Why is My Toilet Leaking at the Base?

Whether you see or smell your toilet leaking at the base, it could be a quick fix or a bad sign. The 3 reasons why your toilet is leaking at the base are:

1. The tee bolts are loose 

2. Your wax-ring is worn out

3. A clogged drain line

As a homeowner, you’ve probably seen a toilet which leaks from the tank or drains down into the bowl. These types of leaks are fairly common, as plastic or rubber parts can wear out, and over time microscopic cracks can form in a toilet tank. However, it’s not the only place your toilet could leak from. If you find a puddle of water in your bathroom that’s centered around the base of your toilet, there’s a good chance the leak could be coming from there.

Toilets develop leaks around the base for a number of different reasons, and the explanations are generally pretty simple. However, repairing these issues could require special tools and considerable expertise, which is why you should leave your services to a professional to ensure they’re done right. Here are a few of the most common causes of water leaks around the base of your toilet.

Tee Bolts Are Loose

In many cases a leak can form simply because something is loose. In the case of your toilet, the leak could form simply because the toilet itself has become loose from its connection to the floor. If you look at the base of your toilet, there are two plastic caps, one on either side of the toilet bowl. These cover your tee-nuts, which are the hardware that secures your toilet to the floor and makes sure it’s good and snug. Over time, these bolts can come loose, especially if your toilet isn’t mounted flush on the floor, wobbles slightly, or receives a lot of force from general use.

Tightening your tee bolts is super easy. All you need is a socket, crescent wrench, or a pair of pliers. After removing the plastic cap that covers the nut, simply turn the tee nut clockwise with your chosen tool to tighten it. You want to make sure it’s good and snug. Do this for both sides of your toilet. Once this is done, flush your toilet several times and make sure the leak has disappeared.

Worn-Out Wax Ring

If you flush your toilet several times and you notice that water is still leaking out from the base after tightening your tee nuts, then you may need to replace the wax ring beneath your toilet. Every toilet sits on a wax ring which seals the connection between the toilet itself and the drain line in the floor. Wax is an ideal material because it can be easily molded to your toilet to ensure a tight fit and it’s extremely resistant to corrosion.

However, if your toilet has come loose, your wax ring may no longer be able to fully-seal your drain, and that could cause those pesky base leaks. Replacing the ring involves completely removing your toilet from the floor, pulling up the old ring, and then placing a new one before carefully reinstalling the toilet to ensure a tight seal. This is a big job, and is one that’s best left to an experienced professional.

Clogged Drain Line

You may also discover another issue when lifting your toilet off to replace the wax ring: a clogged drain line. When the drain line is clogged, water and waste can’t flush down the drain, and this could result in pressure on your wax ring that may result in leaks.

A clogged drain line will also show up in other ways as well, including by water and waste refusing to drain from the bowl of your toilet when you flush. If you find that you have to plunge your toilet frequently or that your toilet just seems to drain slowly you may want to consider having your drain line cleared out by a professional in order to make sure your toilet drains smoothly and all leaks around the base are permanently taken care of.

Got a problem with a leaking toilet? Leave it to the pros at Texas Plumbing Repair 24/7! Call us at (817) 799-7327 and request your appointment today.