Like other plumbing issues, problems with your toilet can crop up anytime, especially if you have been negligent about maintenance.
And they can take various forms, such as blockages, issues relating to the flush, running toilets, leaks or even noisy toilet seats. Fortunately, many of these problems can be resolved promptly, and you may not even need to call a plumber.
A toilet leaking from the base can occur for various reasons, such as loose connections between the tank and the toilet. But more frustrating is that it can lead to other serious problems that are harder to resolve.
Most people need to figure out what to do about such a problem, which is why we’ve put together this guide. It explains some of the causes of a toilet leak and how to fix a toilet leaking at the base!
Causes Of A Toilet Leaking From The Base
Before looking at the possible solutions, it is important to know why your toilet is leaking at the base, so here are the most common causes.
1. Condensation On The Toilet
In certain situations, moisture condenses on the toilet tank or the outer surface of the toilet bowl. This moisture can trickle down the surface and collect at the toilet’s base. Generally, this happens in the case of a constantly running toilet or when the tank water temperature is different from the ambient temperature.
To deal with this problem, turn on the bathroom exhaust fan which can divert bathroom condensation away. Alternatively, you can place a drip tray at the base of your toilet when you notice water pooling close to the tank.
2. Loose Toilet Bowl And Toilet Tank
Sometimes, the O-ring gasket may develop cracks, or the component that connects the upper tank of the toilet and the lower bowl can become loose. In such situations, you can try to tighten the bolts between these parts to solve this problem or change the damaged gasket.
If the bolts have become too corroded, you may be unable to tighten them and have to replace them. This requires expertise, so calling a plumber might be the best way to get it done.
Apart from that, there could be a problem with the water supply line that often results in a malfunctioning shut-off valve or a loose supply line. Dealing with these problems, such as a broken water valve, will also require the help of a professional plumber.
3. Loose Toilet Bolts
Toilet bolts tend to loosen over time; you can check this by gently shaking the toilet bowl. If you can move the toilet bowl, the bolts will become loose. These bolts attach the toilet to the floor by connecting to the plastic closet flange, which is attached close to the sewer pipe top.
Tightening the bolts connecting the toilet can prevent water from leaking near its base. First, pull them by hand before using a wrench but avoid over-tightening them as that can crack the toilet bowl.
Another reason the toilet can become loose is due to a leaking or loss of the seal, following which you will have to replace it with a new water-tight seal. Similarly, the wax ring below the seat that seals the toilet base to the closet flange can loosen or harden, causing water to leak from the base.
Occasionally, we need to fix the original wax ring. And resolving this problem will require removing the toilet, cleaning the flange and replacing the old wax ring with a new silicone to fix the loose water supply line.
Replacing The Wax Seal
The function of a wax seal or wax ring is to create a tight seal between the drain pipe and the floor flange, preventing the water from passing through. When this ring deteriorates, it can lead to problems like a leaking toilet; the only option will be to replace it. While you may be able to do so independently, having some assistance can make the process much easier.
1. Removing All The Water
To perform plumbing replacements and repairs like fixing a toilet leaking from the base, the first step always involves removing all the water. Water within the plumbing lines can make repairs difficult since items like wax seals do not work well on wet surfaces. Additionally, loosening and tightening screws and bolts becomes more challenging when wet.
If you are going to replace the wax ring, wear protective clothing. Once ready, shut off the water and drain the tank, emptying it. Then, use a plunger to remove all the water and disconnect the toilet tank from the water supply tube.
2. Disconnecting And Removing The Toilet
In this step, you will need the assistance of another person, so have them ready by your side.
Once all the water is gone, loosen the toilet’s bolts connecting to the floor carefully. You may need to use a screwdriver or a putty knife to remove tight bolts before asking the person to assist you in removing the toilet bowl rim and toilet.
3. Replacing The Wax Seal
Make sure to keep your hands covered and start removing the wax seal using a plumber’s putty knife or a scraper. Once you’ve removed the old wax ring, place it in a disposal bag before installing the new wax ring.
To do so, position this ring over the opening of the flange, and check to ensure that it fits properly. Then, place the tee bolts at the toilet base before lowering the toilet gently onto it. Ensure that the toilet covers the flange opening and the wax ring completely before pressing it down to create a water-tight seal.
After setting the toilet seat, secure the bolts using a wrench by turning the bolts clockwise. Ensure not to over-tighten them, as that can damage the toilet seat and lead to another toilet leak. With the installation process complete, it is time to clean up the grime and remove the dirty water.
4. Post-Installation Check
Reconnect the supply line to the toilet tank and turn on the water to fill the tank. Finally, flush the toilet to check whether there is water pooling at the base even after replacing the original wax seal. If the problem persists, it is best to call a professional to deal with it.
Why Should You Hire A Professional To Fix A Leaking Toilet Base?
There are several possible causes of a toilet tank leaking from the base, and we’ve explained some of the most common ones here. Such problems usually occur when the wax seal cannot maintain a water-tight seal between the toilet and the floor.
The best way to fix a leaking toilet is to contact a licensed plumber to perform plumbing repairs and replacements.
While it may be possible to utilise DIY techniques to resolve plumbing problems like a leaking toilet, their effectiveness will depend upon the cause and severity of the problem. And in most cases, the problem cannot be fixed using such methods.
Professional plumbers are always the best choice for repairs or replacements.
Repairing Toilet Leaks From the Base
With the help of this guide, you should now be able to identify and deal with a toilet leaking at the base. But it is still better to call a professional plumber since they have the necessary tools to fix most issues while identifying other problems that may be present.
And if you’re looking for a reliable plumbing service, Big Blue Plumbing is among the top Plumbing services on the Sunshine Coast. With a team of highly skilled and well-trained professionals, this plumbing service can resolve problems like leaking toilet bases quickly and efficiently.
We even provide emergency services so that you can call them anytime. We can install a new wax ring, reseal your toilet base and resolve issues with your leaky toilet.
That’s it on your guide to why toilets leak from the base. We look forward to seeing you in the next guide!