This article was published by Len the Plumber
Is there water on the floor around the base of your toilet? If so, that’s not a good sign. This means there’s a leak in your toilet — most likely around the base of the fixture. Instead of allowing your bathroom to become an indoor swimming pool, whip out your trusty tool belt and start fixing that leak!
The Tee Bolts May Be Loose
Do you know those plastic caps around the base of your toilet? Those caps are covering tee bolts that help hold your toilet firmly in place. When these bolts are loose or broken, the toilet’s seal can break, causing leaks to occur. Reposition your toilet so it is leveled and centered, and begin tightening the bolts. If the bolts continue to spin freely or are broken, head to the store for a replacement set.
Your Toilet Could Have A Damaged Wax Ring
You’ve assessed the condition of your tee bolts and have tried tightening them, but your toilet is still leaking at the base. The wax ring is most likely to blame and will need to be replaced.
- Head to the Store – Purchase yourself a new wax ring for your toilet. If you can, take a picture of the toilet’s base and ask a pro at the store to help you find a comparable replacement.
- Prep the Toilet – Start by shutting off the water to your toilet via the water valve located behind the toilet. You can then flush the toilet to remove as much of the sitting water as you can. To remove any leftover water, unscrew the nut holding the fill valve in place and catch the excess water with a small bucket. Lastly, remove any leftover water from the base of the toilet by plunging it for a few seconds.
- Remove the Toilet & Old Wax Ring – Unscrew the water supply line from the toilet and remove the tee bolts from the floor. The toilet should now be ready to be lifted and removed from its usual placement. Set the toilet gently down on its side and begin removing the old wax ring. Make sure you remove any dried-on wax and leftover residue before installing the new wax ring.
- Install the New Wax Ring – Take your newly bought wax ring and place it over the flange with the tee bolts secured in place. With the new wax ring in place, reposition your toilet back in its usual placement.
- Reinstall Your Toilet – Make sure the toilet is in the right position and begin using your body weight to push it into the wax ring to create the new seal. Screw the tee bolts into place (do not overtighten), keeping in mind that the toilet must be centered and leveled properly. Reconnect your water line, turn the valve back on, and give it a flush. Closely inspect your toilet to see if any water leaks from the new seal.
A toilet leak can cause mold to grow and water bills to increase, so any leak should be addressed immediately. If you want your toilet repairs to be done as perfect as possible, make sure you call your local plumber to make the repair for you.