If your toilet is leaking from the base, the first thing is to stop using it. Water from the toilet base is directly from the bowl, so it can be dirty, it can also have a slight odor and cause damage to the floor.
Before assuming the leak is from the base of the toilet, you should first check the toilet higher up as water can drip down the sides and pool on the floor, making it look like it is leaking from the base.
And if your base is leaking significantly, it may be worth contacting an emergency Houston plumber to look at your toilet and assess the damage.
There are two possible solutions to the toilet leaking from the base. One is a simple fix that requires you to tighten the base connections, and the other involves moving the toilet and replacing the wax ring. Always start with tightening the base connections.
To repair the leak, you will need to gather a few tools and materials. One of the most useful tools to use is a kit for washers, nuts, and bolts that you can get at your local hardware store. The kit contains the items you will need to fix your toilet. A wax ring may also need to be purchased and is usually not included.
Cleaning cloths will be helpful to soak up any water that has leaked onto the floor. A putty knife will help you to install the toilet parts later as well. Other helpful tools are a wrench and screwdriver. Bathroom cleaner should also be on hand for during the repair. Also recommended is a set of gloves.
You may also find it helpful to have a second person around to help, especially if you must replace the wax ring. Toilets can be deceptively heavy and bulky, so working alone can be tricky, especially for the uninitiated.
One possible reason the toilet is leaking from the base is a loose connection between the tank and toilet. To check the connecting boots, see if they are loose or if water gathers in that region. If needed, use a screwdriver to tighten them. The bolts will be located inside the tank and are screwed downwards to make the seal.
You should then drive the area and wait 15 minutes to see if water gathers. If it does, then replace the bolts and washers using the toilet repair kit.
The water should then be shut off at the valve and the toilet is flushed holding the handle until all water is gone from the tank. Remove the old washers and bolts and install new ones. Screw them in place so the seal is made.
A more advanced fix may be needed to fix the leak in the toilet base. This will require moving the toilet itself.
First, the water should be shut off at the valve and water should be drained completely from the toilet tank. A plunger is then used to force out any water left in the bowl. The bowl should then be dried completely.
The water supply line is then disconnected from the toilet tank by loosening the nut and then sliding it out completely. Using a wrench, you should then loosen the toilet mounting bolts (tee bolts) holding it to the floor. If they are corroded, use a hacksaw to cut them loose.
You will then rock the toilet gently to break the seal, lift if off the flange and move it aside. It is best to have a second person help you with this step to prevent damage to the toilet and yourself.
Then, stuff a rag in the exposed sewer pipe to eliminate gases coming into the bathroom. You can also ventilate the bathroom by opening a window or using a fan to move the air away from the pipe.
Using rubber gloves, run a putty knife to scrape away the old wax ring. Make sure to remove any wax stuck on the horn of the toilet and the flange (the metal ring over the drain) as well. The wax is removed from the grooves and slots in the flange to create a good seal for the new wax ring.
The new wax ring is then installed over the flange and pressed into place. Then, slide the tee bolts into the slots on the flange and remove the rag from the sewer pipe. The rag should then be thrown away.
The toilet is then lifted and lined up with the holes on the base with tee bolts and set in place. Use your body weight to make a watertight seal with the new wax ring.
Then, you should replace the washers and nuts on each side and tighten, alternating sides until all fit securely. Do not overtighten as this may break the porcelain.
Finally, replace the plastic caps over the bolts and reconnect the water supply line by turning the water back on at the valve. You should then wait for the tank to refill and flush it to check for any other places where the toilet is leaking.
The area should then be cleaned thoroughly with a disinfectant. Both the toilet and floor need to be sprayed and wiped dry using paper towels. This will make sure your work is maintained and the toilet is ready for use.
Professional assistance may be needed if the toilet continues to leak from the base. While it is easy for a home handyperson to repair, you may still need the help of a professional.
Contact a local licensed plumber in your area to assist you if the toilet continues to leak or if you are not up for a DIY toilet repair challenge.