What To Do When Your Toilet Is Leaking At The Base?

Of all the plumbing issues it is possible to experience in life, the least enticing is that of a leaking toilet. Although it is a situation many people dread, when the worst happens, and you find your toilet leaking from the bottom, it is prudent to do some quick investigating before taking further action. If the toilet is gushing water at an uncontrollable, damaging rate, your priority should be to turn off the mains water. This is nothing more than a temporary solution, as a functioning toilet is one of life's non-negotiable elements, but it will buy you some time and stop the flooding.

It should be relatively straightforward to ascertain whether you have a blocked toilet as soon as you lift the lid. However, not all leaks will be so simple to identify. The following guide to handling a toilet leaking water at the base contains some great tips and advice for the budding DIY hero, but our advice is to remain calm and call out the experts.

Toilet leaking at base guide

What causes a toilet to leak from the bottom?

Most people can imagine why the toilet bowl might fill up and overflow when clogged, but a toilet leaking at the base is a different proposition entirely. Neither is pleasant to contemplate, but water dripping from the connection between the tank and the bowl is a far more tolerable proposition, as the water will be relatively clean thanks to the efforts of WaterNSW. Some potential causes of a leaking toilet base are as follows:

The connection between the toilet bowl and the tank

Almost all standard toilets have a wide connecting pipe between the water tank and the bowl, allowing the water to flush when the handle is depressed. This joint necessitates an O-ring, usually rubberised or wax, that can perish over time and leak. If this gasket is loose or cracked, water will find its way past and manifest as water leaking from the base of the toilet. This will only happen when the toilet is flushed, and water rushes past, so it should not necessitate turning the water off entirely.

If the O-ring is intact, it may be that the connection is not tight enough or has become loose through thousands of micro-movements over time or even an uncommon occurrence like an earthquake. Carefully but firmly shake the bowl and feel for movement. Either way, this toilet seal leaking is the best-case scenario, and tightening the bolts should be enough to remedy the issue within minutes. Replacing the bolts or the O-ring may also be necessary, but that may require assistance depending on your confidence level and capability to handle the task yourself. If in doubt, call us out.


In humid areas like bathrooms, moisture can condense on the cooler surface on the underside of a toilet bowl or the tank and connecting pipes. This can give the impression of the toilet leaking around the base, although it is merely condensation collecting and moving from the bowl to the floor. Especially prevalent in toilets that share spaces with showers and the steam they give off when the temperature drops, that moisture finds its way onto the outer surfaces of the toilet and, subsequently, the floor.

This is a dream result compared to others mentioned here, so thank your lucky stars, install an extractor fan for the moist air, or keep the temperature up in the room to prevent condensation. Alternatively, you might install a drip tray at the toilet’s base to collect and empty the water regularly.

Other potential causes of a toilet leaking water at the base

If your toilet leaks when flushed at the base, there are some other potential culprits to be aware of, including:

  • Split supply line or loose connection
  • Clogged drain line
  • Cracked toilet bowl

None of these is a disaster in the broader scheme of things, but neither are they something you can ignore, and hope will go away. Call in the professionals as soon as you notice the problem, do not allow it to spread, and create new ones as it does so.

How to fix a leaking toilet base

The straightforward answer to this is don’t. There are some jobs that life is too short to undertake on a DIY basis, and, as far as we're concerned, anything involving a toilet leaking from the bottom when flushed is reasonably high on that list. Luckily, expert, licensed professionals like the ones at Dr Leak Plumbing are more than willing to step in and take the quandary of how to fix a leaking toilet off your shoulders. Pick your battles and leave the unpleasant jobs to those who know how best to handle them.

Dr leak plumbing

From the services of an emergency plumber in Sydney to much-needed toilet repairs in Melbourne, we can handle any task, no matter how large or small. Our commitment to the highest standards in everything we do never wavers, and you can rest assured that when you turn to us, you are in the safest hands in the business. When you use our services, you are guaranteed the following:

  • Fair, transparent prices with no hidden fees
  • Rapid, effective response
  • Free call-outs if booked before 5 pm
  • Lifetime labour warranty
  • Emergency assistance 24/7
  • The undivided attention of trained technicians
  • Booking discounts online
  • 6-month interest-free payment plans

Contact us

Dr Leak’s excellent record and reputation have been meticulously built up by our founder and a hand-picked team of experienced, fully accredited technicians. Their collective dedication to going above and beyond to ensure our clients' satisfaction and perfect results does not go unnoticed; look at our reviews and read our informative blog, and we think you'll understand what we mean.

If you would like to meet the team and discuss your exact plumbing issues, whether you require a plumber in Melbourne or toilet repairs in Sydney, please get in touch with us at your earliest convenience; we will gladly give you all the information, advice, and guidance you need or spring into action if you have a toilet leaking from the bottom.

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