Most toilets are very durable and commonly last more than 40 years with minimal maintenance and care. However, there are times when certain circumstances (often beyond your control) can mess with the tenacity of your commode. When water starts seeping out from under your toilet, you need to perform damage control ASAP. A leaking toilet can lead to minor flooding and water damage—two things no homeowner ever wants to deal with.
However, troubleshooting something like this is not as easy as it sounds. There are a number of reasons why a toilet might be leaking from the base, and it’s impossible to pinpoint the exact one just by looking at the mess. That’s why you need to learn how to spot the problem before it gets worse.
1. Tighten Bolts
Toilets are often bolted securely to the floor. You can find these bolts on either side of the bowl. If you think the bolts are loose and may be causing the leaking toilet, try tightening them yourself. If that solves the problem, mop up the water and observe your toilet for the next few days for further signs of leaking.
Take note: you need to tighten all bolts instead of just one to make sure the bowl is firmly fixed onto the bathroom floor.
2. Wax Seal
A wax ring serves as the seal to the base of your toilet. If you had plumbing work done recently or made changes to the sub-flooring, it can take longer for the drain to work. This opens the possibility of water sitting around the wax ring. A slightly loose ring may cause water to seep out of the base.
There are a few signs to look for if you suspect that the wax seal is causing the leak. These include a rocking toilet or visible gaps around the wax seal. A toilet that is not placed firmly to the base can also damage the wax seal.
The good news is that this wax seal is not hard to replace. All you need to do is call a plumber to fix the problem correctly.
3. Glue Cracks
The fabric of the toilet bowl can crack and cause leaking around the base. Because of water pressure, water being flushed away from your bowl can seep through the crack. This will likely form a pool around the base. If you think this is the root cause, then you will have to empty the toilet bowl of water so you can fix the cracks. You can use most any commercial water-proof sealant or glue. Be sure to leave the glue to dry and you can use the broken bathroom fixture again.
If you are still having issues with your leaking toilet, it might need to be checked by a professional. They will assess your toilet and provide advice on the best course of action.
Do you have a leaking toilet at home? There’s no need to worry–our team of experts can solve the problem for you. If you have plumbing concerns, contact Shepherd’s Plumbing and we will happily provide any assistance you may need.