Most toilets will malfunction after a certain period of time. Wobbly and leaky toilets are one of the most frequent and most annoying issues. If a toilet starts leaking, not only will it ruin overall performance, but it will also make your bathroom unpleasant to use. In today’s guide we will go through five simple steps to fix a wobbly toilet.
Fixing a Wobbly Toilet – Identify the Issue
First, before you even start thinking about repairing a wobbling toilet, you need to figure out what’s causing the toilet to leak. It could be that the bowl itself has loosened. Once it is not firm on the floor, it will most likely start wobbling. To figure out whether a loose bowl is the issue with your toilet, try to move the bowl from side to side. If it moves, your bowl is loose.
First, check if the bolts need tightening. The bolts located at the base of the toilet may need tightening. Use a small wrench and give it a few turns.
However, many other factors can cause a wobbly toilet. For example, a wobbling toilet and leaks can be caused by a damaged wax ring. If the wax ring is in great condition, it will most likely be able to prevent any type of leakage. Still, if you can see a noticeable leakage underneath the bowl, it could be an indication of a faulty wax ring.
Another potential cause is an uneven floor level in your bathroom. If the floor is uneven, water will start leaking from the opening between the bowl and the floor surface.
Tools Needed for Repair
In order to successfully fix a wobbling toilet, you will need certain tools. Therefore, make sure you gather the following items before you start off the repair process:
- Small wrench
- Putty knife
- Spirit level
- Bolt caps
- Vacuum cleaner
We listed five steps to help you fix a wobbly toilet.
1. Empty the Water
Firstly, you’ll want to stop the flow of water and pour out all the water before you remove the toilet. Shut off the valve controlling the water supply. After that, hold down the toilet tank lever and wait until all the water flows out. You’ll want to empty out the toilet bowl as well to avoid spilling any water. Now, grab the wrench and disconnect the pipe from the toilet.
2. Remove the Toilet
In order to lift the toilet you need to remove the removable caps on the base. After that, remove the hex nuts using a small wrench, making sure to store them in a safe place. Remember, there will most likely be dirt on the bottom of the toilet and it could stain the floor. Laying down cardboard or an old newspaper on your floor can really come in handy in this situation. Carefully put the toilet on the cardboard or the newspaper and wash your hands.
3. Fix the Closet Flange
Fixing the flange shouldn’t be too complicated, but there are a couple different approaches to consider. You can either replace the flange completely or add a repair plate. If the damage is minimal it can be sufficient to simply add a repair plate. If you follow this approach, sometimes the plate might not fit in place properly. In this scenario, you can use a chisel to fix the issue. Place it right underneath the old groove and then thread down the bolt. If you’re facing a lot of damage, you’ll want to replace the flange completely instead of using a repair plate.
4. Changing Flange
Before you even start removing the old flange, remember that you need to be extremely careful not to damage or break the drainpipes. Therefore, if you don’t feel like you can handle this task all by yourself, we highly recommend calling a professional plumber. If you do decide to take on this project on your own, you can follow these next steps.
Before you pull out the closet flange with a pry bar, use a chisel to cut it away. Now, make sure all the new materials you bought are by your side. Fit in the flange on the end of the iron. If it doesn’t meet the floor properly, use a chisel to cut more floor tiles away. Bring out the rubber gasket and place it inside the flange and put the brass ring inside the rubber gasket. Start pressing down gently with your hand until the ring is even. Finally, insert the bolts in their places and firmly secure them using a spanner.
5. Reinstall the Toilet
Finally, it is time to put the toilet back in its place. Before reinstalling the toilet, you should put in a new wax ring. A new wax ring prevents dirt or water from leaking and seals off the hole more efficiently. Place the toilet back in its position and make sure the bolts go right through the holes. Tighten the nut carefully using a wrench or a spanner and cover the bolts with their caps.
As you can see, it can be quite simple to fix a wobbly toilet when you have the right instructions and the necessary tools. Still, if you are not sure you can do all this on your own, hiring a licensed plumber is your best bet. On the other hand, if you think you can fix the wobbling toilet on your own, get the tools from the list and carefully go through the instructions step by step. Depending on the cause of the wobbly toilet, you should have it stable and repaired in no time following these simple steps.