Why is water leaking from under a toilet and how to fix it - RusticWise (2023)

Leaky toilet? A leaking toilet is annoying, but it's important to fix it before it causes itexpensive water damageto your flooring and possibly the subfloor and worst case scenario the ceiling below. There are a few reasons why it can beWater comes out from under a toilet(at the root). With a few tools and the step-by-step instructions below to get you started, this is aDIY projectthat you can do in a few hours.

You may need a helping hand with some steps, e.g. B. removing the toilet if necessary. (A real friend is someone willing to help you with your toilet!)

And if possible, avoid using the leaking toilet until it's fixed. You may have noticed that the water coming out astrong sewage-like odor. The water that comes out of the toilet base is the same water that was sitting in the toilet bowl (which of course it isunhygienicsay the least!).

Reasons why water comes under a toilet

There are a fewReasons why water leaks from the toiletBase.

One reason is that thetoilet screwsThe attachment of the toilet to the floor may need to be tightened. This is a simple fix.

The other main reason for a leaking toilet floor is that theWachssiegelno longer works. It may be time to replace the old wax ring that comes with itremove toilet. (We'll show you step-by-step how to do this below.)

Other reasons for water accumulation at the bottom of the toilet can beindicate a problemElsewhere in the sanitary area:

  • A crack in the tank or bowl
  • A leak between the base and the tank (which has a different seal, usually rubber or foam)
  • A broken or loose supply hose
  • A defective water shut-off valve
  • Condensation from the toilet bowl (aka "sweaty" bowl)

These other reasons for water retention at the base require aandersfix as below.

Determine the location of the leak

Before you dive right in, it's importantdetermine the actual locationof the leak. Grab some old towels or rags to wipe up the water at the bottom of the toilet.

Water often comes out from under a toilet after flushing. Go ahead and flush the toilet. Wait and observe the toilet base and area around the toilet for 10-15 minutes for signs of leakage.

Check for water leaking from the pipe behind the toilet. If water is leaking from the line, this indicates a problem with the shut-off valve, the water supply line or even the tank.

Check other parts of theToilet for leaking including the tankand bowl.

Note the timing of the leak

There is a leak from the tank or bowlcontinually. On the other hand, water comes out from under a toiletafter rinsing.

If you see water under the toilet after flushing, you probably have a problem with the toilet screws or wax ring.

Why is water leaking from under a toilet and how to fix it - RusticWise (1)

First try to tighten the screws

The simple fix is ​​to try tightening the toilet bolts first.

You need:

  • A wrench or screwdriver (depending on whether your toilet has a screw or a nut and bolt)
  • Either a spatula or screwdriver to remove the caps
  • Old towels or rags
  1. Mop up waterat the foot of the toilet.
  2. Remove the plastic caps covering the screws on the toilet base. You may have to use a spatula or screwdriver to pry them off.
  3. Use a wrench or screwdriver to tighten each screw a little bit at a time. Tighten the first screw a little before proceeding to the other screw, alternating them piece by piece. It is important not to over-tighten the screws at once or you risk breaking the bottom of the toilet.
  4. Flush the toilet to test if there is still water coming from under the toilet.

If water is still collecting at the base, your next step is to replace the wax ring by removing the toilet.

Top:Do your base screws turn loose when you try to tighten them? You must replace them with new screws.

How to replace the wax ring on a toilet: step by step

The purpose of the wax ring (also called wax gasket) is to provide a watertight seal at the bottom of the toilet. An old wax ring is probably the cause of your toilet problems.

Do not worry. A wax ring is inexpensive and available in everyonehardware store or hardware store. Set aside a few hours for this project and enlist the help of a friend to help remove the toilet.

You need:

  • New wax ring
  • New toilet washers and screws (if required)
  • Old towels, rags or a mop
  • Flask or disposable cup for scooping water as needed
  • A wrench or screwdriver (depending on whether your toilet has a screw or a nut and bolt)
  • Piece of cardboard to place the toilet and protect the floor
  • Scraper or spatula to remove the old wax ring
  • rubber gloves
  1. Close the water shut-off valveturning the handle clockwise until it points down). This is usually located directly behind the toilet (in older houses, the shut-off valve can be in the basement).
  2. Remove the tank cap.Flush the toiletby holding down the handle to drain as much water as possible. This will ensure you have an empty tank.
  3. To do this, use a plungerremove excess water. If you don't have a plunger, use a disposable cup to scoop water out of the toilet bowl.Mop upexcess water with an old rag, towel or mop.
  4. Disconnect the water supply linebehind the toilet. Loosen the nut with a wrench. The toilet should slide out easily.
  5. Use a wrench or screwdriver to pry off the plastic covers at the bottom of the toilet.Loosen and remove the floor screwsSecuring the toilet. With the help of a friend, lift the toilet by the bowl (not the tank) and place it on the piece of cardboard. A back and forth motion will help loosen the toilet from the old wax seal.
  6. Stuff an old rag into the exposed sewer pipe to prevent fumes from enteringyour bathroom.
  7. To do this, use a scraper or spatulaRemove the old wax ring. Be careful not to damage the housing flange when scraping. Theflangeis usually a black ABS plastic ring that is fixed to the ground and connected to the drain pipe. It is important to thoroughly clean the area and scrape away any old wax seal pieces to ensure a proper seal with the new wax ring.
  8. Insert the new wax ring. Make sure it is positioned correctly in the center of the cabinet flange. Press down gently.
  9. Place the T-bolts in the correct slots on the side of the flange.
  10. Remove the old rag from the sewer pipe and discard it.
  11. Carefully reinstall the toilet. Line up the holes on the bottom of the toilet with the T-bolts and carefully lay down. Press the toilet to create a tight, watertight seal on the new wax ring.
  12. Replace or reinstall the toilet washer and nuts. Make sure you don't overtighten. Put the plastic caps back on.
  13. Reconnect the water supply hoseand turn the water valve back on.

Top:If the wax ring doesn't make much contact between the porcelain and the flange, you can tryStacking two wax ringstogether. Make sure it's just wax - not the kind with a mini-flange attached.

You're done!

What to do after replacing your toilet wax ring?

Once you've successfully installed a new wax ring, here's what you should dothorough cleaning workAnddisinfect areaaround the toilet.

Try flushing the toilet again to check for leaks. Hope you solved the problem. Check the toilet for signs of water leakage for a few days.

If you decide to caulk the area around the bottom of the toilet, make sure you use quality tub and bathroom caulk.

Why is water leaking from under a toilet and how to fix it - RusticWise (2)

  1. Henkenius, Merle. "How to fix a leaking toilet“, This old house. Accessed December 2020.
  2. Mr Rooter (28 June 2018). "Why is my toilet leaking at the base?“, Mr. Rooter Plumbing. Accessed December 2020.
  3. Home Depot, How to Fix a Leaky Toilet Floor,https://www.homedepot.com/c/ah/how-to-fix-a-leaking-toilet-base/9ba683603be9fa5395fab909e5b69f5. Accessed December 2020.

Why is water leaking from under a toilet and how to fix it - RusticWise (3)

Autor: Josh Tesolin

Josh is co-founder of RusticWise. When he's not tinkering in the garden or fixing something around the house, he can be found doing a variety of random side projects.

Read more about him here

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