When you get inside your toilet early in the morning and stepped on cold water.
– What would you feel? – Knowing that you have bathroom leak is not a good way to start the day. You’ve got to fix this leaking toilet problem right away or you’ll have to deal with it every morning of your life.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of why this happens so you don’t have to keep asking why you have a leaking toilet. First off, let’s know the reasons. If you don’t know what’s causing this problem, it will be difficult to find a solution to it. So, without further ado, here are the top reasons why toilets leak.
- How to Fix Toilets Leaking from the Base
- Tips to Prevent Bathroom Leaks
- Toilet Leak Fixes Made Easy
If you live in an area where temperatures get to the extremes, then condensation in the toilet may be an issue. Here, the cold water from the water tank condenses as it enters your warm toilet. Think of it as ice cold water from the fridge left on the table for some time. You’ll see water all around the glass and on the table because of condensation.
The same thing may happen to your toilet. As the cold water runs from the water line or reservoir to the toilet tank, it goes through condensation because of temperature change. There’s only one thing that’s good to know if this is the reason why you always have water on the floor. That’s the fact that the bathroom problem you’re dealing with isn’t caused by leaks.
So, if it isn’t condensation, then it must be a leak, right? Possibly. It’s time to find out if it is caused by leaky shut-off valves, tanks, or pipes. If it is caused by the shut-off valve, then try to locate that fixture in your toilet and see if it’s loose. Sometimes, the valve leaks because of wear and tear. Seal off the valve if it’s leaking.
If the leak is caused by pipes, then the faulty ones must be replaced. You must know which pipe is damaged, so you’ll get to replace the right one. It’s also possible to test if it’s really the pipe by wiping the floor and flushing your toilet several times to see if water will pile up due to flushing. If flushing doesn’t cause it, then it must be one of the pipes.
The toilet tank may be the one leaking as well. Check if there are cracks on the tank. It might be leaking because it has been used for too long. Whichever the case, the tank has to go if it is the source of the leak.
3. Loose bolts
Toilets are attached to the bathroom floor by two bolts. There are caps that cover these bolts, so they are generally hidden from view. If the bolts are loose, it’s possible for water to escape from the bottom of the toilet bowl. Sometimes, these bolts are badly loose that the toilet seat rocks.
4. Broken wax ring
There’s a wax ring installed at the toilet base to prevent water from leaking and gas from escaping from the sewer. If the bolts of the toilet seat are firmly in place but there’s water on your bathroom floor, then it is possible that the wax ring broke.
5. Porcelain cracks
If your toilet bowl is made of porcelain, it’s possible that it has tiny cracks that are not visible to the naked eye. It may happen if the porcelain is made of poor materials and has a lot of imperfections. The leak may come from multiple parts of the toilet bowl, and all of those must be covered.
How to Fix Toilets Leaking from the Base
The proper way to fix a toilet leaking at the base would depend on its exact cause. Listed here are the general and specific steps that you can follow to fix the problem. But just like any home repair job, be sure that you have the contact number of a handyman or professional plumber easily within reach in case you need assistance.
Tools and materials needed:
- Wash Cloth
- Toilet Cleaner
- Necessary toilet parts such as a wax gasket, water valve, or closet flange
1. Determine if it is a condensation issue.
As discussed earlier, if your toilet bowl is not broken, then the problem may be due to water condensation. This is an easy fix, and you won’t need most of the tools listed above. What you can do is install an exhaust fan in your bathroom to get rid of any excess water. Another thing you can do is to insulate the water tank, so it doesn’t get too cold. Installing a tray and making sure that the toilet flapper is working problem would help greatly, too.
2. Check for porcelain imperfections.
This step is only applicable to toilets made with porcelain. Be sure to check the material of your toilet bowl first before following this step. To address porcelain toilet bowl imperfections, you’ll need to create a putty to seal off these imperfections. You may also use plaster to do the job. In any case, you may opt to replace the bowl altogether.
3. Make sure that are no external leaks.
As stated above, the cause of the leaking toilet may come from external sources like the tank itself or the water line pipe. The first thing to do is to clean the wet area on the floor before checking for leaks. A leaky toilet tank is the easiest to check. Find out if the flush assembly is also the source of the leak. The same goes for any visible drain pipe and water valve leading to the bathroom. Double check to make sure that no joints are leaking. Don’t forget to also check the fill valve or any other toilet valve while you’re at it.
If the flush valve assembly leaks, prepare to replace it. Buy a flush assembly of the same type and install it as intended. The leaking water pipes must be replaced as well. Be sure to turn off the main water supply line before you make any repairs. If you discovered that the problem is because you have a leaking toilet tank, then you must replace that fixture.
4. Tighten any loose toilet bolt.
If you’re sure that it isn’t a condensation issue, it isn’t holes in the porcelain bowl, and there are no external leaks, then something must be broken from the inside of the leaky toilet bowl itself. Here is where you need to do some real handyman work because you will now need most of the tools listed above.
First off, check the bolts. Remove the caps and be sure to use the right wrench or screwdriver to remove the bolts. Do this step very carefully or the toilet base will break and that will require your toilet bowl to be replaced entirely.
5. Replace the wax ring.
If the issue is the loose bolts, then you wouldn’t have to do this step. But if tightening the bolts failed to address the leaking issue on your bathroom floor, then you must dive even deeper into the problem. The most likely reason why there is a leak on your bathroom floor is that the wax ring is faulty. The wax ring serves as the toilet seal to keep water and gas from leaking.
The wax ring doesn’t break easily, but it isn’t without fault either. To check if the wax ring is broken, you must remove the entire toilet bowl. This is not going to be easy but it’s doable. You’re going to need a lot of handyman skills to get it right, though. Oftentimes, you’ll have to replace the entire assembly. Look for a broken wax gasket or wax seal as well.
Steps to Replace the Wax Ring
To replace the broken or old wax ring in your toilet, just follow these steps:
- Shut off the main water source.
- Flush the toilet and make sure that all water is drained from the tank.
- Clear off any excess water from the toilet bowl.
- Unscrew the nuts to remove the toilet tank.
- Prepare to remove all the bolts, such as the toilet tee bolts and flange bolts that connect the toilet bowl to the floor. Use a hacksaw if needed.
- Lift the toilet up to get to the wax ring that connects to the closet flange
- Check for damage to the wax and remove it.
- Install a new wax ring that fits perfectly.
- Put the toilet seat back.
- Reconnect the water lines.
- Check for leaks. If done right, the problem shouldn’t be there anymore.
These steps should be easy to follow if you have innate handyman skills. If you find any step difficult to follow, don’t hesitate to contact a professional plumber to help you out. They could assist you in a step or two or even fix the problem for you.
Tips to Prevent Bathroom Leaks
Regular home maintenance is something that everybody should do. There are a few things that you can do to make sure that you don’t encounter toilet leaks again, which is a huge inconvenience. Here are some suggestions:
1. Always be mindful of leaks.
Water is difficult to control, and you should know that by now. So, the next time you see your toilet leaking for any reason, attend to it right away. No matter how minimal the water leak seems, you must make sure that they are fixed before they get any worse.
2. Never flush unwanted objects in the toilet bowl.
Many of the problems related to leaks are caused by clogs. Clogs occur when people flush items such as toilet paper and baby wipes into the bowl. Save yourself from the hassle of having to worry about clogs. Be responsible enough to throw these things into the waste basket and not into the toilet bowl.
3. Minimize the use of chemicals to clean the drains.
There are some drain cleaners that can be too harsh on your toilet. Also, they may damage the plumbing fixtures and pipes. Be very picky with the type of drain cleaners that you’ll use for your toilet bowl. If you want, you can switch to natural drain cleaning solutions instead.
4. Have your plumbing inspected regularly.
Nothing beats a regular inspection of your bathroom. If you are knowledgeable enough to do this yourself, that’s great. If not, you can always have a plumber to do it for you. Plumbers are the experts you want to call on if you have problems with your bathroom.
5. Always have the number of your plumber handy.
The importance of having a plumber whom you can call whenever there’s an issue with your toilet can’t be emphasized enough. To ensure that your toilet is always working optimally, let them fix immediately any problem that you can’t attend to right away. Doing so will save you a lot of trouble and frustration in the future.
Toilet Leak Fixes Made Easy
Having a leak in your toilet is not very comfortable. If anything, it makes you not want to go to the toilet at all. Save yourself from all the worry of having to deal with this issue by fixing it right away. The tips above will help you do that just. Some of these tips apply to an RV toilet as well.
Always contact a trusted plumber if you need help with toilet repair, especially if you’re dealing with an RV toilet leak. Not all plumbing jobs are easy, as some require an emergency service. Oftentimes, you’ll need to inspect the pipes that are way deep in the ground.
Professional plumbing tools are going to help you get to the bottom of the problem, not just with your toilet but also with your water heater, septic tank, and toilet flange seal. They can fix water damage issues as well.
I am John Kluge, co-founder of Toilethackers.org. With 10+ years of experience working with toilets, I have garnered a lot of understanding about resolving toilet-related issues. Knowledge is meant to be shared and I am passionate about teaching people the right way to keep toilets clean and also fix toilet-related issues. I co-founded this blog to share my experiences and keep readers updated about toilet-related issues. Knowledge sharing is my forte and I always do so with ease. With exceptional writing and analytic skill, I use my skill to simplify complex terms and ensure readers grasp more understanding about toilet issues.