Skip navigation

Estimates are free!

24 hour Emergency Service


Northwest Vermont & Northeast New York


A Toilet Leaking Around the Base Is Trouble

toilet-with-button-flushLeaks of any kind in your home are a problem, and most will need to be addressed with the help of skilled plumbers. The most troublesome leaks are the sort that escape notice because they’re coming from pipes hidden in walls, floors, or in the foundation. If there’s a leak you can see, you can move fast to have it repaired. For example, water on the bathroom floor that shouldn’t be there? You’ll probably need a plumber.

A common source of bathroom plumbing leaks is around the base of the toilet. This is a major problem for two reasons:

  • It can create unsanitary conditions, allowing harmful bacteria into your living space.
  • It can cause extensive damage to the floor, the subfloor, the ceiling (if it’s a second-story bathroom) and other building material. The most extreme case—the toilet collapses through the floor!

You can call us for plumbing in Montpelier, VT to discover what’s wrong with the bathroom toilet and fix it fast.

The Decayed Wax Ring

This is often the cause of a leaking toilet. Under the base of the toilet is a wax ring to seal the toilet’s drainpipe. The wax ring can decay over time, and when this seal is gone it can allow water to escape.

Although you can purchase a new wax ring from a home improvement store for a small price, we don’t recommend attempting to uproot your toilet to replace the ring. This is a big job, and moving around a heavy object like a toilet that’s usually secured to the floor is a risk. You may end up with bigger leaks than before. Let our plumbers see this work is done correctly and expediently. We’ve handled this job many times before!

Cracks in the Bowl or Tank

The leak around the base may be coming from a bit higher up: cracks in the bowl or the tank. See if you can find hairline cracks anywhere. Unfortunately, in most cases of cracked porcelain that is allowing water to escape, the toilet bowl or tank must be replaced. (Surface cracks can often be sealed and spackled over so they don’t worsen.)

Other Possibilities

Although wax rings and cracks are the most common causes of water pooling around the toilet base, there are other potential causes. There might be a leak in the feedline bringing fresh water to the toilet. It may be condensation on the bowl, or worn out washer in the tank causing its water to flow down to the floor.

No matter what the issue is, you can take steps to help before the plumber arrives. Soak up as much of the water as you can with a large amount of paper towels or newspapers. (Don’t use actual towels since you don’t want bacteria or other waste getting into them.) Shut off the feed line to the tank to prevent more water from entering it. You’ll be ready when the plumbers arrive to diagnose the problem and repair it.

Red Rock Mechanical, LLC serves Northwest Vermont and Northeast New York. Take care of any bathroom plumbing needs with a call to us.

Comments are closed.