After being flushed, the toilet leaks from the bottom as the tank tries to refill the bowl.  Anyone have any idea why this is happening every time? Can I fix this myself? I want to avoid having to hire someone unless its completely necessary. Help pls

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    New wax ring time, you want to wear gloves and a putty knife to remove the old wax seal, that way is nasty and sticky can be tossed and not on your hands. doing this yourself will save ~100$ or more and cost maybe 3$ if you get a fancy urethane core wax seal (they flex more) or 1$ for a straight up wax seal. Don’t forget to turn the water off flush and get all the water you can out of the bowl (I use a shop vac)then pull the bolts and lift off / lay down and clean the wax off the bowl and flange, put the new seal on the bottom of the toilet lift up place on flange and reassemble bolts/ water
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 17:46

2 Answers 2


This sounds like the gasket between the tank and the toilet. When you flush, you open a flapper assembly in the tank to allow water to flow into the bowl. This drops the water level in the tank, which moves the ballcock float down, allowing the fill valve to open. There's usually a small hose (like a flexible straw) that goes from the fill valve to your drain assembly that releases some water into the bowl as well to bring it up to level.

A leak between the tank and bowl would run down the side of the bowl and to the bottom (where it's more noticeable). This would explain a leak that only happens during a bowl filling.

There's a couple of ways to play this. Both involve removing the tank from the bowl (and the fill line as well)

  1. Replace the flapper assembly. This isn't expensive or hard. There's a retention ring underneath the tank that allows the assembly to be removed. A fresh gasket should do the trick and this isn't a lot of money. If your flapper is old, replacing it early won't hurt.
  2. Lube the gasket. They can and do sometimes become dry and/or shrink a bit. You can buy PTFE pipe sealant dope fairly easily (they sell small "weekend warrior"-sized tubes of it). You'll still need to pull the flapper assembly off, but you'll add a ring of sealant around the bottom of the tank and the top of the bowl so it engages the gasket. Then tighten the ring down and re-mount the tank.

Toilets use a wax ring for sealing the toilet to the drain pipe.

Usually a simple repair, shut off the water, flush and drain/wipe water from the bowl, and undo the two/four bolts/nuts holding the toilet to the floor.

Remove the toilet and replace the wax ring.

Check for it leaking anywhere else, tank joint, pipe connection, or cracks in bowl or tank(this is toilet replacement problem).

Most leaks from other places, fill line, gasket joint between toilet and tank, should run along the outside of the bowl.

Make sure the outside of the bowl tank is dry, flush and with a dry hand or paper towel check all around the toilet bowl, especially the back hard to reach places. Should locate where the leak is coming from, a joint gasket or worst case a crack. If bowl stays dry,then the wax gasket needs to be checked and replaced. Wax gaskets are one use only.

  • This was my first thought. +1 Machavity's suggestions are easier, even though a new wax ring is definitely cheaper, and wouldn't hurt even if they don't solve the problem.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 17:42
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    Usually a dry hand/paper towel should tell if an upper leak is happening. They usually run down the outside of the bowl. Behind everything.
    – crip659
    Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 17:48
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    Might want to throw the testing suggestion into the answer to make it more obvious.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 17:51
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    You can roll strings from a length of toilet paper and tie them below the suspected leak locations, makes it easier to narrow down.
    – MiG
    Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 20:04
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    But then you don't find the icky with your hand. That is half the fun.
    – crip659
    Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 20:09

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