How to fix a leaking toilet base?

Nina Smith

Nina Smith

Nina is a writer with more than 5 years of experience. She is experienced in such topics as home warranty and home maintenance. She enjoys giving a piece of helpful advice, so don't hesitate to ask her in the comments.

leaking toilet base

A leaking toilet is unhygienic, smelly, and extremely harmful for both the health of your family members and the structural strength of your house. Usually, a toilet leaking at the base can be fixed at home without hiring a professional technician. For this purpose, you know the reasons that cause the toilet base to leak and the tools required to correct the issue. In this article, we will discuss how toilet leaking seal can be fixed at home, including:

  • Reasons Why Toilet Base Leaking Occurs
  • What Tools Are Required to Fix a Toilet Leaking Seal at Home?
  • Steps to Fix Toilet Base Leaking
  • Tips to Prevent Toilet Leaking at the Base

Reasons Why Toilet Base Leaking Occurs

There are four main reasons that may cause your toilet leaking at the base:

  • The tee bolts at the base of your toilet hold it close to the ground. Loosened tee bolts cause the toilet to move from its place. This movement can damage the wax ring seal that holds the water inside the toilet. As such, water will leak out every time you flush the toilet. Thus, tightening the tee bolts can be an effective remedy for leaking toilet base.
  • A loose toilet base may indicate a damaged wax ring. Wax rings are usually susceptible to damage, wear and tear, and depletion. As such, regular use over the years can cause lasting damage to the wax ring, requiring a replacement to stop the leakage.
  • If your water supply line is loose, the toilet will leak water from the base continuously. It is important to check if the supply line is properly connected to the tank. Otherwise, the nuts and rubber seal may require tightening.
  • Water condensation on the toilet may also cause a leak from the base.

What Tools Are Required to Fix a Toilet Leaking Seal at Home?

The following tools are a must requirement if you wish to DIY correct toilet base leaking at home:

  • A wrench will help you tighten the bolts and nuts near the base of your toilet seat. Use an open-ended wrench to speed up the work and cause minimal damage to the nuts and bolts.
  • Some toilets have screws installed to keep them in place. Check the types of screws that are present to get the right set of screwdrivers for the job.
  • You will require a bathroom cleaner before performing the job. Otherwise, your health can be at stake.
  • A soft cleaning cloth such as a microfiber towel is required during the fixing.
  • Buy Toilet Wax Ring, putty knife, gaskets, washers, and toilet bolts as well. You can find these in any formal toilet repair kit available in the market.
  • A cordless drill or driver can help you to remove the bolts and nuts easily and quickly.
  • In some cases, bolts and nuts may have corroded due to wear and tear. In such cases, you may need to use a hacksaw to remove such bolts. The hacksaw helps to cut through the bolts completely.
  • Use rubber gloves to protect your hands.
  • Caulking the edges is important to fix the toilet leaking seal.

Steps to Fix Toilet Base Leaking

First, check for condensation around the toilet base. If the issue is due to condensation, install a tray to collect the condensed water. Similarly, insulating the water tank and maintaining the flapper can correct the issue.

Then, remove the plastic covers from the toilet base and tighten the tee bolts connecting the toilet to the group. Ensure that your wax ring is fully compressed. In some cases, the tee bolts have been damaged and cannot be tightened. Use a hacksaw to remove these bolts and install new ones as a replacement.

Furthermore, you may have to remove the toilet completely. In such cases, shut off the water supply and flush your toilet. Then, use a cloth to remove the excess water at the bottom. Once the water is removed, remove all the bolts and screws and lift the toilet. Put it safely on one side to avoid any damage. Finally, remove the damaged wax ring and install a new one in its place. Make sure you position the new wax ring properly. Otherwise, it will not hold the water inside. 

Once you have completed all these steps, reinstall the toilet and connect the waterline. Make sure the wax ring has completely sealed the base before flushing.

Tips to Prevent Toilet Leaking at the Base

Avoid using chemical drain cleaners because they can damage the wax rings. These cleaners can also damage the bolts and loosen them. Similarly, schedule regular toilet inspection at six-month intervals to change the wax ring if you suspect any damage. Avoid flushing your toilet if the wax ring is even slightly damaged. Otherwise, toilet base leaking may occur immediately. Don’t wait for external help if you spot an issue. Try fixing it immediately. Also, if the issue is not fixable at home, hire a plumber as soon as possible.


Fixing your toilet base leak at home is easy following the simple steps mentioned in the article. Let us know in the comments section if these steps helped you fix the problem.

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