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Why is My Toilet Leaking at the Base?

Toilet Leaking

Have you noticed water pooling around the base of your toilet? If so, you’ll want to make sure that the leak is indeed coming from the base of the toilet. A leak originating from other areas of the toilet requires different repairs. The next step is to stop using your toilet until repairs have been made. Keep in mind that the water leaking at the base of the toilet is unsanitary as it is the water that comes from the bowl. It could turn into a bigger problem since the pooling water can damage your flooring, subfloor, and potentially the ceiling below. So what do you do with a toilet leaking at the base?

Common Causes of Toilet Leaks at the Base and How to Fix Them

So you’ve determined the leak originates from the base of the toilet. You may ask yourself why it’s leaking and what should you do? Often times, a leak at the base of your toilet is not as big a concern as you might think and the solutions can be simple. Let’s explore some common causes of leaks at the base of a toilet and how to fix them.


This is likely the best-case scenario. Condensation occurs in humid environments and can give off the impression of a leak at the base. Wipe the toilet dry, trying flushing again, and wait to see if water pools at the base. It’s a good idea to check for loose valves and hoses around the toilet that could also be the cause.

Loose Tee Bolts

Is your toilet loose? Does it move when you sit on it? The culprit may be loose tee bolts. Every toilet has two bolts on either side of the base that keeps the unit securely in place and ensures a tight seal. Check the tee bolts first and tighten if they are loose. Don’t tighten too hard because you could potentially crack the toilet, leading to an even bigger problem. If you notice the bolts spinning, it may be time to replace the bolts.

Worn Wax Ring

If you’ve checked for condensation and tightened the tee bolts but still see water pooling at the base of the toilet, it’s time to replace the wax ring seal. When the wax seal is broken, there isn’t much you can do besides swapping it out for a new one. The good news is that wax rings are inexpensive. However, you’ll need to remove the toilet to replace it, so it’s not a job for just one person. If you are unsure, we suggest calling in a plumber to professionally install a brand new wax ring seal.

Cracked Toilet

This is the worst-case scenario. Inspect all areas of your toilet with a flashlight to observe any cracks—some might be very small but can develop into something worse. Repairing a cracked toilet is a more involved fix. We recommend a plumber for repairs or potential replacement.

Call Benjamin Franklin for Plumbing Repairs

No matter what time of day, you can feel at ease knowing Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is available to answer the call. Contact us when you notice your toilet leaking at the base. We’ll have the pros out to your house in no time!