Reasons Your Leaky Toilet Is Broken and How to Fix It

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For some reason, no matter how many times you soak up the water on the base of your toilet, it keeps coming back. It’s not likely for other sources of water to pool there either. What could be the cause of this? Have you considered that your toilet could be leaking? That’s right. Toilets leak too. Naturally, they hold water in them, so this conclusion isn’t far-fetched.

When looking at properties for sale, the bathroom can either be a deal maker or a deal-breaker. Many homeowners consider bathrooms to be an essential part of the decision to choose a home. But if a toilet is defective, it can indeed affect that choice. Why do some toilets leak anyway?

What Causes a Leaky Toilet?

When the seal under the toilet breaks, it often results in a leak. In the anatomy of a toilet, bolts are used to secure a toilet to the floors and are found on both sides of the toilet. These bolts also secure the closet flange attached to the floor around the sewage pipe’s top.

Toilet bolts might loosen over time. Tightening these nuts can usually already stop water from seeping around the toilet’s base. But once you’ve done that and the problem still stays, it might potentially be loose due to the seal, in which case you should replace it. With time, wax seals on the flange will harden or loosen. In some cases, the seal wasn’t applied properly to begin with.

The wax seal is placed in the center of the flange. The flange is located on the floor and above the sewer pipe that’s under the floor. Over time, the flange can become rusty due to constant exposure to water, thus another possible cause of leaking. A broken flange and wax seal can happen at the same time too. Either way, this allows water to escape from the toilet’s base. However, in certain circumstances, the issue is caused by something else.

A possible result for a seemingly wet base is moisture. Because of the moisture in the air, it might be collected on the toilet’s exterior, too, forming droplets that drop on the base. Leaving the toilet running or a significant temperature change are among the reasons behind this outcome; if you tackle these issues before anything else and the ‘leaking’ stops, that’s good for you.

Possible Fixes

Before getting into action, study the source of the leak. Soak up the water with a dry towel or sponge. This way, you can see if the wetness is caused by moisture, a defective valve, and more.

Install an Exhaust Fan

If it turners out that the source of the problem was just excess moisture, consider installing an exhaust fan. An exhaust fan will blow the trapped damp air outside the bathroom and out to the window or door. After a hot shower, leave the fan on for a while. This will allow it to exhaust all the moisture in the air, eliminating condensation on surfaces, especially on the toilet.

Tighten Bolts

If you notice that the toilet is a little loose and it moves in place, then the bolts could be loose. This could also be the reason why your toilet is leaking. On both sides of the toilet, you will notice that two caps cover the bolts of the toilet. Pry these open, and then adjust the nuts using a wrench. Try jiggling one or both of the bolts beneath with your fingers. If you find any loose, tighten it until you feel resistance. Be careful not to tighten it too much if you don’t want to damage the porcelain. But if a bolt is damaged upon close inspection, it will need to be replaced along with the seal.

Replace the Old Wax Seal With a New One

Unbolt the sides to remove the toilet. Once the toilet is removed, it exposes the flange and the wax seal at the bottom of the toilet. With a putty knife or any other similar tool, scrape the old seal off of the flange. Replace the seal with a fresh one, placing it properly, so it’s centered. After this is done, you can put the toilet back in its place.

Install a New Flange

bolt and flange

As mentioned above, a broken flange can be a root cause of leaking too. In this case, installing a new flange would be necessary. For this, you would still need to unbolt the toilet from the ground to access the old flange attached to the floor.

Minor inconveniences like this significantly impact comfort, especially if it’s home—not to mention, they can build up and worsen when left alone for a long time. If you’re not confident to DIY this nor have the right tools, you can also call a professional to perform these changes for your toilet and bathroom.



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