Troubleshooting a Toilet That Is Leaking From the Base

A toilet tank with tool on top against a pink wall.

There is nothing more annoying than a toilet that leaks water, and troubleshooting a toilet leaking from the base is something that cannot be done in a few minutes. You will need to take the time to work out how to spot where the leaks come from, and you will also need to learn how to fix that problem once you have found it.

There are several reasons why a toilet might leak from the base, and being able to spot the difference can help you to get the best from your toilet.

Cracks in the Toilet Bowl

Cracks in the fabric of the toilet bowl can often cause it to leak around the base. Water being flushed away from the bowl will run out of the crack, forced by water pressure, and this will form a pool around the base. If this is the cause of the problems, then you will need to empty the bowl of water, and then use some water-proof glue or sealant to fix the crack. The sort that is suitable for sinks and baths will be perfect for this. Leave to dry.

If you find that you are still having problems with your bowl leaking, then you may need to replace it entirely.

Problem With the Wax Seal

The base of your toilet is water sealed using a wax ring. Sometimes, if you have had recent plumbing done, or you have altered the sub-flooring, the drain can take longer to work, meaning that water will sit around the wax ring. If the ring is slightly loose, this water will then seep out around the base.

Signs that this is the problem includes the toilet rocking, or there being visible gaps around the seal in the toilet. If the toilet is not fixed firmly to the base, then the wax seal can become damaged. This wax seal can be replaced easily, but you may need to call in a plumber to fix it properly.

Toilet Not Firmly Fixed

Toilets are fixed to the floor using a pair of bolts which you can see on the side of the toilet bowl. Close them up tightly, and you may find that water stops leaking from the base. Tighten both of the bolts, not just one, in order to ensure that the bowl is properly fixed to the floor.

Leak Coming From Elsewhere

If you cannot find a solution to your problems through these solutions, then you should consider that the problem might be coming from elsewhere. Water can flow down from something like a leaking tank, and then escape around the base. The bolts that secure the tank to the toilet bowl are one source of leaks, as is the gasket underneath that bowl. These can be easily fixed by removing the bolts and replacing, or tightening them where they are in the location. Use a screwdriver, and screw from the inside of the tank down. This will allow a better seal.

Troubleshooting a toilet that is leaking from the base may be time consuming, but seeing if it is an easy fix can save you big. Happy plumbing!