Seeing a pool of water around the base of your toilet can be frustrating, especially when you cannot pinpoint where the water is leaking from. Most of the time, the problem is an easy fix. However, it gets complicated when you have to remove the entire toilet to replace things like the wax rings. Oftentimes, the work involved is not too complicated, it should not take more than two hours to complete it. But you should always ensure you are following the correct steps and take your time with the work. Let us explore the reasons why your toilet is leaking at the base.
Why does the toilet leak at the base?
- One of the most common reasons is when the bolts that secure the toilet in place at the base to the floor becomes loose. The toilet is held in place to the floor by two tee-bolts, which can be threaded up through the holes in the base. These bolts can oftentimes become loose, and you might notice your toilet rocking back and forth when pushed. If your bolt is loose, the water will be leaking out from the base every time you flush.
- Wax rings is used as a seal for the toilet drain, and over time, this seal can become damaged. When the wax ring does not create a water-tight seal, the drain water from the toilet can be leaking through the base of the toilet creating a puddle of water on the floor.
- Oftentimes, water inside the toilet tank and bowl can condense, this leads to water puddling around the base. The water inside the tank and bowl is cold which cause the porcelain to condense when in contact with humid air. If you notice water droplets collecting on the outside of the bowl or tank, then it is the water condensation that is causing the puddles.
Note: Do not use a leaking toilet. If the real cause is due to the bolts being loose or a damaged wax ring, then the water seeping from the base is dirty and can be a health hazard.
Solution for Condensation
Condensation can be quite easy to spot since you will be able to visually see the water droplets forming around the bowl or tank. You can use several methods to prevent the puddling of water:
- Use a tray to catch the dripping water. It is an easy, temporary solution to this problem. The trays will prevent damages to your floor until you find a permanent fix.
- Try to take shorter and cooler showers to eliminate the extreme humidity. Also, leave the fans on and try to keep the doors open to eliminate the humidity.
Solution for the loose tee bolts
First, you will need to remove the plastic covers that are on the bolts at the base. Using an adjustable wrench, try to tighten the bolts. When you tighten the bolts, the wax seal will be compressed, forming a good seal. If you are unable to tighten the bolts, then you would need to remove the toilet and replace the bolts. If your toilet is still leaking water, move onto the next step.
Solution for faulty wax rings
Replacing the wax rings can be more tedious than the previous two tasks, however, by following these steps you can complete it in the most efficient manner.
- First you will need to disconnect the toilet. To begin, locate the main valve that shuts off the water to your toilet and turn it off. It is typically located under the left side of your toilet, where you will see the piping that connects to the water valve. After turning off the water supply, flush the toilet until the water completely disappears from the tank and the bowl. If there is still excess water, use a sponge to remove the water.
- Then, you will need to unscrew the nut that is holding the pipe to the valve tailpiece, which is behind the tank. Next, use an adjustable wrench to remove the nuts from the tee bolts at the base of the toilet.
- After removing all the nuts, the toilet should be liftable from its seat, so carefully lift the toilet and set it aside. If you are struggling to lift it from its seat, gently rock it to break the seal. Be careful when placing the toilet back down since the porcelain can easily crack. It is always a good idea to have someone else help you when moving the toilet around. It is always a good idea to replace the tee bolts when removing the toilet, so make sure to purchase tee bolts if you are planning to remove the toilet.
- Now the wax ring seal should be visible. Using a putty knife, try to scrape the old wax ring away to the best of your abilities.
- After scrapping it off completely, put the new wax ring on the drain opening. The plastic cone should be facing downward into the drain.
- Once the wax ring is seated in place, lift your toilet and position it over the drain. Ensure the bolts are threaded up the holes on the base of the toilet. Using some force, press down on the toilet to compress the wax ring into place to form a watertight seal. Put the new washer and bolts on the bolts and tighten it using the wrench. Do not over tighten it as this can crack the porcelain.
- Reconnect the water line behind the toilet and then inspect for leakages. Flush multiple times to check for any leaking water around the base of the toilet.
Call a professional for help
If you are hesitant in completing the steps above, do not hesitate to call CJ Drain & Plumbing for help. Our trusted plumbers will respond quickly to all your emergencies. Leaking toilets can be stressful, so let us handle your stresses. Call CJ Drain & Plumbing today.