If you awoke today to find that there is a puddle of water surrounding the toilet in your bathroom, then you have a plumbing leak that requires immediate attention. Left to leak, even for a little while, water will cause very expensive water damage to the floor and walls of your bathroom.

Follow these steps to find the water leak in your bathroom and fix it:

Step 1: Clean the Area Thoroughly with Bleach and Water

Before you start working on your toilet, you should wash down the area well with a solution of household bleach and warm water. The bleach will kill any harmful bacteria, and having the area newly cleaned will make it easier for you to see the root cause of the leak.

Step 2: Look for Water Dripping or Seeping 

Once the area is clean and dry, sit and watch for water to seep out from under the bottom of the toilet or from anywhere else around the toilet's tank or water supply lines. If you are unable to determine the exact location of the leak because it is too slow, you can place liquid dish soap on the plumbing and around the toilet. As the leak produces water, the soap will bubble. This will show you where the leak is.

To do this, simply squirt a small amount of dish soap onto your finger and rub it anywhere you suspect a leak. Liquid laundry soap will also work if you do not have any liquid dish soap.

Step 3: Fixing Toilet Tank Leaks

If the leak is coming from between the toilet bowl and the toilet tank, then the rubber seal between the two pieces has likely failed. To fix this problem, you need to turn off the water supply lines leading to the toilet. Flush the toilet until all of the water is out of the tank and the bowl. Once all of the water is gone from the toilet, then you can lift off the tank from the bowl and replace the rubber seal.

To replace the rubber seal, pry off the old seal using a screwdriver and replace it by stretching a new seal over the opening. 

Step 4: Fixing Supply Line Leaks

If one of the supply lines or fittings is leaking, then you can purchase a replacement at your local hardware store. To replace the line, you first need to turn off the water for your home. Using two wrenches, remove the old supply line at the fittings and replace it with the new one. Make sure you check for leaks when you turn the water back on. Again, you can add some soap to ensure that nothing is leaking.

Step 5: Fixing a Toilet Drain Seal Leak

Finally, if the wax seal under your toilet is the cause of the water puddle, then you will need to remove the toilet and replace the seal. To remove the toilet, you need to turn off the water supply and drain the toilet as instructed above. Once the water is gone, then lift off the toilet tank. Unbolt the toilet bowl from the floor and lift it out to replace the wax ring.

For more information or assistance, contact a local plumber like Eddie B Plumbing.