An Amateur's Guide To Fixing A Leaking Toilet Flange

Posted on: 4 November 2015


When toilet flanges develop leaks, the consequences can be both costly and time-consuming to fix, especially if the problem is allowed to flourish too long. The good news is that you may be capable of handling this problem on their own. If you would like to increase your home plumbing skills, read on. This article will explain how to fix a leaky toilet flange.  

Understand the flange.

The toilet flange is located on the bottom side of the throne, meaning that you cannot directly see it when the toilet is put together. It provides a point of connection between the outgoing waste pipe and your toilet. The flange assembly also includes a special wax ring, which helps to promote a tight, leak-proof seal between the pipe and the toilet. Over time, however, this seal will naturally break down--eventually resulting in a leak.

Know what to look for.

A leaky flange most commonly manifests as a pool of water seeping out around the base of the throne. You may notice that more water comes out each time the toilet is flushed. Even if you cannot see any standing water, you may observe that the floor around the toilet has become loose and/or damaged. These can both be considered clear-cut signs of a flange leak.

Stains on the ceiling below your bathroom may also indicate a leaky flange. But before you make that assumption, it's good to perform a simple test. Set up a ladder and measure the distance between the ceiling stain and the nearest wall. Compare this number to the distance between the toilet and the wall upstairs. If the two figures are the same, chances are you're looking at water damage from leaking flange.

Replace the flange and wax ring.

Once you've identified that you're dealing with a leaking flange, the next step is to remove the toilet. Those who don't feel comfortable taking this task on themselves should contact a plumber instead. The fact that you have already identified the problem will save you the extra cost of having a professional make the same diagnosis.

Those who feel up to tackling this task themselves will need to know what to look for once the toilet is removed. Begin by making a close inspection of the flange. Pay attention for any cracks. However short or thin they may be, these will require the flange to be replaced.

Also, take note of where the flange is seated relative to the floor around it. If the flange is lower than the floor, it must be raised up so that the two are at an equal height. You can do this through the purchase of a plastic flange riser. Once you've ensured that the flange is crack-free and where it should be, all that's left is to put on a new wax ring and attach the toilet again. For further assistance, contact professional plumbers, such as those from