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Unveiling the Mystery: What Causes Your Toilet to Leak at the Base?

Aerial view of a toilet seat

A leaking toilet is the stuff nightmares are made of. It can waste around 6000 gallons of water every month, causing your water bill to increase. A toilet that is leaking around the base can cause serious water damage to the structural support beneath and around your toilet.

Regardless of the reason why your toilet is leaking around the base, Santa Rosa Plumbing can help. We realize that plumbing emergencies can occur at any time of the day or night and offer 24 hour drain services in Santa Rosa ensuring our customers do not feel they are left stranded when an emergency situation arises.

Toilets can leak around the base for several reasons, each indicating a different issue or repair need. Here are some common causes of such leaks.

So Why is My Toilet Leaking Around the Base?

There are several reasons why your toilet might be leaking around the base. Here are the most common culprits.

Worn wax seal:

Your toilet wax ring is the seal between the fixture and the closet flange on your floor. It is designed to prevent leaks from developing at the bottom of the toilet. Over time, it can deteriorate or become misaligned, leading to leaks.

Loose toilet bolts:

Your toilet is secured to the floor with bolts that attach it to the flange. If these bolts become loose, the toilet may rock, breaking the seal of the wax ring, which can cause leaks. Sometimes all you need to do is tighten loose bolts to stop a leak, but care must be taken not to overtighten loose bolts and crack the toilet’s base

Cracked toilet base:

If a heavy item such as a vase or a heavy tissue holder hits your toilet, its base can crack. Improper repairs and old age can also lead to cracks. Regardless of the reason,  a crack in the base of your toilet can lead to water leaks. Even small or hairline cracks can allow water to escape, especially when the toilet is flushed and under pressure. If considerable damage has occurred, your plumbing contractor may recommend replacing the toilet.

Faulty supply line:

The supply line that feeds water to the toilet could also be the source of the leak. If the leak is near the base, it could be mistaken for a wax seal leak. However, this issue is related to the water supply line connections, either where it connects to the toilet or at the shut-off valve.

Cracked floor flange:

If the fitting that connects the toilet to the drainpipe is cracked or broken, a leak could occur. A damaged floor flange may fail to hold the wax seal causing the toilet to shift and break, which can create an opening for water to escape around the base.

How to Prevent Toilets From Leaking Around the Base?

Here are some simple ways to prevent toilet leaks.

Check the wax seal:

More often than not a failed wax seal is the culprit behind a toilet leak. Your wax seal can deteriorate over time or become damaged if the toilet shifts. If your toilet smells bad or you notice signs of ceiling or floor damage, it may be time to replace the wax seal.

Tighten the closet bolts:

Sometimes, the bolts that secure the toilet to the floor, known as closet bolts, can become loose, allowing water to escape from under the toilet. Inspect your closet bolts regularly and make sure they’re tight. Be careful not to over-tighten loose bolts or you may end up inadvertently damaging your toilet.

Ensure proper flange height:

The toilet flange, which is the pipe fitting that mounts the toilet to the floor and connects to the drainpipe, should be at or slightly above the floor level. If the flange is too low, it can lead to a poor seal with the wax ring. In some cases, a flange extender or thicker wax ring can solve this problem.

Stay on top of professional maintenance:

Have an experienced plumber inspect and maintain your toilet at regular intervals. During a maintenance session, your plumbing contractor checks your toilet and surrounding area for signs of moisture or leaks. They replace failing parts to address current problems and keep potential issues at bay. Because toilet problems can occur at the most inconvenient times, keep Santa Rosa Plumbing in mind as we offer 24-hour drain services in Santa Rosa & Sonoma County.

Regularly inspect the base of your toilet:

Periodically inspect the base of your toilet for any signs of cracks. If you find a crack, the toilet will need to be replaced.

Use a good quality wax ring:

If your wax ring is too old, replace it with a good quality new wax ring. Some wax rings come with additional seals or use quality materials that create a more durable seal.

Reasons to Hire a Professional for Toilet Repair

DIY toilet repair can do more harm than good. If you try to fix a leaking toilet yourself, you may make mistakes that can affect the functionality of your toilet and reduce its lifespan. Instead of taking the DIY route, hire a professional for the job. When it comes to toilet repairs, experienced plumbing contractors know their stuff. They are equipped to get to the root causes of toilet problems and address them.

Here are some compelling reasons to hire a professional for toilet repair.

  • Expertise and experience: Professionals, such as Santa Rosa Plumbing, have the training and experience to diagnose problems quickly and accurately. They can identify the subtle signs of underlying toilet issues that amateurs often miss.
  • Right tools and materials: Improper toilet repair tools can cause further damage to a leaking toilet. Plumbing contractors have access to the necessary tools and materials for any type of repair job and are trained in the use of them.
  • Emergency services: Santa Rosa Plumbing offers emergency services and 24 hour drain services in Santa Rosa. It is pivotal to resolve toilet problems quickly to prevent damage to your home.

Santa Rosa Plumbing is a leading plumbing contractor in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. Whether you have a slow-draining toilet or your toilet is leaking, we can help. To learn more, call (707) 723-0929.