toilet leaking from base after replacing wax ring

How Do You Stop A Toilet Leaking At The Base

A leaking toilet may be a big headache because it makes your bathroom damp, stinky, and unhealthy. Leaking renders your toilet almost useless until you solve the problem, but why is your toilet leaking from the base after replacing the wax ring? 

Your toilet leaking from the base after replacing the wax ring shows the ring isn’t the perfect size, or you did not compress it properly. It’s also crucial not to rule out a fractured toilet bowl. 

Irrespective of the cause of your leaky toilet, you must fix the issue as quickly as possible. If you’ve changed the wax ring, then the next thing is to figure out why your toilet is bleeding. 

This article takes a deep dive into why your toilet is leaking from the base despite replacing the wax ring, how to seal the leaking, and frequently asked questions on the subject. 

Taking A Closer At The Bottom Of Your Toilet

A little background knowledge will assist you in figuring out why your toilet’s foundation is leaking. It’s first and foremost helpful to understand how the components in the base of your toilet interact. 

A toilet flange is a piece that joins the drain pipe and the toilet. Two closet bolts secure the lavatory to the flange, and the wax seal lies between the toilet and the flange. 

The wax ring keeps water from leaking as it flows from your toilet into the drainpipe by forming a barrier between the lavatory and the flooring. It also prevents dangerous sewage vapors from wafting into your house. 

For that reason, when a leak occurs, it is almost always due to a problem with the wax ring. A fault with these pieces might cause leakage around the bottom of the toilet. 

Reasons the Toilet Leaking From Base After Replacing Wax Ring 

If you detect leakage at the bottom of your toilet, you most probably need a replacement wax ring. But what if you’ve already done so?

Several people often assume that the newly inserted wax ring is of inferior quality or that whoever fitted it did a shoddy job. Consequently, before looking into other alternatives, double-check the wax seal. 

Another option, if you didn’t contact a professional, is that the wax ring is the wrong size. 

Check The Wax Ring’s Size

When evaluating the size of your wax ring, consider its thickness and width. 

Gently place the toilet on its side after disconnecting it from the flooring.

Measure the breadth of the “elbow neck.” The hole at the bottom of the toilet determines the wax ring’s width. 

Instead of the conventional wax ring, measure the toilet’s elbow neck. 

After all, it’s probable that the initial wax ring is the incorrect size. 

You do not have to measure anything to ascertain how much thickness you’ll need. All you have to do is check the toilet flange located atop the drain pipe. 

A toilet flange lying below the floor level shows that you need a wax ring with double-thickness. Conversely, a flange resting at the same level as the toilet floor suggests you should employ a wax ring with regular thickness. 

In other words, regular thickness and double-thickness are the only viable alternatives you have. Otherwise, you can explore other options if the wax ring is the proper size and in good condition. 

Read also Extra thick wax ring vs regular

Loose Or Broken Flange Bolts Or Toilet Flange

Check behind a plastic cap near the backside of the toilet’s bottom and examine the bolts linking the toilet and the flange. Many refer to these bolts as closets, T-bolts, and flange. 

A leaking toilet might ensue if the bolts are loose or broken. Failure to secure the toilet firmly to the flange will lessen the pressure applied against the wax seal. 

As a result, water flowing towards the drainpipe might leak through the unsecured wax ring onto the floor. To correct this, remove the plastic top and check the tightness of the bolts. If they are loose, tighten them carefully using a wrench. 

Be careful not to over-tighten to avoid breaking the porcelain. 

If the bolts continue to spin effortlessly, you most likely have broken or stripped bolts that demand replacement. First, ensure that you set and level your toilet properly; then replace the previous plastic covers. 

The toilet flange may be damaged even though the bolts are in perfect shape. Examine the flange for cracks and install it properly if you didn’t do so. 

Read also How to raise toilet flange 2 inches

A Blocked Drain Line

A clogged drain line impedes the flow of water and waste, resulting in increased pressure on the wax ring when flushing the toilet. The wax ring will eventually give in to pressure from the water, causing leaks. 

If you have to plunge your toilet regularly, you may have a blocked drain line. You’ll undoubtedly notice a blockage as soon as you remove the toilet.

Moreover, kids in your house might flush items like toys or socks and thus block the top of the drain. 

If a blockage occurs within the drain lines, contact a local plumber. 

Caulk The Intersection Between The Floor And The Toilet

Seal the joint between the toilet and floor, and leave four inches at the rear of the toilet to detect any leaks that could occur in the future. 

Caulk has several functions, with the most essential of them is keeping the shims in check. It also covers the shims and provides an extra “sealant” to hold your toilet in place. 

However, you might have to redo the exercise the following day, seeing that the caulk shrink after drying. 

Read also White or clear caulk around toilet?

A Cracked Toilet Bowl

A fracture in the toilet bowl might be the reason for your toilet leaking, albeit this is an uncommon occurrence. Ensure you cut off the water supply, empty the bowl, then dry the surface. 

After doing that, you can use a sealant to patch the fracture if you can spot it. If the leak persists, consider replacing the towel bowl. 

FAQs onToilet Leaking From Base After Replacing Wax Ring 

1. Can A Toilet Wax Ring Leak?

Wax rings can occasionally dry up, break, and fail unexpectedly. If that happens, you need to replace them. 

Water leaking from the bottom of the toilet is a clear indicator of wax ring failure. The toilet will become abnormally unsteady if the wax ring loosens. 

2. How Often Do Wax Rings Fail?

You will find a wax seal between the flange and the toilet. It prevents water from seeping through the drains as it flows from your restroom to the drain pipe and keeps your house free from unpleasant sewage gas odors. 

A wax seal can endure 20-30 years without demanding a replacement. 

3. How Do I Know If My Toilet Wax Ring Is Sealed?

Check for water around the bottom of the toilet since it is the first clue for a faulty toilet ring. If there’s water around the area, wipe it using towels, then check after some time. 

Water at the base of the lavatory proves the toilet ring has issues. 

4. How Often Should The Toilet Wax Ring Be Replaced?

Replace your toilet rings after 20-30 years. 

5. Why Does My Toilet Still Leak After Replacing The Wax Ring?

The wax ring encompassing the toilet flange is most probably leaking, causing a little water to infiltrate from beneath the lavatory with each flush. You could attribute this mess to the misalignment of the wax rings. 

The remedy is to reinsert the toilet with a flange extension and a single wax ring.

Read also Toilet with largest trapway

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this post has helped you establish the probable causes of water leaking from the base after replacing the wax ring. Some are loose or broken flange bolts, a clogged drain line, a cracked toilet bowl, and incorrect ring size. 

You can always hire a plumber should you feel incapacitated to remedy the leaking. 

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