Why Does The Toilet Leak at The Base? (Real Reason and Solutions From a Pro)

It is extremely inconvenient if you are walking in water pooling around your toilet base. Never take this issue lightly!

The water you are wading through can be filthy, carrying millions of pathogens. Moreover, the water reeks and gives off a sewer-like smell. If no fixing is done, your toilet will leak around the base. Thus, with every flush, your floor, subfloor, and probably your ceiling as well, might face damages.

So, why does the toilet leak at the base? Let us take a look at the reasons and some easy fixes!

What Would Cause a Toilet to Leak at the Base

Below are some reasons that might cause your toilet to be leaking at the base:

Tee Bolts Are Loosened

The base of a toilet is attached to the toilet flooring using two bolts known as tee bolts. In cases where the tee bolts detach, the floor will probably rock, breaking the seal created by the wax rings.

When the tee bolts loosen significantly, drain water seep through the toilet base with every flush.

Wax Ring Issues

Wax rings are susceptible to damage easily. Whenever your toilet becomes loose, wax rings need replacing.

One other reason for the wax ring replacement is the wear and tear it faces over long usage periods. That makes it flexible, meaning the seal is not intact anymore. Thereby, water can seep through your toilet base.

Loose Supply Line for Water

One prevalent issue behind discovering water puddles in your toilet is a loose water supply connection, and water leaks all time, not only during flushing.

Ensure that both the rubber and nut are adequately secured by checking the tank and supply line connection.

Also, you may check our article on why is my toilet tank slowly losing water, HERE!

Water Condenses and Drips Down

Generally, the water that your toilet tank holds and the bowl are moderately cold. The same goes for porcelain. Humidity stimulates the water, which later drips down on the bowl from your toilet porcelain.

The result? Water pool around your toilet base! Once you have determined the causes of leakage, gear yourself up with the proper tools.

How Do You Fix a Toilet That Is Leaking at the Base?

Now that you know the issues let’s check out how we can resolve them.

Test for Condensation

It is essentialthat you test the exterior of the toilet bowl to ensure that there are no condensation problems. Do this step before jumping into the repair process.

However, if condensation issues exist, implement the following methods to stop water from flooding your toilet base:

  • Set up a toilet tray
  • Next, insulate the water tank
  • Ensure if the flapper is adjusted correctly or not
  • After taking shorter and cooler showers, turn on the fan

For instances where condensation is not the problem, dive deeper to the core of the problem.

Secure the Tee Bolts

On both ends, take off the plastic covers from the base of the toilet. Secure the tee bolts using an adjustable open-ended wrench. Tightening the tee bolts will ensure that the wax ring sealing the drain opening remains compressed.

However, if the problem still persists, you might have to resort to removing and reinstalling your toilet to set up new bolts and a wax ring.

Disconnect and Detach Your Toilet

Before you go on to disconnecting, switch off the water supply to your toilet. Check the left to your toilet. Right next to the water valve and supply tube tailpiece, you can locate the shutoff valve.

You can read our detail guide to know more about Toilet Shut-Off Valve size, types, and everything.

Step 1: Flush

Empty the water in the tank and your toilet by flushing. Use a cloth or sponge to remove the extra water in the bowl and toilet tank.

Step 2: Unscrew

Using a screwdriver, unscrew the nut carrying the supply tube. It’s connected to the toilet fill valve tailpiece. You can also read our article about types of toilet fill valve that most fit in your toilet tank.

Step 3: Sever the Bolts

Next, take that wrench to detach your nuts from your tee bolts attached to the toilet base. If the tee bolts are too stubborn to move due to corrosion, you may have to consider using a hacksaw.

Step 4: Remove the Toilet

Lift your toilet up and drag it away from the toilet floor drain. Instead of removing the toilet by yourself or trying to do so, ask someone for assistance.

Step 5: Put It Sideways

Set your toilet on a side to avert any damage.

Replace the Wax Ring with a New One

If the above method did not work for you, try this one out.

Use one putty knife to scratch the old wax wrapped around your drain opening. Scrape until you get rid of all the old wax.

After the putty scrapes it all away, install a new wax ring. Ensure that its plastic cone faces the drain in a downward position. Even more, check that the tee bolts are attached properly on the flange’s sides.

If your cast iron toilet flange is too high, you may find these article useful.

Reset Your Toilet

Carefully lift up your toilet and put it back on top of the drain. This way, tee bolts enter through the holes present on the toilet base.

While rocking the toilet gently, press it down on your wax ring. The toilet forms a secured seal as it compresses down on the wax.

Secure the nuts and tee bolts using a wrench to make sure they do not overtighten. Otherwise, the porcelain might crack.

Attach the Water Connection

Finally, it’s time to reconnect your water supply tube. Switch on the water supply. Next, fill up your toilet tank and flush. See if there are any leaks.

Make sure that there are no remaining leaks. If there aren’t any, it’s time to seal your toilet base with caulk.

Now, people ask, “should you seal around the base of a toilet?”. The answer is – YES!!! It will prevent any smell and keep your toilet secure.

Apart from all, if you are concerned about toilet smell, please read these article.

Final Words

That’s a wrap for now. We hope we were able to answer your question: why does the toilet leak at the base?

If problems still remain, hire a plumber without any hesitation.

Hello, I'm Jon C. Brown, an expert in the field of toilets. With over 15 years of experience in this industry, a significant portion of my life has been devoted to crafting high-quality toilets and bathrooms. Consequently, I've received countless inquiries about the toilet and bathroom industries. That's why, I've launched this website to provide top-notch solutions for all your toilet and bathroom related needs.

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