Have you been coming across seeping water around your toilet every time you visit the bathroom? There is a high chance you’ve got a toilet leakage. Unluckily, a toilet leak doesn’t have warning signs, as you’re only able to tell when it’s already leaking.
If you have a pool of water beneath the toilet, it’s crucial to find out the problem. It can be due to condensation, a cracked bowl, a worn-out wax ring, or a poorly bolted toilet. Having a leaky toilet is dangerous as the water is dirty and may have a sewer smell. Besides, the leakage may cause damage to your precious floor, ceiling, and other structures around the toilet.
Why is my toilet leaking from the bottom?
Is your toilet leaking from the base? Without much ado! Let’s pinpoint why your toilet is leaking from the bottom and how to handle the cause.
Reasons why the toilet is leaking from the bottom and how to fix them
A bad or worn-out wax ring
The main reason why people have a toilet leaking at the base is because of a worn-out wax ring. The work of a wax ring is it seals the toilet and the drainpipe. But when a wax ring is damaged or out of shape, the wax seal won’t be useful, and it will end up seeping some water on the floor when you flush.
Related article: Steps you should follow to get rid of ring forever
However, this shouldn’t worry you as a wax ring is cheap and easy to replace. You don’t require the services of a plumber to replace the old wax ring, and it may take you around 2 hours. Here’s a procedure that you should follow to replace the spoiled wax ring:
Assemble all the right tools and acquire a new wax ring. You may need the following:
- Disposable gloves
- Wrench to remove
- Flathead screwdriver
- Putty knife
- Paint scraper
- Rag or Cloths
The first thing you need to do is disconnect the water supply line. Follow the steps to replace the wax ring and stop the leakage.
- Turn off the water supply line of the toilet
- Flush the water in the tank
- Unscrew the bolts on the toilet bowl
- Remove the toilet and put it on a rag or cloth
- Get rid of the worn-out wax ring
- Slide new bolts into the flange
- Need to replace the wax seal and put the new wax ring
- Lift the toilet carefully and re-install the toilet
- Tighten the bolts
- Reconnect the water supply and test the flush
The toilet should flush well at this juncture, and there shouldn’t be any leakage around the bottom of the toilet.
A cracked toilet tank/bowl
At times, plumbers make mistakes, but they will never tell you. For instance, if a plumber over-tightens the toilet bowl, there’s a chance that they can crack the bowl. If this happens, you may have a leaky toilet. Also, a cracked tank can cause water to drip slowly up to the base of the toilet.
If it’s replacing the toilet bowl, you should follow the same procedure as replacing a worn-out wax ring. But if the tank is cracked, you should either repair it or replace the toilet bowl with a new one. If the toilet is leaking from the base, it’s best if you call a professional plumber to replace the water tank as it’s quite complicated than replacing the toilet bowl. They will remove the tank and attach the toilet to the floor properly.
Poorly bolted toilet
If your toilet is new and leaks at the bottom, this may be due to loose bolts holding the toilet in place. A new toilet is not supposed to leak unless it’s poorly installed. Try flushing the toilet and see if it leaks. If there is leakage, examine the tee bolts on both sides of the toilet bowl.
The tee bolts are typically found on the left and right-hand sides of the toilet. They are usually covered with caps, which you can remove with much ease. If the bolts are not tightly fixed, the wax ring will not form a watertight seal. Therefore, the toilet will leak. Also, if the bolts are corroded, use a hacksaw to cut the bolts and install new ones.
To fix this common toilet issue, all you have to do is tighten the bolts on both sides of the toilet. But first, pry off the plastic cap using a flathead screwdriver or putty knife. Tighten the bolts a little as you alternate from one side to the other. Avoid over-tightening the bolts, as you may crack the toilet base.
When you’re done, flush the toilet and see if the issue has been resolved. The water puddle beneath your toilet should be a thing of the past.
Another situation is where homeowners confuse condensation with water leakage. Water condensing on the toilet may be flowing down and forming a pool beneath your toilet. This happens typically in the spring and summer when the water in the tank and bowl is quite cold than its surroundings. The cool water makes the surface of the tank and bowl cool down. As a result, when this old surface meets with the warm, humid air in your bathroom, condensation or “sweat” happens.
This is not a cause for concern and can be cleaned with a lot of ease. So, if you come across water around the toilet base in spring and summer, it shouldn’t be a surprise.
A loose water supply line
Before you change your toilet’s wax ring, it’s essential to find out the real cause of toilet leakage. In some cases, the leakage may be from a loose water supply line or a faulty flush fill valve at the toilet’s back. But if the problem is in the flush valve, then you have to change the fill valve to fix it.
Since toilet flush valves and water supply lines are at the toilet’s back, you may confuse them for toilet leakage. That’s why you should thoroughly inspect the toilet before making any repairs. Like any other toilet part, a toilet’s supply line and flush valve also wear out. And if this happens, they may start to leak water that will find its way onto the floor and surround your toilet bowl.
Related article: Simple steps to adjust the water level in the toilet bowl
Without a proper inspection, someone may confuse this with a leaking toilet bowl. Replace a defective flush valve and water supply line. But if they are just loose, ensure to tighten them. This should stop water from leaking.
Precaution about a leaking toilet
If you’ve got a leaking toilet at home, you should stop using it instantly. The water seeping from your toilet is not only dirty but as well as smelly. This is a potential hazard in the making that you should deal with right away. Additionally, making quick repairs will ensure that you avoid further damage on the floor and the ceiling below.
The main reason why toilets leak from the bottom is because of a worn-out wax ring. However, a toilet can also leak because of a cracked bowl or tank, a poorly bolted toilet, or a loose water supply or shut-off valve. No matter the problem, you should identify it quickly and fix the toilet in time. If you fail, you will not only have a foul urine-smelling toilet, but your hygiene will also be compromised.
You can now locate the problem that’s causing your toilet to leak and fix it immediately. Feel free to ask a question or come up with an addition to why my toilet is leaking from the bottom.
Hi, this is Robert Crossan, the owner of this website, has 17 years of experience in the installation, maintenance, and repair of toilets and plumbing systems. After completing the Level 2 Basic Plumbing course in 2005, I started working in both domestic and commercial buildings as a professional plumber. So I can figure out the core difference between different toilet models and brands. It also helped me monitor their work performance and setbacks.