Does something funky happen every time you flush the toilet? Do you hear weird gurgling noises? Is an obnoxious leak making you dread answering nature’s call?
A leaking toilet is typically an indication of loose parts. If your toilet bowl is leaking, mechanisms such as its wax seal might be compromised. Integrating a new wax ring should do the trick.
However, a toilet bowl leaking at the base can suffer from more than one underlying issue. Still, it isn’t too hard to remedy.
You don’t have to settle if your toilet wobbles every time you flush the toilet.
Below, you will find various causes that may lead to your toilet leaking, as well as how you can repair them yourself or with the help of professionals.
Why is Water Leaking From the Base of My Toilet
Your toilet tank is linked to your home’s water supply line, and water flow is kept where it should be by a water-tight seal called a wax ring.
Worn-out wax rings might be unable to hold off water flow from the water supply tube to the closet flange resulting in toilet leaks.
Another issue you might be facing is a cracked drain pipe. In that case, your toilet is leaking because of abrasions, cracks, and other damage to your drain pipe.
Damaged pipes require immediate attention because they may lead to water pooling around your toilet’s base. While it may only seem like a nuisance, all the water at the base of the toilet may deteriorate the integrity of your bathroom floor tiles, toilet base, or toilet bolts.
Over time, excess water can build up rust, mold, and mildew leading to deterioration and further water damage.
A leaky toilet is not something to write off as bothersome. You should recognize the threats it poses and the risks they lead to if left untreated.
Leak From the Toilet Tank
Sedimentation built up at the bottom of the toilet tank can hinder the flapper’s obligations. Rust, dirt, and other contaminants can also prevent the toilet flapper from fulfilling its obligations of properly facilitating water flow from the toilet tank and the bowl.
Toilets leak due to malfunctioning flappers due to a lack of stable reinforcement of the little rubber ball that covers and uncovers the gap toilet water flows in and out of the supply tube. It’s an easy fix, no worries there. However, the best solution involves removing the old flapper to replace it with a newer model. It would be best if you twisted its shutoff valve before lifting the toilet tank lid to prevent overflow.
If that’s not enough, you should disconnect the water supply line from the toilet tank before you remove the toilet straight out of the bathroom floor. A professional plumber should do this to prevent further leaking toilet troubles.
Still, if you want to fix a leaking toilet tank on your own, remember to twist the compression nut of its shutoff valve in the correct direction, lay down plastic covers, and replace its parts carefully.
Dealing with nuts and bolts
If you need to lift the toilet entirely off its base, remember not to tear it out of place. It is held down by various tee bolts and connected to a water line linked to your home’s plumbing system. An adjustable wrench will come in handy during this extraction in handling different-sized bolts and nuts holding down your toilet base.
You will encounter numerous nuts and bolts in your “Do It Yourself” project. Inside and outside of your toilet tank and base. You will find tee bolts at the bottom of the toilet connecting its base to the floor. You will also encounter two bolts within the base that plastic caps may cover. Often these double-secured tee bolts (shaped quite literally like T BOLTS) lay on top of your toilet’s wax ring. If they are loose enough, your wax ring won’t be a watertight seal that can hold back water and the pressure of its flow. There are options for the rings you choose from:
- Wax seal
- Waxless seal
There are good arguments on both sides.
Waxless seals are either made of rubber or foam material and are easier to install and maintain. There are PVC rings you can attach with a plastic cone feature you can install downward toward the drain pipe and hold down by smaller tee bolts. These plastic installations create a deeper closet flange. These closet bolts require firm attachment with the supplemental adhesive provided with every purchase of a new ring.
While waxless rings make great alternatives, especially for a DIY project, a new wax ring is arguably more affordable and efficient.
A wax ring lasts twenty or thirty years, the lifespan of your average sturdy toilet.
How to replace an old wax ring on your own?
If you opt for a wax ring, we recommend you call in professionals. However, here are some tips you can follow to prevent damaging your toilet tank and drain.
- Flush the toilet.
- Twist the nut of your shutoff valve to cut off water flow from the water supply tube.
- Dislodge the fill valve from the supply line.
- a) If your toilet base is caulked to the floor, gently peel off caulking with a putty knife. Remember to use the putty knife with the grain and not against it. You might damage your floor tiles by cutting against the grain.
- Carefully lever the plastic caps of the closet bolts.
- Remove the toilet bolts and nuts from the toilet base with screwdrivers and wrenches.
- The base of the toilet should come loose at this point, but you should rock it from side to side first and double-check its connection.
- a) If you have safely loosened its attachments, do not just lift the toilet bowl rim from the floor. You will risk prying off the toilet seat and lid if it slips, or you may sustain an injury by dropping it on your feet. Toilets weigh a lot, and one banging on your floor is enough to chip off tiles, leading to any remaining water seeping into your crawl space between your home’s floors. Instead of lifting it right away, lean it back, to the side, forward, the other side in all four directions of a compass. Repeat this movement until there is no longer a pulling force indicating there is no longer a direct attachment anywhere.
- Peel off your old wax ring. You can use a flathead screwdriver to help you with this step, or you can reuse your putty knife.
- Handle any water damage left behind before installing your new wax ring.
- Before laying down your new wax seal, while everything is drained and dry, now makes a good time for double-checking tee bolts, nuts, floor, tank, and even your fill valve. Address any other issues before working on integrating a new seal and putting everything back in place.
- The final step before reattaching the toilet is attaching the wax seal on top of the flange. Remember to replace any worn-out, rusted, or ill-fitting nuts and bolts.
Don’t forget to wear protective gear such as masks, gloves, and an apron before going on this journey, because trust us, it’s a whole journey. You would not want to experience a dizzy spell while attempting to replace your toilet’s parts.
There are hazardous gases produced by our waste that may be lingering in the residue of leaks. Inhaling these toxins harms your health, and increased exposure can result in rashes and respiratory diseases.
Your Toilet’s Water Supply Line
The water supply tube protected by your toilet base isn’t fragile but requires proper care and attention. Years of neglect may be the reason why your toilet is leaking.
A leak flowing on the floor from the tank or the base with or without a toilet flush may result from rusty or cracked water supply lines. Leaks typically indicate more issues; if you are weary, you should reach out to a professional.
When to Call a Professional Plumber
A flush here and there shouldn’t cause leaks…ever. It would help if you didn’t wait for more problems to arise before you call in professional help.
One small leak can cause various water damage, leading to costly repairs and health risks. Call a professional for inexplicable leaks, visible water stains, and gurgling drains.
Who to Call for Professional Services
If you live in Melbourne, Florida, we got just the guys for you!
Mac 5 Services is a Leak Detection Specialistthat can help you determine potential plumbing problems before they reak havoc on your home or health.
If you are looking to move into a new neighborhood, it’s prudent to inspect the integrity of its foundation, including its pipes. You don’t want to get stuck dealing and paying for other people’s negligence.
Mac 5 Services
If you need plumbing assistance, Mac 5 Services provides clients with a plumber repair expert who can help you handle any of your issues!
With honesty, integrity, and transparency, leave any old gasket and other plumbing excursions to us.
Reach out to our hotline for immediate inquiries and concerns.