How to Fix a Leaking Toilet

How to Fix a Leaking Toilet

How to Fix a Leaking Toilet


If you have noticed water damage near the base of your toilet, chances are your toilet’s wax ring has failed. Although toilet leaks have several common causes, only a bad wax ring will require the removal and resetting of the toilet. When this problem occurs you could call a plumber or you could arm yourself with a little know-how and fix the leaking toilet yourself. To complete the job you will need towels, a flathead screwdriver, a crescent wrench, gloves, a putty knife, and a hacksaw.

Steps How to Fix Leaking Toilet

  1. Shut off the water supply, flush the toilet, and soak up any water remaining in the tank with a towel.
  2. Disconnect the water supply line and the tank from the bowl with a crescent wrench. Set these aside in a safe location to prevent damage.
  3. Loosen the floor (Johnny) bolt nuts with a crescent wrench and lift the bowl off the floor. Place the bowl upside down in a safe location with the toilet horn on top.
  4. Remove the existing bolts from the floor flange and inspect the floor beneath the toilet for any rotted wood. Any soft, sagging, or rotted wood under a leaking toilet should be replaced prior to reinstalling the toilet.
  5. Remove the wax ring and use a putty knife to clean the existing wax from the toilet horn and floor flange.
  6. Install new floor (Johnny) bolts in the existing floor flange.
  7. Place a new wax ring in the floor flange drain opening.
  8. Set the bowl back in its original location, over the floor (Johnny) bolts and with the toilet horn inside the new wax ring. Shims can be used to level the bowl over uneven floor surfaces. Apply downward pressure to the bowl to ensure a good connection – you should feel the wax ring compress. If you don’t feel this, your wax ring could be too short. Consider a taller wax ring or even using two wax rings, one on top of the other. Using two wax rings isn’t the best solution; however, it is a common fix and, when properly installed, can provide a good seal between the toilet horn and floor flange.
  9. Tighten the floor (Johnny) bolt nuts by hand and then with a wrench. Make sure you do not overtighten the bolts, which could result in cracking the bowl. Use a hacksaw to cut the floor bolts above the nut so the plastic cap will fit.
  10. Reinstall the tank, connect the water supply line, and turn the water on to fill the tank. Once the tank is full, flush the toilet and inspect for leakage.


Why is My Toilet Leaking at the Base?

Is water pooling on the bathroom floor around the toilet? Don’t ignore this problem! If the toilet is leaking from the base, this water has come from the toilet bowl and is not sanitary. The dirty water may even have a sewer smell to it. If left untreated, your toilet will continue to leak a little with each flush, resulting in water damage to the flooring, subfloor, and possibly the ceiling of the room below.

A toilet leaking at the base usually indicates a problem with the wax ring that forms a seal between the toilet base and the drainpipe under the toilet. There are a few simple steps you can take to try to stop the leak.

Here’s a look at why your toilet is leaking at the base and how to fix it.

Tighten the Toilet Tee Bolts

If the toilet continues to leak at the base when flushed, it might not be bolted tightly to the floor. Look at the base of the toilet, and you’ll see two tee bolts, which might be covered with caps. If the wax ring under these bolts doesn’t form a water-tight seal, the toilet will leak from the base when you flush it.

To fix this problem, simply tighten the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor. You may need a putty knife or flathead screwdriver to pry off the caps first. Tighten the bolts a little at a time, alternating from the left bolt to the right one. Be careful not to over-tighten, or the toilet base could crack. If the bolts just spin when you attempt to tighten them, you might need new ones.

Test the Leaky Toilet

This type of leak usually occurs when you flush the toilet. To make sure the “leak” isn’t merely condensation on the toilet bowl, soak up the water with paper towels and flush the toilet again.

A pool may also form on the bathroom floor if you have a loose water supply line or faulty shut-off valve. Examine the hoses behind the toilet to rule out this possibility.

Replace the Wax Ring

Test the repair by flushing the toilet. If water still pools around the base, this means a failing wax ring is causing the leak. Fortunately, wax rings are inexpensive and relatively straightforward to replace, though you’ll need to remove the toilet to get the job done. This job can take a few hours to complete and may require two people. If you don’t feel up to it, contact a plumber for help. Otherwise,

Contact Waterworld Technology for help fixing a Toilet Leaking from the Base

Waterworld Technology (WWT) is here to help! We’ll carefully diagnose the problem and restore your toilet to its leak-free state. Call us at +233240335653 To schedule services from one of our courteous plumbers online