Is a leaking toilet an emergency? Do you see water on the floor around the base of your toilet? If the answer is yes, that’s not a good sign. It means your toilet seal is leaking, most probably around its base.
Obviously, a toilet leaking from base is the last thing you’d want to see when you’re off to work in the morning or trying to run some errands for the day. Rather than waiting for your bathroom to turn into an indoor swimming pool, call for professional plumbing services immediately.
While waiting for the plumber to fix that leaking toilet, here are the things you can do to at least temporarily solve the issue
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Identify the Problem Source
Pooling water around the toilet base is a good indication that the wax seal around it has already failed, although there are some cases when the problem is caused by something else.
Before trying to figure out what led to the leaking toilet seal, soak up water from the floor using a sponge. Dry off the surrounding area as well as the toilet to avoid slipping and injuring yourself. Then wait until there’s a new puddle on the floor, and check that the water is coming from under the toilet and not from a supply tube that has come loose.
Find out if you are not dealing with a leaking toilet tank, sweaty bowl, damaged shutoff valve, or cracked tank.
How to Stop the Leak if Toilet Seal is Leaking
Is the water leaking from under the toilet? To stop it, you can simply tighten the closet bolts securing the toilet to the floor. You can pry off the caps covering the bolts with the use of a slotted screwdriver or putty knife. After that, use a wrench to tighten each bolt alternately–do it a little at a time. Do not apply a high amount of pressure though, because doing so can crack the base of the toilet.
If you get lucky, the leak will stop once you tighten the bolts. However, if that still does not help, you might need to remove the toilet and have the wax gasket replaced in order to fix your leaking toilet.
How to Fix When Toilet Seal is Leaking
Take note that replacing a toilet seal is not a five-minute repair–it may actually involve a few hours because you need to remove the toilet.
After purchasing a suitable wax ring for your toilet, you will need to drain and shut it down. The next step is to remove the fixture and lay it on its side. Carefully clean away the old wax and replace it with a new one. A filler wax is needed for toilet flanges depressed below the floor line. After re-installing the toilet in its original position, check again for any leaks.
When in Doubt, Call a Professional
Not all homeowners know how to fix leaking toilet seal. Aside from being time-consuming, toilet repair requires a fair amount of expertise. Just like most plumbing jobs, there are complicated factors involved in fixing a leaking toilet. Fortunately, most mistakes from DIY repairs can be avoided by simply relying on a professional plumber for help. It will not only save you time but also money in the long run.