Want to know what the worst feeling in the world is? We’ve got you covered.
Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to use your bathroom, padding down the hallway, and opening the door…
…only to unknowingly step into a cold puddle of water.
When your toilet is leaking, it can be frustrating and inconvenient (not to mention kind of gross). If you’re starting to panic, take a deep breath. We’ve got you covered. We’re here to break down what to do in this high-stress situation, whether you are wondering:
- Who to call 📞
- Why is it happening 🤷
- How to fix it 🛠️
Keep reading to find out what to do if you find your toilet leaking at the base.
Why Is My Toilet Leaking?
Before you can start making repairs to your toilet leak, it is important to identify why it is leaking in the first place.
Toilets leak for a variety of different reasons, but if the leak is coming from the base of your toilet, there are a few likely culprits to look at.
Condensation Build Up
Bathrooms are high-moisture areas. This makes them particularly prone to condensation. This perhaps isn’t news to you. After all, you’ve likely stepped out of the shower to find your mirrors and windows fogged up with condensation. But did you know that condensation can disguise itself as a toilet leak?
Condensation can build up on the bowl and base of your toilet due to the difference in temperature between the water inside the toilet bowl and the air in the room. As this condensation builds up, it can drip down your toilet and create a puddle that looks a lot like a toilet leak.
Your toilet isn’t just sitting on your bathroom floor! The toilet is sealed through the use of a wax seal. The wax seal works by keeping water inside the sewer pipe and away from the base of your toilet. When the wax seal fails, it can cause serious leakage!
When your toilet was installed, it was bolted securely to the ground. Unfortunately, over time the bolts can loosen without your realizing. Loose bolts can lead to toilet leaks down the road.
Can I Fix a Leaking Toilet By Myself?
Many homeowners want to try and save some money by DIY-ing the repairs of their homes. When it comes to fixing a leaking toilet, you can absolutely tackle some of these repairs by yourself. That being said, a faulty plumbing repair on your end could cost you more money further down the road. Because of this, we always recommend hiring a professional plumber if you feel unsure of yourself.
How Much Will a Toilet Repair Cost?
Estimating the cost of repairing a toilet leak is tricky because there are many different potential causes. The good news is that the majority of them are not overly expensive.
Some toilet repairs can be done without costing you anything! However, the average toilet leak repair costs between $150-$300.
What Tools Do I Need for My Repair?
Ready to tackle your leaky toilet base on your own? You’ll need some supplies first. Here are some good things to have on hand before you begin the repair process.
- Adjustable Wrench
- Clean towels/Paper towels
- Trash bag
- Disposable gloves
- Wax seal
- Putty knife
5 Steps to Fix a Toilet Leaking at the Base
Ready to tackle this leak head on? Here are the steps you should follow to make sure that your toilet runs smoothly for years to come.
1) Protect Your Floors
Pooling water from your toilet isn’t just inconvenient. It also can pose huge safety and structural risks for your home. Water leaking from your toilet can be unsanitary and should be cleaned up to avoid making you or your family members ill. On top of that, letting water collect can damage your floors and surrounding cabinets.
We recommend clearing the area of water as best as you can. Once the majority of water has been mopped up, lay down old towels or rags to help protect your floors from water damage.
2) Check for Condensation
When it comes to repairing a leaking toilet, we recommend starting with the simplest fix first. That means checking for condensation build-up on your toilet bowl. A good way to determine whether it is actually condensation is to also check your toilet tank for signs of condensation.
If condensation does seem to be the problem, the solution is relatively simple. Start by using a fan to help dry the existing condensation. You can then attempt to equalize the temperature in the room by running a space heater near the toilet. This will help warm the porcelain and avoid condensation formation.
If these simple tricks don’t solve the problem, you also have the option to install a toilet drip tray. These plastic trays are designed to fit between the toilet tank and bowl and catch any condensation drips before they hit your floor.
3) Tighten Tee Bolts
If the water appears to be coming from underneath your toilet, it could be a sign that your tee bolts have loosened. Tightening your tee bolts is an easy fix that you can do on your own. You will want to start by removing the plastic caps located on the base of your toilet. Usually, this can be done by hand, but you may need to use a screwdriver.
Once the caps have been removed, you can then use pliers to help tighten the nuts. Once all of the nuts have been tightened, you can replace the caps.
4) Replace the Seal
If the leak still persists after trying these fixes, it may be time to add a new wax ring to your toilet. In order to do this, you’re going to have to remove your toilet. Before doing this, you’ll have to be sure to turn the water supply line off.
Once the water is shut off, you’ll need to drain the toilet bowl. The easiest way to do this is to use either a sponge or towel to soak up the water from the toilet bowl. You can then wring the water out into a bucket.
Once the water has been drained, you’ll want to remove the bolts from the base of your toilet with a pair of pliers. You can then lift the toilet off of the ground and begin to scrape the old wax ring off of the bottom of the toilet with a putty knife.
You’ll then want to stick a new wax ring onto the bottom of the toilet before reattaching the toilet to the floor.
5) Install a New Toilet
If all of these tips don’t fix the leak from your toilet, it may be time to consider installing a new toilet. There may be a problem with the toilet itself that could lead to damage to your plumbing and bathroom.
Trust the Pros!
Can’t find a fix for your leaking toilet? It is time to call in the pros!
At AJ Alberts, we have the knowledge and experience to fix your problems the right way the first time! From a small leak to a full toilet replacement, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about our services.