Why is my Toilet Leaking at the Base?


If your toilet is leaking at the base, it’s important to figure out why. Not only does a leaking toilet cause an inconvenience by getting water all over your bathroom floor, it can also cause your water bill to skyrocket.  A leaking toilet can actually waste 200 gallons of water per day, on average.

There are a few potential causes of a leaking toilet, and some of them may be more serious than others. In some cases, a leaking toilet can be fixed relatively easily. However, in other cases, you may need to call a plumber to take care of the issue.

Damaged Wax Ring

One of the most common causes of a leaking toilet is a loose or damaged wax ring. The wax ring is responsible for creating a seal between the toilet and the sewer line, and is located underneath the toilet. If this seal is breached, sewage can start to leak out, which can be both unsanitary and smelly. In most cases, you’ll need to replace the wax ring in order to fix the problem.

If you’re not sure whether or not your toilet has a problem with its wax ring, there are a few ways to tell. First, take a look at the area around the base of your toilet. If you see any sewage or water leaking out, it’s a good indication that the wax ring needs to be replaced. Another way to tell is if you see any gaps between the toilet and the floor. If there are gaps, it means that the wax ring has likely shifted and is no longer creating a tight seal.

If you suspect that your toilet leaking is due to a damaged wax ring, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem. First, you’ll need to remove the toilet from its position. Once the toilet is removed, you should be able to see the wax ring. If it’s damaged, you’ll need to replace it with a new one. You can purchase a wax ring at most hardware stores. Once you have a new wax ring, simply put the toilet back in place and secure it with bolts.

However, fixing a wax ring can be a pretty confusing task if you are not a trained professional.  Moving your toilet allows a lot of room for error, and you don’t want to accidentally cause more harm than good.

Leaking Pipes

main drain signs

Another common reason for your toilet to leak at the base has to do with the pipes of the toilet itself.  One of the ways that you can tell if it is a problem with the pipes is that you do not even need to flush the toilet for it to start leaking at the base.  Wipe up the water around the toilet so that you can see almost exactly where the leak is coming from.

If a pipe is leaking in your toilet, it will need to be replaced or sealed.  There are a few different ways that you can do this, including using plumber’s tape or epoxy putty.  However, if you are not comfortable with trying to fix a leaking pipe on your own, you are welcome to call a local plumber to come and fix the issue for you.  Here at White’s Plumbing, our expert plumbers are able to get your leaking pipes replaced or sealed in no time.

Loose Bolts

There are bolts that hold your toilet tightly against the floor.  These are known as tee bolts, and your toilet should have two of them.  When the tee bolts are not tight enough, the seal between the toilet and the floor is no longer helpful.  It will be easy for water to leak out from under the toilet; even the wax ring won’t be able to prevent all of the water from leaking.  One way that you can tell the toilet is not properly bolted to the floor is if your toilet rocks a bit.  The other is if the toilet leaks when you flush it.

If you have loose tee bolts on your toilet, you can tighten them.  Once they are tightened, try flushing your toilet again.  If there is no more leakage at the base of your toilet, you have likely fixed the problem.


Bathrooms can be an especially humid room in your home, especially if you live in a humid area.  This moist air in your bathroom can actually cause condensation on the outside of your toilet.  The way your toilet is shaped allows this condensation to roll down the side of the bowl or tank and eventually land on the floor.  When the water collects on the floor next to your toilet, it may look like the toilet is leaking from the base.

This is not the case at all with condensation.  Although the toilet is not leaking, it is still important to get to the root of the problem.  If you do not fix the condensation problem, you may end up with more issues than just water near your toilet.  One of the biggest concerns for high humidity in your bathroom is mold.  When you have prolonged exposure to mold it can cause several health problems.  These include coughing, wheezing, irritated skin, and can also worsen asthma.  On top of this, the condensation and mold can ruin any wood or carpeting, as well as potentially get into your HVAC system.

If you’re looking to reduce the humidity and condensation in your bathroom, there are a few ways to do this.  First, look into adding extra ventilation and exhaust fans, or even just opening your windows.  This will allow your home to circulate the air better and lower the humidity in the room.  If you have the space in your bathroom, you can also put a dehumidifier in there.  These are a few of the best ways to prevent high humidity levels in your bathroom.

Loose Water Supply Line

The water supply line for your toilet is located near the base of the toilet.  It is a small hose that comes out of your wall and attaches to the toilet itself.  Like any product that is used often, the water supply line can gradually wear down as time goes on.  As this happens, it may begin to leak.  If this leak isn’t coming directly from the line itself, it will likely originate from the spots where the hose connects to the toilet or water line.

To fix the water supply hose, try tightening the connections where it connects to the toilet and to the supply line.  Then, see if the leak stops.  If it doesn’t stop, however, you will need to replace the hose itself.  Don’t try to replace this yourself; it’s best to call a professional plumber.

When to Call a Professional

If your toilet is leaking and you’re not sure why, it’s best to call a plumber. A certified plumber will be able to diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs. In some cases, a leaking toilet can be indicative of a more serious issue, such as a cracked sewer line. By calling a plumber, you can rest assured that the problem will be fixed correctly the first time.  This eliminates the need to guess what is wrong with your leaking toilet, as well as the opportunity to accidentally make the problem worse by doing it yourself.

Contact White’s Plumbing

Are you having an issue with a toilet leaking at the base near Youngsville, North Carolina?  If so, contact us here at White’s Plumbing, LLC!  Whether it’s a bad wax ring, a leaking pipe, or something else, our trained plumbing experts are prepared to have your toilet working like new in no time.  If you have a plumbing emergency, you can call our emergency line as well.  Contact us by using the form on this page or by giving us a call at your convenience.  We will have your toilet working like new in no time.

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