How to Stop Leaks From Around the Base of a Toilet

by Cleveland Van Cecil
A toilet leaking at the base may be loose.

A toilet leaking at the base may be loose.

Closet bolts fit into the base of your toilet, fitting it tight against the tiles on the floor. Underneath the toilet base is a wax ring. These two pieces work together in sealing the toilet and prevent leaks from the base. When the unit rocks back and forth because of loose closet bolts, or a worn down wax ring, the toilet may leak dangerous, contaminated water onto the floor of the bathroom and cause damage to the tiles.

Soak up the water at the base of the toilet using a sponge. Check to ensure the water is coming from the base of the toilet, or the water supply line.

Pry off the caps of the closet bolts with a putty knife. Tighten the bolts a 1/4 turn each side until the bolts are tight to the floor. If this doesn't work, you will need to remove the toilet.

Shut off the supply valve connecting the water supply line from the wall to the toilet. Press the handle of the toilet to remove the water from the tank.

Remove the lid from the tank of the toilet. Hold the retaining nut for the water supply line with one wrench and the nut on the valve inside the toilet. Loosen the nut on the water supply line and remove it.

Remove the closet bolts from the base of the toilet.

Rock the toilet back and forth to break the wax seal at the base. Lift the toilet and place it on a towel.

Scrape off the wax ring with a putty knife. Set down a new wax ring on the flange and make sure it is perfectly center. Set the toilet on top of the flange and reinstall all the components. Turn on the water supply and check for leaks.

Items you will need

  • Putty knife
  • Two wrenches
  • Wax seal

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images