Nobody wants to face the ordeal of a toilet problem. And as a homeowner or a business owner, expect some issues your toilet system can encounter. You can have a blocked toilet, a running toilet bowl, flushing issues, a squeaky toilet seat or even a leak.
Toilets leak for various reasons. A common toilet leak can occur at the toilet base or inside the toilet bowl.
Having overflowing toilet bowls can be a nightmare, and you’ll need emergency plumbing services and a professional plumber to fix such a mess. You can try using a plunger cause this may be due to clogging. But if the water still doesn’t stop overflowing, you’ll need to hire emergency services, or you may even need to replace an entire toilet.
You can try turning off the water valve or the shutoff valve behind the toilet to cut the water supply for a temporary fix. However, it might not work if there is too much clogging. In that case, you must turn off the house’s water supply to fix the toilet. Thus, you will need the help of a professional as you won’t have access to water until the toilet is fixed.
But if you notice water pooling at the bottom of the toilet, a leak has occurred, and you need to determine the source and cause. A leak in the toilet base could lead to other plumbing issues that may be costly to repair.
This you can’t afford to happen. After all, the toilet gets used daily, and when it fails you, your household gets affected. It is best to fix the problem as soon as you determine the type of leak.
Why would a toilet leak at the base?
1. Condensation on the Toilet Collects on the Floor
Moisture condensing on the toilet bowl or tank’s outer surface can run down the bowl or tank and collect on the toilet base. It can be the effect of a constantly running toilet or a temperature difference between the room and the water in the tank.
Reduce or divert bathroom condensation through a bathroom exhaust fan to warm the bathroom. Or add a drip tray below the tank at the toilet base.
2. The Toilet Tank and Bowl Are Loose
The connector between the lower bowl and the upper tank may become loose, or the O-ring gasket between the tank and the bowl might be cracked or loose. Tightening the bolts can sometimes improve the attachment between the two pieces. If the gasket is faulty, it can be replaced with a new gasket.
Rusty bolts may not tighten and may need replacement. Consider hiring a professional for this job that requires a certain level of expertise.
You also need to check your water supply line. A pool may form on the bathroom floor if you have a loose water supply tube or faulty shut-off valve.
3. Toilet Bolts Are Loosening Up
Over time, toilet bolts can loosen. It is easy to check if you 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. Toilets are attached to the floor with bolts that connect to the metal or plastic closet flange. And the flange bolts to the floor around the top of the sewer pipe.
Check the bolts that secure the toilet to the floor. If you tighten these bolts, it can stop water from leaking around the toilet’s base. You can tighten these bolts clockwise by hand first, followed by a small wrench. Make sure not to over-tighten, as you can risk cracking the bowl.
The toilet may also be loose because the seal is loose or leaking, so you’ll want to replace the seal.
The wax ring underneath the toilet and sealing the base against the top of the sewer pipe and closet flange may have hardened or loosened. This allows water to leak from the base of the toilet. Or the original wax seal may have been inadequate in the first place.
Remove the toilet, clean the flange, and replace the wax seal with an improved seal or a silicone ring.
If You Need To Replace The Wax Seal
A wax ring is essential as it creates a watertight seal between the floor flange and the drain pipe. When the ring has deteriorated, you need to replace it.
This process is manageable but involves many steps and could be a two-person job, as removing the toilet is necessary.
- Wear protective clothing such as gloves
- Turn off the water
- Drain all water from the tank. Open the tank lid to see if you’ve emptied the excess water. Give an excellent plunge to ensure all the water has gone down the drain.
- Make sure to remove the water supply line from your tank.
- Unscrew the bolts carefully. Sometimes, the coverings may be challenging to remove so you may need a putty knife or screwdriver for this task. And with the second pair of hands, remove the toilet and the toilet bowl rim from the floor.
- With covered hands, remove the wax with a scraper or plumbers’ putty knife and dispose of the old wax ring in a garbage bag.
- Replace the wax ring. Position the new wax ring onto the flange opening, and the plastic cone should face the drain. Be sure it is snuggly fitted.
- Position the t bolts at the toilet base and gently lower the toilet. Ensure it covers the wax ring and flange opening. Press the toilet, pushing it into the wax ring and helping it create a watertight seal.
- Secure and tighten the bolts by hand and wrench. Always turn clockwise and never overtighten to avoid breaking the toilet seal and causing another leak. Clean away any dirty water and grime around the toilet.
- 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.
Why You Should Call Your Trusted Plumber To Fix Your Toilet Leaking At The Base
There are many causes of plumbing issues, and removing or replacing the toilet is not easy when the toilet is leaking. You should contact your local licensed plumber to carry out any repairs and replacements in your bathroom. Depending on the severity of your leaking toilet and the cause, you can DIY a leaking toilet. But not to discourage you from taking on a DIY plumbing project, replacing a toilet is one of the plumbing projects not fit for the faint of heart. And most plumbing issues like toilet leaks are.
There’s no doubt you can replace a toilet on your own. But if you want to be sure you have a quality toilet replacement that will last you a long time, trust replacing a toilet with professionals. Delegate the stuff you’re not good at to do your thing. It will save you time and money. And it will give you peace of mind. Besides, call your trusted plumber if it’s a more complex issue like your toilet leaking, blocked drains, or your toilet tank requiring a professional inspection.