How to Fix a Wobbly Toilet and Prevent It from Happening Again
If you’ve ever sat down on a wobbly toilet seat, you know how unsettling the experience can be. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can also be dangerous.
A wobbly toilet can eventually cause water damage or even leak sewage into your home. Fortunately, fixing a wobbly toilet is a straightforward process that most homeowners can handle with the right tools and knowledge.
In this article, we’ll go over the steps to fix a wobbly toilet and prevent it from happening again.
Causes of a Wobbly Toilet
There are several reasons why a toilet may become wobbly. The most common reason is loose bolts that hold the toilet to the floor. Over time, these bolts can become loose due to use and vibration. Another reason is a worn-out wax ring that seals the toilet to the waste pipe. When the wax ring is worn out, it can cause the toilet to become unsteady. Other reasons for a wobbly toilet include a broken flange, an uneven floor, or improper installation.
Before you begin fixing a wobbly toilet, you will need the following tools:
- Adjustable wrench
- Putty knife
- New wax ring
- Toilet bolts and nuts (if necessary)
Before you start fixing a wobbly toilet, you’ll need to prepare the area. First, turn off the water supply to the toilet. The valve is usually located on the wall behind the toilet. Next, flush the toilet to empty the tank and bowl. Use a plunger to remove any excess water in the bowl. Finally, use a putty knife to scrape away any old wax from around the base of the toilet.
How to Fix a Wobbly Toilet
Tightening the Bolts
The first step in fixing a wobbly toilet is to check the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor. Use an adjustable wrench to tighten the bolts evenly, being careful not to overtighten and crack the base of the toilet.
Replacing the Wax Ring
If tightening the bolts doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to replace the wax ring. Use a putty knife to scrape away the old wax ring from the base of the toilet and the flange on the floor. Then, place a new wax ring over the flange with the tapered end facing the toilet. Lower the toilet onto the wax ring and press down firmly to create a good seal.
Adjusting the Flange Height
If the flange is too low or too high, it can cause the toilet to become wobbly. Use a level to check the height of the flange. If it’s too low, you can use a flange extender to raise it. If it’s too high, you may need to remove the flange and lower it to the correct height.
Shimming the Toilet
If none of the above methods work, you can use shims to stabilize the toilet. First, place shims under the base of the toilet until it is level.
Preventing a Wobbly Toilet
Preventing a wobbly toilet is important to avoid the inconvenience and potential hazards it can cause. Here are some tips to prevent a wobbly toilet from happening:
Performing regular maintenance on your toilet can help prevent it from becoming wobbly. This includes checking and tightening the bolts periodically, replacing the wax ring when necessary, and inspecting the flange for any damage.
Proper installation is crucial to avoid a wobbly toilet. Make sure the toilet is installed on a level surface and the bolts are tightened evenly. If you’re unsure how to install a toilet, it’s best to hire a professional.
Use of Toilet Mats
Toilet mats can provide added stability and prevent the toilet from shifting or sliding on a slick floor. Choose a non-slip mat that’s the right size for your toilet and make sure it’s secured in place.
Fixing a wobbly toilet is a relatively easy task that most homeowners can do themselves with the right tools and knowledge. However, preventing it from happening in the first place is even more important. By performing regular maintenance, ensuring proper installation, and using toilet mats, you can avoid the inconvenience and potential hazards of a wobbly toilet.
- How often should I check the bolts on my toilet?
- It’s recommended to check the bolts on your toilet every six months to ensure they’re tight and secure.
- Can I use any type of wax ring to replace a worn-out one?
- No, it’s important to use a wax ring specifically designed for toilets to ensure a proper seal.
- Do I need to hire a professional to install a toilet?
- While it’s possible to install a toilet yourself, it’s recommended to hire a professional to ensure it’s done correctly and safely.
- Can a wobbly toilet cause water damage?
- Yes, a wobbly toilet can eventually cause water damage to the floor and subfloor, as well as leak sewage into your home.
- Can toilet mats damage the floor?
- No, as long as they’re used properly, toilet mats shouldn’t damage the floor. Make sure the mat is the right size for your toilet and is secured in place to prevent slipping.