How to Fix a Leaky Toilet Base

bathroom with white fixtures and tan flooring
What You'll Need
Flat-head screwdriver
Rags or towels
Wax ring
Waster paper

A leaky toilet is a common problem you come across in an old house. It can make the bathroom look clumsy and make you feel unhygienic about the whole surroundings. It can also spoil your bathroom flooring by leaving stains on the floor tiles. Fixing the leakage of the toilet is simple if you understand the connections. Leaking water at the base of the toilet can be due to many reasons. Thus, knowing why it is occurring is important in order to fix the leaking toilet.

Step 1 - Identify the Problem

Take a cloth rag or towel and wipe the base off thoroughly so that it is dry. Now start checking the points of connections from the tank towards the underside.

Step 2 - Replace Connection Bolts of Tank and Toilet

man repairing a toilet tank

There will be two bolts that connect the tank to the toilet. These bolts can be seen from the inside of the tank. They are secured with rubber washers to prevent water leakage. If you find the bolts to be loose, tighten them from the outer side of the tank using a flat head screwdriver. Be very careful not to overtighten, which can crack the tank. This should fix the problem. If not, proceed to next step.

Step 3 - Replace Washers

If tightening the screws did not help, then the washers may have worn and will have to be replaced. For this you must first shut off the water source. Remove both the bolts that connect tank and toilet. Wipe that area and use new washers in the bolts. Secure them tightly using the screwdriver. In this step you can also fix the seal at the base of the tank to stop all possible ways for leakage.

Step 4 - Wax Ring at the Base

toilet wax ring set into subflooring

If the leaky toilet is still not fixed, check if the base of the toilet leaks after every flush. It can be due to the failure of wax ring. Shut off the water source and empty the tank once by flushing so that water does not gush out when you remove the toilet base. Wipe off the floor and remove the bolts that connect the toilet base to the floor with a screwdriver and wrench. Stuff a rag cloth in the drainpipe to avoid the bad smell of sewer gas.

Remove the old ring with a putty knife and scrape that area clean. Invert the toilet bowl over waste paper and fix the new gasket over the horn of the bowl. Then fix the toilet base again by tightening the bolts.

Step 5 - Replace the Toilet

If after going through all these steps the toilet still leaks, then in all probability the toilet base must have developed a crack. Even a small crack in the porcelain can start non-stop leakage. Replacing the toilet is the best solution, which is still cheaper than calling a plumber to fix it.