Why Is There a Leak From the Base of My Toilet?

So, you’ve noticed a puddle of water at the base of your toilet. You’ve tried to clean it up but it reappears, like clockwork, every time you flush. 

The gross (and stinky) part is that any water seeping out of the bottom of the toilet is dirty, used water. And ignoring the problem just leads to rotten, damaged flooring. So, let’s fix this problem quickly, shall we?

If your toilet is leaking from the base, you most likely need to replace your wax ring seal.

We’ll show you where your toilet’s wax ring is, what it does and what you should do to stop the leak.

If you’d rather skip the details and get it fixed now, contact us today and we’ll send over a plumber as soon as possible.

Why your wax ring is causing your toilet to leak

Every toilet has a wax ring that helps create an airtight connection between the toilet and the floor.

The wax ring is a gasket that ensures water is 100% contained as it moves from the toilet into the drain pipe. It’s also helpful when it comes to sealing off gross sewer gases and smells.

For the most part, a wax ring should last the length of a toilet’s lifespan. But, in some cases, they may become damaged or worn out and need to be replaced.

You’ll need to replace a wax ring if:

  • You begin smelling sewer gases or “rotten egg” odors
  • You notice water leaking from the base of your toilet
  • You replace your toilet (or even just lift it from it’s position temporarily)

In your particular case, we know we need to replace the wax ring because the base of your toilet is leaking. We’ll show you how to replace the wax ring yourself below.

Note: This can be a difficult DIY toilet repair. So, unless you are familiar with how your toilet works and have an extra hand, we suggest leaving this repair to a professional.

Want to take a stab at a DIY toilet wax ring replacement?

If you are certain that your wax ring needs to be replaced, follow the steps below.

What you’ll need:

  • Large bucket
  • Sponge
  • Wrench
  • Replacement wax ring (we suggest removing the old wax ring and taking it to any home improvement store to ensure that you get the correct size ring your toilet needs.)
  • A helpful buddy (or two)

Follow these steps:

1. Turn off the water supply to the toilet. You can do this by turning off the shut-off valve directly behind the toilet.

2. Flush the toilet to drain the water in the tank and the bowl.

3. Remove any leftover water in the tank or bowl using your sponge and bucket.

4. Remove the water supply line that connects to the bottom of your toilet tank. Place the bucket underneath this line BEFORE disconnecting to catch any extra water in the line or tank.

5. Use a wrench to loosen and remove the toilet bolts. Don’t lose track of these as you’ll need them after you’ve replaced the wax ring.

6. With the help of your buddy (or buddies), lift up and remove the toilet and set it to the side.

7. Remove the old wax seal and clean the flange and surrounding area.

8. Center the new wax seal perfectly over the opening.

9. Place the toilet carefully over the wax ring, reconnect the toilet to the floor with the bolts, reattach the water supply line and turn the shut-off valve back on.

10. Test everything by flushing the toilet and checking for any leaks or problems.

Other reasons a toilet (seems to) leak from the base

Not all leaky toilets point to a faulty wax ring seal. We often work on toilets that look like they are leaking from the base but the leak is actually happening somewhere else.

Other “leaky toilet” problems include:

  • A sweaty toilet tank
  • A cracked toilet bowl
  • Loose water supply line connections
  • A faulty shut-off valve

Need help from a Minnesota plumber?

If you’re not sure what’s causing your toilet to leak, just schedule your appointment with On Time Service Pros today.

We’ll send over an experienced plumber to fix the leak and get your toilet back to normal in no time!

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