There is water seeping from my toilet. Why?


Dec 05, 2017

There is water seeping from my toilet. Why?

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It’s a mystery: how come your bathroom floor is always a little wet? Not sopping wet, not a-pipe-burst-and-somebody-call-the-plumber-right-now wet, but more like a “Hey, the bottom of my sock is damp, and that water better be from the sink” scenario. 
 
You may have water leaking from the bottom of your toilet. A leaky toilet is a fairly common problem, and it’s really more annoying than dangerous — although like all household issues with freestanding water, if it’s not dealt with quickly, you risk bigger problems. 
 
If you live in a Northern Virginia community with a lot of older homes — like Warrenton, for example, where we first started offering our plumbing services last February — or even new builds, you may find that you have a leaky toilet. Either wear and tear over time or a sloppy installation job have conspired to spill a little water into your life.
 
Let’s take a look at what to do when you have water leaking from the bottom of your toilet. You may be able to solve the problem yourself, or you may need a Warrenton plumber to swing by to do the job. Either way, your socks should be drier soon.
 
 
Quick question: Is your toilet sweating?
Wait, what? Yes, your toilet can sweat. Just as a cold glass of water will sweat when it comes into contact with hot, humid air, your toilet can produce condensation under the same conditions. If you and your family love to turn the bathroom into a veritable steam room whenever you take a shower, you may be creating a sauna that’s making your toilet bowl sweat like the old guys at your gym.
 
What can you do? First things first — you may want to back off on the extended shower sessions. Sure, they’re a great way to relax, but all of the heat and steam can cause a lot of problems for your bathroom, and a sweaty toilet is just one. Unless you want to put your Warrenton plumber on speed dial, cool it down a bit.
 
Make sure you’re always using your bathroom fan, too. That fan can help suck out that humid air from your shower. You may even want to crack the door open to allow even more cool air to circulate in, and hot air to drift out. Too much moisture in your bathroom means you won’t just be looking for plumbers in Warrenton but contractors, too, when your floorboards or ceiling starts to rot.
 
 
If your toilet bowl is particularly prone to sweating, you may find a pool of water at the base. Consider installing an anti-sweat valve — a device that adds warm water to the cold water in your bowl to prevent condensation. There are also special trays that can be installed to the base of the toilet to collect the sweat when it does happen.
 
Sweat’s not the problem? Let’s get back to the issue of a leaky toilet, then.
 
Where is the water leaking from the bottom of my toilet?
Once you’ve ruled out a sweaty toilet, your next step is to identify the real source of the leak. Water, as you may have noticed, is clear, which can  it hard to tell exactly where the leak is located. Is water pooling near a very specific spot? Is there a visible gap between the floor and the base of the toilet? If so, go ahead and proceed to the next section.
 
If not, try this leaky toilet trick: add a few drops of dark blue food coloring to the water in the bowl. Wait a few minutes. See any of the blue water leaking from the base of your toilet? You’ve located the leak! Congratulations. Now flush the toilet, because that dyed water could end up staining your toilet bowl.
 
 
Still having trouble? Here are the most common areas that plumbers in Warrenton would check for a toilet leak:
 
  • Under the toilet bowl. If the seal beneath the toilet base fails, it could cause serious water leakage that could eventually rot your floor. Don’t try to DIY repair a broken seal with caulk — the caulk will only trap the water under the floor, ensuring some degree of damage. You’ll want to talk to a Warrenton plumber.
  • All other seals. Your toilet has at least four other seals that could potentially fail and leak. Take a look at the seals between the tank and the bowl; the mounting bolts; the toilet horn; and the base of the ballcock. Not sure where these would be? Contact a Warrenton plumber, or another Northern Virginia plumber near you.
  • Toilet connections. Take a look at the tank bolts, the fill valve/ballcock mounting nut, supply tube coupling nut and shut-off valves. Take note of anything that seems loose. Again, if these terms make you furrow your brow and wonder if we are just making them up, look for plumbers in Warrenton who can help you.
 
How to fix a leaky toilet
You’ve identified where the leak is coming from. Now you need to get that leak fixed. Here’s what you can do:
 
  • Replace your wax ring. The wax ring seals your toilet to the floor and prevents dirty water from seeping out. Over time, it can disintegrate or the t-bolts could become loose — both of which make that wax ring useless. Installing a new wax ring is complicated (it involves lifting the toilet off the floor, which doesn’t seem like a big deal until you’re dealing with things like sewer gas and flanges). If you need to replace your wax seal, it’s best to contact a Warrenton plumber.
  • Tighten the  bolts. A toilet bolt, also known as a t-bolt, is usually covered with a plastic cap. If your toilet is wobbly and you suspect your bolts are loose, simply remove the caps and tighten the bolts. 
  • Seal cracks. A cracked toilet bowl is rare, but it can happen. If you’ve located a crack, you may be able to get away with using a sealant to repair it. Most likely, though, you’ll have to replace the entire toilet, and will probably need to start looking for plumbers in Warrenton.
What if I don’t repair my leaky toilet?
Water damage is what happens, folks. As the water seeps between tiles, day after day, your floorboards will start to warp, feel soft, disfigure and grow mold. 
 
Toilet leaks can also bring cause serious sanitary issues. If the leak is coming directly from the toilet bowl, that water seeping onto your floor is actually sewage. It’s going to smell like sewage and you, your family and your pets are going to be exposed to what is literally raw sewage in your home.
 
Don’t wait until it’s too late! Water damage from a leaky toilet can put you back thousands of dollars, and nothing is more important than your family’s health. If you have water seeping from your toilet, it’s time to contact plumbers in Warrenton.
 
Fix your leaky toilet today.
A little problem can be the sign of a bigger issue — and water seepage is always something that you should have fixed immediately. When you need a Warrenton plumber, call CroppMetcalfe 1-877-740-6657 or schedule service online now.