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What to do if your toilet is leaking at the base

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Having issues with your toilet are not ideal. It is one fixture that gets used daily, and when it fails on you, your household gets affected.

There are many issues your toilet system can experience. You can have a blocked toilet, a running toilet bowl, flushing issues and a leak.

What to do if your toilet is leaking at the base Photo

Most commonly, leaks can occur in two areas. The base of the toilet or inside the bowl itself. If you notice water pooling at the bottom of the toilet then that means a leak has occurred and you need to determine the source and cause.

A leaking toilet could lead to other plumbing issues that may be costly to repair. It is best to fix the issue as soon as you determine the type of leak.

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Why would a toilet leak at the base?

One of the reasons you have water coming from the base of your toilet is the bowl could be loose. It is easy to check if you simply shake the bowl gently to see if it moves.

If you can see and feel movement, you have a loose toilet that needs to be tightened at the bolts. These special bolts are attached to a floor flange.

Check the bolts that secure the toilet to the floor. You are able to tighten these bolts clockwise by hand first, followed by using a small wrench. Make sure not to over tighten as you can risk cracking the bowl.

Should you seal around the base of a toilet?

If the method of tightening the tee bolts don't seem to secure the bowl, it could mean the wax seal has become worn.

A wax ring is important as it creates a watertight seal between the floor flange and the drain pipe. When the ring has deteriorated and you need to replace it.

This process is manageable to carry out but it involves many steps and could be a two-person job as removing the actual toilet is necessary.

  1. Wear protective clothing such as gloves
  2. Turn off the water
  3. Drain all water from the tank. Give a good plunge to make sure all of the water has gone down the drain
  4. Make sure to remove the water supply line from your tank.
  5. Unscrew the bolts carefully and with a second pair of hands, remove the toilet from the floor.
  6. With covered hands, remove the wax with a scraper or putty knife and dispose of the old wax ring in a garbage bag
  7. It is time to replace the wax ring. Position the new wax ring onto the flange opening. Be sure it is snuggly fitted.
  8. Position the t bolts at the toilet base and gently lower the toilet down. Ensuring it is covering the wax ring and flange opening
  9. Secure and tighten the bolts down by hand and with a wrench. Always turn clockwise and never overtighten. Clean away any dirty water and grime around the toilet.
  10. Turn the water back on and wait for the tank to fill up. Flush the toilet to test for water at the bottom of the toilet.

This is just one of the many methods of fixing a leaking toilet base. Depending on the severity of the leakage and the cause. It could be a bigger issue that requires a professional inspection.

Removing the toilet is not an easy thing to do and it is always recommended you get in touch with your local licenced plumber to carry out any repairs and replacements in your bathroom.

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