilet’s tee bolts and/or replacing its wax ring:
Tightening Tee Bolts
- At the base of your toilet, you will see the plastic caps which cover the tee bolts that hold your toilet in place. If these become loose or broken, the toilet’s seal may break and may become the source of a leak. If they are loose, position your toilet so it is centered and level, and then tighten the bolts. If you are unable to tighten them, the bolts may need to be replaced.
Replacing The Wax Ring
- If your tee bolts are tight but you still have a leak at your toilet’s base, you may need to replace its wax ring. First, take a photo of your toilet’s base. Then visit your local hardware store and ask for help to identify the ring you need.
When you are ready to replace the ring, shut off the water flow to your toilet using the valve located behind it. Flush the toilet to remove as much water in the bowl as possible. Then, place a bucket under the valve to catch any overflow that may happen when you unscrew the nut holding the valve in place. Next, remove any remaining water from the toilet’s base by plunging it a few times.
The next step is to unscrew the toilet’s water supply line and remove the tee bolts from the floor so that the toilet can be lifted and moved. Once you set the toilet down on its side, you can easily remove its wax ring and any accompanying residue before placing the new ring over the toilet’s flange. Secure the tee bolts in place and put your toilet back in its place.
Reinstalling Your Toilet
- Once the toilet is in the correct place, push it onto the wax ring so that it seals. Tighten the tee bolts, reconnect your water line, and turn the valve back on. Flush the toilet to test for any leaks. Caulk around the toilet’s base as a best practice to ensure that water from elsewhere in the bathroom doesn’t get under its base and cause odors and mold.
FloHawks Can Help
We know that toilet leaks present an immediate challenge that must be handled quickly and professionally. With years of experience, the FloHawks team of professionals is ready to assist with your plumbing needs. To have your peace of mind restored and your toilet professionally repaired, give FloHawks a call anytime at (800) 356-4295 or use our convenient Schedule Your Service tool, which allows you to set an appointment that fits your schedule.