Why Is My Toilet Leaking at the Base?

Why Is My Toilet Leaking at the Base?

Valuable Information From Professional Plumbers

You’ve taken great pride to make sure your bathroom is clean as a whistle, and yet seemingly out of nowhere you have a small puddle of water sitting on ground after your first flush. That wasn’t there before, and it clearly didn’t come from the tank, so what happened? Toilet leaks at the base of the bowl are usually pretty easy to fix, and this guide will show you how. First, let's take a look at some of the most common reasons for toilet leaks. Then we'll cover the tools you'll need for the repair, and finally walk through the steps to fix the leak.

What Tools Do I Need to Stop Water From Leaking from the Base of My Toilet?

There are a few tools that you might need in order to stop water from leaking from the base of your toilet:

  • Wrench: You'll need a wrench to remove the nuts and bolts that keep the toilet in place. Make sure the wrench is open-ended so you can easily access the bolts.

  • Screwdriver: You may need a set of screwdrivers to unscrew various parts of the toilet. Depending on your type of toilet, you may need different sizes and types of screwdrivers. Be sure to consult your toilet's owner's manual or a plumbing professional to determine which screwdrivers you will need for your particular toilet.

  • Cordless Drill or Driver: When it comes to removing tight bolts, a cordless drill is a must-have tool. With its powerful motor, it can quickly loosen even the most stubborn bolts. Plus, it's much easier to use than a manual wrench or socket set. So if you're faced with a difficult removal job, make sure you have a cordless drill on hand to make the task easier.

  • Hacksaw: If you're struggling to remove a corroded or stripped bolt, a hacksaw can be a handy tool. Use it to cut through the bolt at the base of the toilet, the plastic bolts on the toilet seat, or any other toilet bolts. With the saw, you can quickly and easily remove even the most stubborn bolts.

How To Fix A Leaking Toilet Base

If you are new to plumbing, it is important to note that toilet repairs can be tricky and, if not done correctly, can result in more damage than good. Our professional plumbers at Dutton Plumbing are always ready to help solve any of your plumbing needs. Contact us today if you need help fixing a leaking toilet base.

Steps to fix a leaky toilet base yourself:

Start by shutting off the water supply to the toilet. This will prevent any additional water from entering the tank while you are working on it. Next, flush the toilet to empty as much of the water in the tank as possible. Carefully remove the tank lid and set it aside.

With the water turned off, you should now be able to access the nuts and washers that are holding the base of your toilet in place. Depending on your particular model, there may be a single nut or several nuts securing the toilet to the floor. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen these bolts until you can remove them.

Once the base is loose, you will need to inspect for any signs of damage or leaking. Look for cracks in the base or around the bolts that were holding it in place. If any are found, use a putty knife to scrape away any old caulk and then apply new plumbing-grade silicone caulking to fill in any gaps.

Once the area is caulked, you can reinstall the toilet base by reversing the steps you took when removing it. Be sure to tighten down all the nuts and bolts securely so there is no additional movement or leaking around them. Finally, turn the water supply back on and give your toilet a flush or two to make sure the repairs were successful.

There are multiple issues that could be causing your toilet base to leak. Let's take a look at some quick fixes for these specific issues:

Loose Tee Bolts

Your tee bolts are what secures your toilet to the floor, preventing it from moving. If these bolts come loose or break in some way, then your entire toilet can pop loose and shift, breaking the seal at the bottom of your toilet and resulting in water leaking out. Remove the plastic caps that cover these bolts and check to see if any are loose or turn freely. If this is the case, you’ll need to replace these bolts in order to keep your toilet secured.

Damaged Wax Ring

At the base of your toilet’s drain exit is a wax ring which serves to seal the gap between your drain and the drain installed in the floor below. Replacing your wax ring is something you may be able to do yourself, but does require some muscle as toilets can be heavy. Simply loosen the toilet from the tee bolts that secure it to the floor and then lift it off. The old wax ring should be in place on the flange. After buying a replacement from your local hardware store, use a scraper to remove the old wax ring, taking care to remove any dried-on wax that may still be present. Then place the new ring over the flange and put the toilet back in place. The wax should press into place and form a tight seal.

Faulty Fill Valve

In some cases people mistakenly believe that the water on the floor is coming from the base of their toilet, when in reality it’s actually coming from the water valve which fills the bowl and toilet tank. This is most common with slow leaks or small drips, which don’t often make a loud sound to indicate the presence of a leak. Flush your toilet and check for the connection between your water line and your toilet itself—if you see this fixture dripping, then it’s time to replace your fill valve. It’s also a good idea to replace the gasket that seals the connection between your fill valve your water line, as this can corrode and break apart over time.

Loose Water Supply Line

If you're noticing that water is constantly leaking from the base of your toilet, it's likely that you have a loose water supply line. Check the connection where the supply line connects to the tank to make sure that the nut and rubber seal are tight. If they're not, simply tighten them with a wrench until they're snug. If this doesn't solve the problem, you may need to replace the entire supply line.

Further Reading:

Have a leaking toilet? Let our Simi Valley plumbers from Dutton Plumbing can solve the issue for you! Give us a call at (805) 849-0965 to request a service appointment today.

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