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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Why Is There a Puddle Around My Toilet?

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

Puddle around toilet. Leaking toilet in Ironton, MO.

Why Is There a Puddle Around My Toilet?

Happily, for most homeowners, toilets are one of the most reliable fixtures in the home. Sometimes, these essential items in the home will last upwards of 40 years. During all that time, the humble bowl only requires a little bit of care. Occasionally, however, you may run up against one of these situations:

  • The flush handle becomes loose
  • The toilet becomes clogged
  • The flapper valve wears out or gets damaged
  • Water leaks around the base of the toilet

For most of these situations, the repair is straightforward, but what can you do when faced with a leaking toilet?

Act Quickly

No matter what the cause of a bathroom leak, your best defense against extensive repairs and remodeling is acting quickly to correct the situation.

Leaky Wax Gaskets

A leak at the base of the toilet is usually the result of a worn-out wax seal. Use a towel to mop up the water on the floor and watch for water seeping from under the toilet. If the water comes from a different location, the problem could be a cracked tank, sweaty bowl, leaky shutoff valve, or a loose tube somewhere.

Try Tightening the Bolts

Sometimes, it is possible to apply more pressure on the wax ring by tightening up the bolts that hold the toilet in place. Tighten the bolts alternately, using consistent, gentle pressure. If the leak stops, you probably do not have to take any other steps. If the leaking toilet continues to be a problem, you'll need to replace the wax gasket.


This repair generally involves removing the toilet and, unhooking tubes and hardware, replacing the wax seal, and then putting everything back together.

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