Why is my toilet leaking at the base? Good question and one not to be ignored! That water you can see on the floor is contaminated by your toilet and if left it may cause an unpleasant smell and damage.
Here are a few tips to help you learn common causes of why a toilet leaks at the base and how to fix it.
1. Check for Condensation
If you suspect the base of your toilet is leaking you will need to eliminate some possible causes of this water. One of those potential causes is condensation from the toilet itself. Basically, as cold water enters the water tank of your toilet it changes the surface temperature on the outside of the tank. If the weather is warmer or the air is more generous in your house then it can begin to condense on the outer surface of the water tank. This collection of water can then run down your toilet and onto lower surfaces. If this is happening then you can at least feel relieved you do not have a toilet leak.
2. Leaking Water Shut-Off Valve
3. A Leak From the Pipes
Where there are pipes there can be leaks. One of the first things you will need to do is get an old cloth and thoroughly dry down your toilet and any nearby surface areas. Once you have a dry environment you will be in a better position to see where the leaking water comes from. Once the area is dry, flush the toilet and wait for any signs of leakage. As a general point, if the leak occurs when you flush then the problem is likely one of those below. If the leak occurs without needing to flush then it may be related to the pipes. You can use your hand to feel along the pipes paying special attention to any joins for signs of leaking water. Repairing the pipe will depend on how the pipe is sealed. You may need a wrench or have to use a sealant.
4. Loose Bolts
Your toilet should be firmly fixed to the floor with 2 bolts. You may not be able to see these directly as they often have a cap that covers them. Carefully remove the caps and then tighten the bolts. The bolts tighten the seal between the bottom surface of the toilet and a wax seal. If these bolts are loose then the seal between the toilet and the floor is less effective and water will escape under pressure such as when flushing.
5. Worn Wax Ring
What you are learning here about identifying the source of leaks applies to many other plumbing jobs in the home. Often, it is a logical process of elimination. For example, if having already tightened the floor bolts you are still getting a water leak when flushing the next logical culprit is the wax seal ring. Sometimes it is both the floor bolts loosened and the wax seal ring deteriorated. Some toilet chemicals put into the toilet can damage the seal. The good news is that replacing the seal ring need not be a complicated job or expensive.
6. Porcelain Potty
Most toilets are cast in porcelain. This is an imperfect material; even though it looks clean and nice, sometimes there can be small sand holes in the toilet basin. This will leak every time the toilet is flushed. This can be a very frustrating problem as it may not be easy for you to spot. You can waste a lot of time trying to track down the cause of your leak but really it is coming from your basin.
You no longer have to wonder why your toilet leaks at the base.
Hopefully, you learned a lot by reading the most common causes of why a toilet leaks at the base. Most remedies are quite easy to fix and the average homeowner can figure them out. However, if you have any issues or would prefer a professional to handle them, please give us a call.