The modern bathroom is no longer limited to being a strictly utilitarian area but has now evolved into a place of oasis where people can wash off their stress and unwind. While a hot shower can untie the tight knots in one’s back, there’s nothing more frustrating than stepping onto a wet floor and seeing your toilet leaking all over the place.
Indeed, toilet leaks aren’t the kind of plumbing emergencies that prompts homeowners to put plumbers on speed dial, but it’s still an inconvenient problem that can disrupt your routine, waste your water, and leave you with wet feet every time you enter the bathroom. Seeing as the toilet is one of the hardest-working fixtures in any household, it’s no surprise that it can quickly sustain wear-and-tear without giving it the proper TLC it deserves.
A Leaking Toilet: Why It Happens and How to Fix It
Parts inside the toilet can degrade over time, causing it to malfunction and break down in ways that can be frustrating for many homeowners. Different leaks have distinct causes behind them, so when it comes to toilets that are leaking at the base, it usually boils down to a broken wax ring or worn-out seal.
Before you go to the nearest store to buy a new seal, it’s important to break down the possible causes behind your toilet’s base troubles. With that in mind, here are the possible causes:
- The tee bolts around your toilet base need to be tightened. When the toilet base is loose, it can easily sway every time someone sits on it, causing the wax ring to wear down easily with every use.
- When the toilet is loose and you find the wax ring out of whack due to its lack of pliability, it’s time to replace it with a new wax ring to keep the seal effective at keeping the water from seeping through the base.
- One of the bigger and more worrisome problems behind the leaks at your toilet’s base is a loose water supply line. When the connection between the supply line and your tank is broken, you’ll notice constant leaks flowing from the base constantly.
- Another likely culprit behind your toilet leaks is when water condenses around the toilet. A cool room that quickly becomes humid can cause water to form on the toilet, causing it to drip down and pool at the base.
Fixing a Leaky Toilet Base: the DIY Route
Once you find the source of the leak, you can gather your tools and toiler hack tips to give your leaky issue a quick fix over the weekend. Some of the equipment you’ll need includes a wrench, screwdriver, bathroom cleaner, cleaning cloths, washers, gaskets, toilet bolts, toilet wax ring, a putty knife, cordless drill or driver, a hacksaw, rubber gloves, and a caulk.
Now that you have your essential, get ready to roll up your sleeves to solve your leaky toilet. Here are some tried and tested tips from the pros:
Tip #1: Make Sure the Problem Isn’t Condensation
It’s tempting to get right into the dirty work of fixing your toilet, but even for excited weekend warriors, it’s better to check whether the leaky issues from your toilet are not caused by condensation.
If your bathroom has a condensation problem, you can temporarily keep your bathroom floors from getting wet by installing a tray at the base of your toilet. Be sure to insulate the water tank and try to take colder showers, though it’s better to keep the fan on and leave the door open if you want to keep the room dry while taking hot showers.
Tip #2: Make Sure the Tee-Bolts are Tight
If one of the root problems behind your leaky toilet is loose wax rings, tightening the bolts that keep your toilet base in place can compress the seal and keep the water from leaking off. If the leaks persist even after tightening the tee-bolts, then you may need to remove the toilet to look for other possible causes behind the issue.
Tip #3: Remove the Toilet
Now that your tee-bolts are out of the prime suspects behind your toilet leaks, you can move on to removing the toilet for a further inspection! But before you drive into disconnecting your toilet, be sure to shut off your home’s water system first if you want to avoid any more unwanted waterworks.
Check the shutoff valve, which is typically located on the left side of the toilet. Flush the remaining water in your toilet and use a sponge to absorb the extra water left in the bowl. After ensuring the toilet is all dry and ready for removal, you can finally remove the toilet and see what’s causing the leaks.
Tip #4: Install a New Wax Ring
A worn-out wax ring is a usual case behind leaks at the base of the toilet, so the best way to address this is by replacing the tired wax ring with a new one. Use your putty knife to lift the old wax off the drain, and don’t forget to scrape any leftover wax. This allows the new wax to firmly sit in its proper place.
After placing the new ring with the cone facing toward the drain, tighten back the tee-bolts in their correct position and reinstall the toilet. When done right—wherein the seal is packed nicely, and the bolts are in their proper key openings—you can hopefully enjoy a toilet that works good as new! Or at least, one that doesn’t make your feet wet every time you enter the bathroom.
The Bottom Line: Fixing Minor Toilet Issues for Seasoned DIYers and When It’s Better to Hire a Professional to Put a Lid on Your Leaky Problems
Dealing with plumbing problems compromising your toilet can be frustrating at best, but there may be underlying issues that can turn the leaky trouble into a full-blown catastrophe. While going down the DIY route can offer a temporary fix, it’s better to put professional plumbers on speed dial so you can have an expert get the job done for good!
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Whether you need drain cleaning to unclog your toilets, hot water heater installation, sewer pipe repair, water heater replacement, and other emergency plumbing services in San Fernando Valley, Candu Plumbing & Rooting is there to address your needs and handle the dirty work for you! Get in touch with us today and see what we can do to ease your plumbing woes.