What Causes a Toilet to Leak?
Is there water on your floor near the base of your toilet? Do you notice water stains on the ceiling, or do you smell sewer gas? If so, these may be telltale signs of a leaky toilet. Other signs include a small pool of water where the toilet meets the floor, spongy flooring beneath the toilet, and finished flooring that is coming up.
If you see water or damage to the flooring below the toilet, you probably have a bad seal between the toilet horn (the place where the waste exits) and the drain line. Don’t wait any longer!
A small leak can get trapped beneath the toilet, eventually rotting out the floor surfaces, and sometimes the framing underneath. If you wait too long, the repair costs can increase, especially if you end up having to replace the finished flooring, underlayments, subfloors, or framing.
Pulling Up the Toilet
In order to get to the root of the leak, the toilet will have to be pulled up and examined for evidence. If you’re lucky, you might only need to replace what is called the wax ring, and then remount the toilet. If that’s the case, the toilet should be back in running order in under an hour.
It is not uncommon for a new bathroom floor to be laid on top of the old flooring, leaving the toilet flange too low to seal with a wax ring. When the new flooring is an inch or more above the existing flange, doubling up the wax rink is not a workable solution since excess wax can squeeze into the pipe and in effect, restrict the flow.
If your toilet flange is 1/4 inch below the finished floor, you’re probably better off getting plastic toilet flange extenders.
If the cause of your toilet leak is a flange, it can leak and rot out the flooring. If the flange loosens, the leak can worsen. You would have to track down the cause of the leak, repair it, and then create a solid surface that supports the flange. One of the best ways to re-anchor a flange is to use a flange support bracket that can transfer the load beyond the rotted areas of the subfloor.
Looking For a Plumber in Kansas City?
Fixing a leaky toilet can be complicated if you’ve never done it before. If you’d like to ensure that the job is done right, we encourage you to contact A-1 Sewer & Septic Service Inc. to schedule a service call. Not only do we handle plumbing jobs of all sizes, but we also offer same-day service at no extra charge!