Why Is My Toilet Leaking?

There’s never a good time to be asking yourself, “Why is my toilet leaking?” But chances are yours is not the first to have this problem. Depending on the age of your toilet or the quality of the install, there could be a few easy-to-remedy reasons why your toilet is leaking.

Stories of a Leaky Toilet

Anything that holds water has an increased possibility of leaking.  Think dehumidifiers, water heaters, water filtration systems and yes, your toilet.

I Think My Toilet is Leaking from the Base

If it appears that your toilet is leaking from the base, first make sure that it’s truly leaking.  There is a chance that it could be condensation on the outside of the toilet, or if the shower or bath is close by it could be water from a recent shower, or (let’s face it, it’s a reality) it could be poor aim on someone’s part.

The first step is to dry up the water with a paper towel or washable cloth, and once it’s dry, flush the toilet.  If water begins to appear in the same location, chances are the water is coming directly from the bowl.  Every time someone flushes, the risk of unsanitary water leaking onto your floor increases.  Aside from an unhealthy situation, standing water can severely damage your floor, subfloor and even the ceiling of the room below (if there is one).

Other Possibilities

Check the Supply Line. Examine closely where the water is coming from. It’s possible that the supply line has cracked, or perhaps the shut-off valve for your toilet has become faulty.  If the water appears to be coming from the hose that runs from the toilet through the floor, then it’s likely the supply line.

Are the Anchor Bolts Tight? Is the Toilet Flange Cracked?  Other possibilities could be the bolts that fasten the toilet to the floor are not properly tightened, or that the toilet flange is cracked (or one of the screws is loose). This can easily be a DIY, but it’s important that you do not over tighten the bolts or the toilet base could crack.

Check Your Wax Ring. If you’ve inspected and/or repaired all of the above, but the leak is still ongoing, then your toilet’s wax ring may be the culprit.  Going the DIY route could take a couple of hours and a couple of people to repair, but the cost of the wax ring itself is very inexpensive.

When in Doubt

Some plumbing problems are easily solved, others are easily solved with experience!  We’ve seen a lot of different scenarios, and as professional plumbers in the Outer Banks, we know what to look for when we’re solving plumbing problems.  So take these plumbing tips with a grain of salt and a lot of patience and call us if you feel you are entering uncharted waters!