Toilet leaks can be so stressful, especially when water is going directly onto the floor, leaking from the toilet base. Your schedule will definitely suffer on a day like this, and you may also be concerned about expensive damage to your bathroom floor and tile. Here we’ll look at what’s likely going on with your leaking toilet base and how you can remedy the situation quickly.
When a toilet leaks at the base, with water pooling on your bathroom floor, it’s typically failure of the wax gasket that seals the toilet to the floor. This seal should make a watertight connection between the toilet and floor. A leak often means that the wax seal may need to be replaced.
Take our expert plumbing advice to heart: This is a job where you’ll save time and money, and avoid mess and accidents, by calling in our friendly, experienced plumbing professionals. We offer 24/7 emergency service if your toilet leak happens after business hours!
How to Check for a Faulty Wax Seal
To be certain what the source of the leaking toilet problem is, there are a couple of things you can try:
- Look closely at the toilet base to see if water is definitely seeping out under the toilet. The source of the leak could be elsewhere, like from a faulty shut-off valve, loose water supply line, sweating toilet bowl, or crack in the toilet tank.
- If you can’t see clearly, soak up the water from the floor with a towel and dry the toilet itself. If the leak seems to be coming from the water line or pipe behind the toilet and going into the wall, you may need to replace this only.
- If you’re sure that water is leaking from underneath the toilet, try stopping it by tightening the bolts attaching the toilet to the floor.
- To do this, pry the bolt’s plastic covering caps off, using a screwdriver or putty knife.
- Tighten each bolt with a wrench, using only gentle pressure. Tighten each one a bit, then a bit more, one at a time. If you tighten the bolts too much, you could crack the porcelain toilet base.
If this doesn’t stop your toilet leak, it’s time to replace the wax gasket. This involves removing the toilet. Now is the time to call in a Charleston plumbing pro for expert assistance. You can also call (843) 405-3601 now.
How Can I Prevent Damage From a Leaking Toilet Base?
(Hint: Is Your Toilet Rocking?)
With a toilet leaking at the base, prevention is preferable to dealing with a plumbing emergency that puts your toilet “out of order” until it’s repaired. Also, if a tiny leak goes unnoticed for a while, it can lead to extensive water damage, mold, and rot in your subfloor. The leaked water could even flow into cracks in your foundation, affecting your home’s structure.
A sign that you may soon have a leaky toilet base, and a flooded bathroom floor, is a rocking motion. Be alert and investigate if you feel the toilet moving slightly when you use it.
It’s a sign of trouble if you feel this ever-so-slightly unstable, shaky sensation when using the toilet in your Charleston home. (We don’t typically have earthquakes here, or nearby in West Ashley or Mount Pleasant, after all.)
Another clue of impending toilet trouble is if you hear a family member asking, “Why is my toilet rocking?” This is a warning sign to have your toilet checked out by your local plumbing expert, especially the wax seal under it.
DIY Toilet Removal? Find Out Why We Do NOT Recommend This
We don’t recommend trying this on your own for a number of reasons.
- Porcelain is brittle and shatters easily if struck the wrong way, or dropped. Sharp porcelain shards can fly and cut you, or even damage an eye. Many a Charleston and Summerville homeowner has cracked their perfectly good toilet while simply trying to remove it temporarily, to replace the wax seal below.
- Heavy lifting is involved, which can result in an injury (or shattered toilet).
- You’ll need to inspect for water damage below the floor, once the toilet is off, which requires a trained eye. You could compromise the strength of your bathroom subfloor if you miss water damage there.
- Further along in your DIY effort, you may discover the need to replace the entire flange below the toilet’s wax gasket. This is much more difficult than replacing the wax seal.
- Getting the toilet back in place, level and not tilted, and absolutely parallel to walls, is also very challenging if you DIY.
If you feel compelled to tackle this advanced project alone, be sure to wear protective gear. Lift your toilet by the bowl (not the tank) and place it on a blanket. This makes it easier to pull everything out of the way while you work on the floor area. Please try to keep your back straight and lift properly to avoid injury.
Why Choose Preferred Home Services in Charleston, SC?
Here at Preferred Home Services, we make sure you have a great experience dealing with our team. We take pride in doing our best work for every customer. This is good business practice and it’s only right, since we’re all part of the same Charleston-area community.
Our core values include honesty, friendly approachability, and dedication to high professional standards. Our team undergoes continuing education to maintain our plumbing expertise, so that we’re familiar with the latest products and methods.
Get expert toilet repair or replacement in Charleston, SC. Don’t let a leaking toilet base get the best of you! Emergency plumbing service is available 24/7. Contact Preferred Home Services online today or call (843) 405-3601 now.