QUESTION: My toilet is leaking around the base. What should I do?


The first step is to stop using the toilet immediately. The water seeping from around the base of the toilet is the dirty water that was once in the bowl. Not only does the water contain germs, but it also may have an unpleasant odor and can even damage your flooring. If possible, you should avoid using this toilet until you or a plumber can make the repair.

The next step is to make sure that the water is not coming from higher on the toilet and simply pooling around the base. This could include cracks in the bowl or tank, sweat condensation on the tank or bowl, or water overflowing the bowl.

A toilet can leak around the base if the T-bolts, which are meant to secure the toilet to the floor, become loose. You can remove the plastic cover on the T-bolts and tighten them slightly. Be careful not to tighten the bolts too much since this can crack the porcelain.

Your toilet can also leak if you need to replace the wax ring. This ring is meant to seal the connection between the toilet and the drain pipe. To replace the wax ring, you need to do the following

• turn off the water supply to the toilet,
• disconnect the water supply line,
• remove the T-bolts,
• remove the toilet and lay it on its side,
• clear away any remnants of the old wax ring,
• place the new wax ring on the bottom of your toilet,
• put the toilet back in place, and
• replace and tighten the T-bolts caps.

Once the toilet is secured in place, reconnect the water supply line and turn on the water supply. Finally, make sure that you do not see any evidence of leaks.

If these steps do not solve your leak, it is time to call a professional for help.