My Toilet Leaks At The Base When My Tub Is Draining (Causes And Fixes)

Toilet leaks are a common problem in every household, and there are several reasons why they occur in the first place. Many people have experienced toilet leaks at the base at the same time when their tub is draining. Some toilet leaks require a quick fix, but you need to know what caused them in order to know how to proceed. 

The most common cause for toilet leaks at the base when the tub is draining is a clog in the sewer pipes. Clogs prevent water from going down the drain, and the end result is a leaking toilet base. However, toilet leaks at the base can also be caused by worn-out wax rings beneath the toilet or a loose connection between the toilet and the floor. 

This article is focused on the causes of toilet leaks at the base when the tub is draining along with some repairs that you can do by yourself. Therefore, you do not have to panic if you notice that your toilet is leaking at the base because we have provided solutions for you. Keep reading to find out what you can do to stop the toilet leaks!

Why Is My Toilet Leaking At The Base When My Tub Is Draining? 

Usually, when your toilet leaks, you expect to notice the issue when you are using the toilet, not the tub. However, since the sewer system is all connected to your bathroom, it is quite normal to expect that one element in your bathroom is causing another one to malfunction. A toilet leaking at the base while the tub is draining is a pretty common problem, and there are several reasons why this happens. 

Cause for a leaking toilet base How to fix it
Clogged sewer pipes Unclog the pipes using an electric drain snake or a plunger
Worn-out wax rings Replace the wax rings 
Loose tee bolts Tight the tee bolts using a wrench 
clogged sewer pipe
Image from Nathan Gebben

Clogged Sewer Pipes 

A clog in the sewer pipes is one of the most common issues that cause toilet leaks at the base when the tub is draining. When the pipes are clogged, water and waste cannot go down the drains and that puts pressure on the wax rings that keep the toilet fixated on the bathroom floor. An additional sign of clogged sewer pipes may be water refusing to go down the drain from the toilet bowl. 

If you notice these two signs, you can be sure that your sewer system has a clog somewhere along the pipes. There are several ways in which you can resolve this issue: 

  1. Use an electric drain snake, which can easily catch and unclog blockages that are further in the pipes. 
  2. Use a plunger, which can be helpful if the clog is not very far in the pipes. 
  3. Call a professional plumber, if you cannot unclog your sewer pipes or you do not have the necessary tools. 
worn-out wax ring

Worn-out Wax Rings 

Wax rings are found beneath the toilet, and their role is to seal the connection between the toilet and the drain line on the floor. Wax rings are ideal for this task because the wax is resistant to corrosion and is easily molded to the toilet. However, wax rings get worn out over time, so they break the seal of the toilet-floor connection resulting in toilet leaks. 

When wax rings are no longer useful, you will need to replace them. You can do this by yourself, but you need to consider that this is a big job, so calling a professional plumber might be more convenient. However, if you decide to do this on your own, consider the following steps: 

  1. Remove the toilet from the floor. 
  2. Pull out the worn-out wax ring. 
  3. Place a new wax ring in the same place. 
  4. Reinstall the toilet and ensure a tight seal. 
loose tee bolt

Loose Tee Bolts 

The bolts are the things that keep the toilet firm on the floor. However, if they loosen up, they let the water come out from the base. You can see whether this is the problem by checking if the toilet wobbles slightly. 

However, if the tee bolts are the cause of your toilet leaks, you should relax because the fix is pretty easy. You just need a crescent wrench, a socket, or pliers. To tighten the tee bolts, you should follow the next steps: 

  1. Remove the plastic caps that are found on each side of the bottom of your toilet.
  2. Using a tightening tool, turn the bolts clockwise. Usually, the crescent wrench works the best for this type of task. 
  3. Make sure that the toilet is firm and solid on the floor.
  4. Test the toilet by flushing it several times to see whether the leaks will disappear. 

What To Do When You Notice Toilet Leaks At The Base? 

You need to take several precautions when you notice that your toilet is leaking from the base. If appropriate measures are not taken, you might cause a bigger problem in your bathroom. Therefore, make sure that you consider the following notions:

  • Do not use any appliances in the bathroom, such as a sink, toilet, shower, or bathtub.
  • Do not flush the toilet. 
  • Put on protective gear, such as gloves, goggles, and a face mask before starting to repair the issue. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

toilet overflows
Image from AJD Blockages

Why Does My Toilet Overflow While Taking A Shower? 

If your toilet starts overflowing at the same time when you are taking a shower that means that you have a clog in the sewer drains. This happens because the waste water does not have anywhere to go due to the clog. You can resolve this by removing the clog from the pipes. 

Are The Bathtub And Toilet Toilet Drains Connected? 

Today, almost all households have separate drains for the bathtub and the toilet. However, these drains connect somewhere in the sewer system, so when there is a clog, you might see a reaction in both places, i.e. overflowing. 

How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Toilet That Leaks At The Base? 

Generally, the repairs for a base leaking toilet cost around $150. Nonetheless, the costs depend on the person or company that you hire, and the time they spend repairing your toilet. If there is greater damage in question, the costs can raise up to $500. 

Final Thoughts 

Now you are aware of what might cause your toilet to leak at the base along with the possible fixes. So, before calling a plumber, make sure that you inspect the toilet, and see whether you can repair something by yourself. Our article will help you go through this, and you might end up saving some money. 

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