The older rental home where an elder relative lives has a slight leak where the toilet attaches to the floor. Nothing else on the toilet appears to be leaking so is this probably an old floor "seal" / wax ring? (Ground floor with a crawl space under the house.)

She frequently cleans three sections of dark coloring (feces?) around the base but they gradually return. We're positive it's leaking from the bowl because those spots around the base of the toilet changed to blue/dark after she started using blue drop-in tablets (non-bleach). The spots are slowly getting bigger.

Getting the landlord to fix this is possible but problematic and his (cheap) handyman always makes a mess & takes twice too long. She wants to avoid dealing with them.

So ... is there any way that I could safely seal the toilet to stop the leak? Silicone or something similar? Or would that just be hiding possible damage under the toilet and the landlord needs to be notified?

  • 3
    You need to replace the wax seal. trying to seal around the base of the toilet will just hold the water in and rot the sub-floor even faster than it's already rotting (and it is already rotting). I bought a cottage a few years ago which had an un-fixed issue like that and the only reason the toilet hadn't fallen through the rotted floor was the decades-old cast-iron waste pipe it was resting on.
    – brhans
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 17:46
  • @brhans An important reason to keep using cast iron pipe! Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 18:16
  • You will likely need to replace the seal, but the underlying cause may be more than that. There is a mounting flange, and people sometimes do strange things as workarounds when they run into plumbing installation problems. When you remove the toilet and old seal, inspect what the toilet is attaching to. Make sure nothing is broken, and everything is stable and properly fastened.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 19:11

1 Answer 1


Remove the toilet . Remove the wax ring and replace it with a new one - the toilet should rest on the seal / floor - there are also some non wax ring seals available as well - they are typically used for fixing a broken or cracked toilet drain pipe.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.