If you see a puddle of water on the bathroom floor and you’re not sure where it’s coming from, the source could be a leak in the base of your toilet. If you rule out other sources such as leaking pipes under the sink, you may want to find out what’s causing water to leak from your toilet. If you don’t take the appropriate action in time, the problem could worsen and cause water damage. It could also enable mold to grow, presenting certain health risks.
Causes of a Leaking Toilet Base
When your toilet base is leaking, there could be several main causes behind it. These may include the following:
Loose or Worn Wax Ring
If the toilet base is loose or your wax ring has endured a certain level of wear, you may need to replace it.
Loose Tee Bolts
Tee bolts are two main bolts that secure the toilet to the floor. Over time, these bolts may loosen and cause the wax ring’s seal to break, resulting in leakage. You may notice that the tee bolts are loose, or this may be the culprit if you notice that water leaks from the base whenever you flush the toilet.
Humidity Causing Condensation
If the bathroom is humid, this could cause condensation on the porcelain of the toilet bowl, leading water to drip down onto the floor and eventually pool around the base.
Loose Water Supply Line
Some leaks may result from a broken or loose water supply line. Check the line to see if it needs to be tightened or if you need to replace or repair it. The line connects to the toilet via a rubber seal and nut.
What to Do if the Toilet Base Is Leaking
If you discover that a leak is coming from the base of your toilet, there are some steps to take to correct the problem.
Don’t Use the Toilet
Whenever you suspect a leaking toilet, stop using it until you either identify the issue or discover another source of leakage. If you flush the toilet when it may be broken, this could worsen the problem as more water leaks onto the floor.
You should also turn the valve on the wall behind the toilet to shut off the water supply. Once you’ve done this, you can flush the toilet again to empty the toilet.
Look for Cracks
Sometimes you may be able to spot cracks on your toilet bowl or the base that are obvious sources of leaks. You should look for cracks if something hit the toilet recently.
Check the Tee Bolts
If cracks aren’t an issue, check the tee bolts that keep the toilet secure. If you notice that they’re loose, you may need to tighten them, but you should first move the toilet to the right place if it has moved at all. If you notice too much wear, you may need to replace the tee bolts.
Check the Wax Ring
The wax ring might be the problem if you notice that water leaks when flushing the toilet. This could indicate that you either need to tighten or replace the wax ring. Try tightening it first and see if the problem continues. If it does, you’ll need to replace it.
Check the Connection
You should also look around the area where the toilet bowl connects with the tank. Depending on the issue, you may need to tighten or replace the bolts or washers.
Get the Help of an Experienced Plumber
If you’re not sure what the issue is or how to fix it, you may be better off calling a plumber than trying to fix the problem alone. In some cases, you could actually make the situation worse if you take the wrong steps, which can turn an initially smaller problem into a bigger more expensive one.
For help with a leaking toilet, call the experts at Junior’s Plumbing to get your toilet back in working order.