Do you know what causes a toilet to leak at the base? Let say you walk into your bathroom and notice water sitting just around the floor of your toilet. It dawns on you that they might be a leakage you try to flush only to confirm your suspicion.
So, what causes a toilet to leak at the base? A toilet leaks at the base for many reasons, but the most common causes are loose tee bolts, damaged wax ring, faulty water supply line, and a host of others.
For many homeowners, this fault can be fixed given the right guidance. If you’re not in for plumbing service, this guide will show you what exactly to do to stop the leakage.
What Causes a Toilet to Leak at The Base
Two things are the most common cause of this leakage:
1) Loose tee bolts. The toilet base is held to the floor by 2 tee bolts.
In such a situation, where the bolts get loosened, the toilet may tilt leaving space around the wax ring. Also, when the toilet seat, not fixed to the floor. Then, you can find water escaping around the base while flushing.
2) A damaged wax ring. The wax ring comes in between the toilet and the drain. It provides a water-tight seal. If damaged, water may escape when flushing the toilet.
Other less likely causes are:
3) Condensed water in the toilet tank. Since the temperature of water in the toilet tank can be very low, this can cause condensation. You may find this condensed water-dropping just close to the toilet base.
4) Faulty water supply line. It might be the water line that connects to your toilet is faulty. If this is the case, you will find water leaking at the base even when you have not flush.
With that listed, it’s time to check what is really at fault here.
How to Fix a Toilet that is Leaking at the Base?
Whatever the case is, below is how to fix a leaking toilet at the base with the relevant tools.
1) Loose Tee Bolts
If this is the case, all you need is to tighten the bolt. While doing so, operate with caution so that you don’t crack the toilet base. A loose tee bolt may lead to a damaged wax ring. As you check for the tee bolt, also see if the toilet wax ring is in good condition.
Tool(s): Adjustable wrench
How to fix this:
- Take off the plastic covers from the toilet base.
- Fix the adjustable wrench at the head of the tee bolts and tighten it.
2) Damaged Wax Ring
If you find the wax ring damaged, you need to replace it. You will need to remove your toilet to see if it’s damaged and replace it.
How to fix this:
- Unscrew the tee bolts from the toilet base.
- Disconnect the tab from the water supply line. Remember to shut off the water valve close to the wall and links to the tank.
- Take off the toilet and use the putty knife to take off the damaged wax ring. Make sure everything is scraped out.
- Put a new wax ring.
- Put back the toilet and make sure it doesn’t tilt.
- Fix the tee bolts back with the adjustable wrench.
In fixing a new wax ring from the above steps, you have to disconnect 3 things: the water supply line, the toilet from the drain from which the wax ring comes in between, and from the ground where you remove the tee bolts. I am just explaining the above steps to make things clear.
3) Condensed Water
Remember, this problem is because of low humidity in the bathroom allowing a more ventilated and warm environment in the bathroom will solve this.
How to fix:
You can keep the window open or fix a warm light bulb in the bathroom. An alternative is using a dripping tray, keeping it under the toilet tank.
4) Faulty Water Supply Line
If you find water leaking from the joint, then the rubber seal is damaged.
How to fix:
- Unscrew the nuts that hold the joint of the water supply line to disconnect the toilet. Remember to shut off the water valve close to the wall.
- Remove both tee bolts from the toilet base and move the toilet gently
- Go back to the joint and check if the rubber seal is damaged. If damaged, replace it.
- Sit back the toilet and tighten every nut and bolt.
The Essential Tools You need
Before we round up, let me answer two commonly asked questions:
How do I know if my toilet is leaking from the base?
It’s easy. You may find water around the toilet base even after you cleaned it. Depending on the opening, you may find water seeping out when flushing or sometimes after returning to the bathroom after a while.
How to fix a leaking toilet seal?
In this case, when the ring wax is damaged, you will have to replace it. How to do this is given in the above paragraphs. That is it.
Warning: You should be careful when fixing your toilet as the porcelain can be damaged if dropped. You may need someone to assist you in the process.