Why is my toilet leaking at the base?

If your toilet is leaking at the base it’s not a good sign!

The good news – this could be a relatively easy leak to fix yourself.

Possible reasons for a toilet leaking at the base:

Loose Tee Bolts

You may have noticed plastic caps around the base of your toilet. These are covering bolts, known as tee bolts that keep your toilet in place. When they are loose it can cause the toilets seal to break, which in turn can cause leaks.

You can remove the caps and reposition your toilet so that it is level and where it should be and begin to tighten the bolts. If they continue to spin and won’t tighten, they are broken and you’ll need to replace them. Once you have replaced or tightened them you can put the caps back on and fingers crossed your leak is fixed!

A damaged Wax Ring

Another main reason for water pooling at the base of your toilet is a failed wax ring. This is another element you can replace yourself but it does require a few steps.

Step 1 – turn off the water

Replacing the wax seal requires moving the toilet so you need to turn the water valve off in the rear of the toilet near the wall. Once this has been done flush the toilet several times to remove most of the water in the bowl. Then you can disconnect the pipes.

Step 2 – remove the toilet

Remove the bolts that are holding the toilet to the floor (they will have coverings of some kind and be on either side of the toilet). Once the nuts are loosened the toilet will lift straight up off the bolts. This will likely require two people.

Step 3 – remove old wax ring

The wax ring will be obvious and will be on top of the drainpipes. Scrape this old wax ring off the drain and remove the old bolts. Be careful not to damage anything else. It might take a little force to remove especially if it is old.

Step 4 – replace the ring

Place the new wax ring where the old one was and press it into place.  Secure with the new bolts.

Step 5 – put the toilet seat back

Place the toilet straight down over the new bolts and wax ring. Apply pressure evenly around the entire ring and press it down firmly. Tighten all the bolts evenly, a little at a time, until the toilet is in the correct position and doesn’t move.

Finally – reconnect the water

Once the toilet is correctly positioned it’s time to reconnect the water supply. Once connected turn the water back on, let the bowl fill up then flush and check for any leaks!

A toilet leak can cause damage and can cause water bills to spike so any leaks should be fixed as soon as you notice them! If you’re not confident in a DIY fix or your DIY fix doesn’t solve the problem, contact your local plumber who will be able to get to the bottom and stop any toilet accidents happening in future!