Few plumbing appliances cause people to panic as fast when they start to malfunction as the bathroom toilet. A leaking toilet, an overflowing toilet, a clogged toilet—these are serious problems you’ll want fixed as soon as you can. Some you might be able to handle on your own, such as using a toilet plunger to clear out a simple clog. Most other toilet repairs will require the assistance of a professional plumber.
Today we’re going to look at a problem that often affects bathroom toilets, which is water that appears to be leaking from around the base.
Please don’t ignore water around the base of the toilet
Although this may not seem as big an issue as a toilet that’s overflowing, trust us that this is a serious problem. If water is escaping from the drain pipe at the base of the toilet, it can contain harmful bacteria. It usually also means water is seeping into the flooring material. It can be difficult to remediate this type of water damage, which will weaken the floor and possibly cause a partial collapse. (This is a far more common event than you might think!)
The possible causes
The most likely culprit for water leaking from the toilet base is a decayed wax ring. When your toilet was installed, a wax ring was used to create a seal around the drain pipe before the toilet was then secured to the floor. The ring creates a watertight seal to stop leaks from spreading. But wax can start to shrivel over age and turn useless.
A new wax ring is an inexpensive purchase. But you should still leave the repair work to professionals, because replacing the ring requires removing the toilet from the floor and later re-securing it. You don’t want any mistakes made that could lead to a loose toilet, more leaks, or accidentally damaging the toilet.
The water around the base of the toilet may not be seeping from underneath it. You might be seeing water coming from small cracks in the porcelain, or escaping from worn gaskets between the tank and the bowl. A plumber can replace the worn gaskets without much difficulty. A cracked bowl, however, often requires replacing the entire toilet. Check with your plumber about your options. (If the toilet is more than 20 years old, we’ll probably recommend a replacement—just based on water savings alone.)
Calling the professionals
Whatever the cause of the toilet leak, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of having a professional plumber on the job right away. This will prevent further water damage—that leak under the base could be doing immense damage. While waiting for the plumber, use paper towels and newspaper to absorb as much of the water from around the base as possible.
We’ll handle all your needs for plumbing in Acton, MA. With more than 30 years of experience, we can ensure any repair job gets done fast and right.
Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC serves the Metro West Area. Let us take care of all your bathroom plumbing repairs and other plumbing needs.