A home toilet has developed a slight leak at the base of the toilet
where it connects to the floor.
This started about a week ago. At night, I've crunched up a fresh
paper-napkin square on the floor alongside the base where the leak is,
and in the morning the napkin is soaked with the water it absorbed.
Oh, if it matters, the leak is on the side of the toilet at the base.
Should I use some kind of caulking around the base? But if it's
more serious, I don't want to maybe have the water leaking through the
floorboards to the ceiling below. Hopefully it's a simple home repair
(and removing the toilet is NOT simple for me), or should I simply call
a plumber? Thanks.
Your wax ring has gone bad and caulking the base will only trap the water
into the floorboards so it leaks to the ceiling below. Sorry. If you can't
lift the toilet and replace the seat, you'll ned to get a handyman. This is
a simple one most handymen can do. True plummer rates not required.
To protect yourself now, yu should turn off the water tot he taiolet and use
a different one (I assume 2 as this one is upstairs).
Agree: Assuming it is a conventional North American style toilet!
1) Leaky wax ring/seal under toilet base. Note 1.
2) Slight (do not overtighten*) hold-down bolts on base (and or
damaged ring that bolts hook into on end of pipe).
3) Condensation on the toilet running down to the base.
4) Slightly loose bolts (do not overtighten*) that hold tank portion
on to base.
5) Deteriorated seal where the water tank fits against the base.
It is typical 'handyman' job. We are not a plumber but have installed
and maintained every toilet we have (and replaced) had since 1958. But
if one does not have the tools and the know-how get someon to
investigate. But make sure you agree wth the diagnosis and the cause.
DO NOT just caulk against the floor
I would agree that the wax ring seal is probably the culprit, but I had my
fill valve develop a crack once where there was a slight leak and after
replacing the wax ring, then replacing the supply line I finally discovered
the crack in the fill valve. Kick-self time!
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
I don't get that. After the toilet is used, a leaky wax ring would
let some water flow out, but after a few hours wouldn't it all have
flowed out, after a few more woudn't everything have dried out. If he
doesn't use the toilet for a couple days, wouldn't it dry out
completely. OTOH, the tank is always full of water and if it's
leaking it could leak forever, getting refilled automatically when it
Afawk, he's only gone overnight without using it. Shouldn't he let it
sit for a few days to see whether it leaks even then, or if it dries
up, like it seems to me it would if the ring were leaking.
I was looking around for something in the crawl space and I was on my
back in a narrow area of the crawl space when my head hit a small puddle
of water on the plastic. It smelled gross. I looked up and realized
that I was directly under the toilet. Oh gross! The toilet must be
I turned off the water supply to the toilet and flushed the toilet to
empty it out and decided to look at it the next day. There was more
water on the floor. I dried up the floor and came back a bit later and
the floor was wet again.
I got out a bright flashlight and found the real cause of the problem.
The shut off valve was slowly leaking. Ironic, isn't it? I turned off
the water supply to the house and replaced the shut off valve. Case closed.
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