Finding urine around the base of your toilet is not only unpleasant, but it leaves you scratching your head! The only place you want to find urine is inside the toilet.
When it leaks to the base of the toilet it creates a mess and can be embarrassing if you’re hosting guests. Read on to find out why this is happening and what you can do about it.
Urine around base of toilet can happen from a worn-out rubber seal or an old wax ring. Both parts can be easily replaced. It may also be due to loose T bolts. Or, a collection of urine from the backsplash after bad aim by users during urination.
Assess the Situation
First, you have to determine when it is that you notice urine at the base of the toilet. Try to figure out if the urine is present after you flush. Or, perhaps, you notice that it comes after several uses over time.
You will attempt to determine if the issue is due to a lack of good aim by users. Alternatively, it could be a problem with the toilet system and its components.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into this occurrence. Hopefully, the cause is one that you can fix yourself without the need for a plumber. Of course, there’s the possibility that is a bigger issue that will require professional attention.
Why Am I Finding Urine Around the Base of My Toilet?
We will explore several possibilities of why you may be finding urine at the base of your toilet.
T Bolts May be Loose
The toilet has T bolts (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/T%20bolt), which are located on both sides of the base. Sometimes the T bolts are covered with a cap that matches your toilet bowl. To check if the T bolts are tight, use an adjustable wrench.
The bolts help to create a tight seal that connects the toilet to the drain pipe. Tighten the bolts, but don’t be too forceful as it can damage the structure. If you’re lucky, this easy and quick fix will stop the leak.
After tightening the T bolts, do a test flush to see if the toilet stops leaking. If this solves the problem, apply caulk around the base of the floor to seal it further. However, if the problem persists, you’ll have to examine the wax ring.
Wax Ring Seal is Worn Out
Another possible reason for finding urine at the base of your toilet is a worn-out wax ring. If this is happening, you’ll find urine on the floor. What happens is that the wax right under the toilet is damaged.
When you flush, urine leaks through the toilet base. It cannot be contained in the drainage system because the worn-out wax ring allows it to escape. It happens at the base of the toilet after you flush. Sometimes, it can appear more gradually, but it certainly leaks each time you flush.
To fix this problem, promptly replace the wax ring or use a rubber seal ring. The rubber seal is preferred by many because it’s less messy. Before you replace the ring, be sure the tank is fully drained.
Also, disconnect the tank from the toilet bowl. Follow that by completely emptying the toilet tank. Then, flush the toilet bowl and empty it. Next, detach the toilet T bolts and remove them from the toilet flange.
Replace the wax ring with a brand new one and attach the toilet back into the same position.
Urine Backsplash From Bad Aim
Now, this is a problem that will be tricky to correct. It’s easy to repair a leaky component, but training people to have good urination aim may be more complex!
Both men and women can cause urine backsplash. When it comes to men, they fall into the category of those who don’t lift the toilet seat. Another reason is that they simply have a bad aim.
For women, on the other hand, while urinating in the seating position, they have to achieve just the right angle and force. If urination happens at a sharp angle and the pressure is too strong, the urine may leak under the toilet seat. It then travels down the base of the toilet and onto the floor.
Most of these instances go undetected, but over time, you’ll find urine puddles. The problem leaves behind a strong odor and possibly stains as well.
BBC published a report by physicists that help us solve the urination backsplash (https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-24820279) problem. They provide tips to achieve maximum accuracy when urinating.
How to Remove Urine Around the Toilet Base
Begin the process by using paper towels to soak up all the urine. Check very well under the toilet to make sure you don’t miss anything. Discard dirty paper towels in the garbage. You must never flush paper towels down the toilet! It can become clogged and create a big mess.
The best way to clean the urine is to absorb it as much as possible. Stay away from scrubbing or mopping it away because it will penetrate deeper into the grout. Continue cleaning the area with water and vinegar to disinfect the area thoroughly.
You may also use dish soap combined with hot water. Just add a 1/2 cup of dish soap for three cups of water. You can use a mop or towel to finish cleaning the whole area. We recommend using rubber gloves to protect your skin.
Finish by using clean hot water to rinse the area. Dry with a cloth to ensure no moisture is left behind.
To Seal or Not to Seal
There is an ongoing debate about the need to seal the base of a toilet. Most experts agree that a toilet should be sealed around the base. This is for obvious reasons, here’s why:
- Creates a finished look so that your toilet appears seamless with the floor
- Prevents odors and waste from leaking through the base of the toilet and onto the floor
- Makes maintenance much easier as you will have to clean less potential messes
- It is a code that is legally enforced by many municipalities
Should I Put Anything on the Toilet Base?
Some people use disposable floor mats to catch any leaks that may occur. This prevents stains and odors from penetrating the floor. They are much more sanitary than fabric rugs. Even if they are machine washable, it becomes cumbersome to maintain.
Another consideration is to keep the caulk intact. This avoids urine from escaping onto the toilet base and floor. It will keep your bathroom much cleaner. Anything to make maintenance easier!
Why Does My Toilet Leak When I Flush?
Many reasons could be behind a leaky toilet after you flush. You could have a blocked plumbing line. Also, the toilet flange may be positioned too high above the floor or it may be corroded. Perhaps a worn-out wax ring may need to be replaced.
To find the reason, you would have to remove the toilet bowl from the floor. A careful inspection would follow. It is a hefty job that not all DIY’ers are willing to do. You can always call a licensed plumber to service your toilet and leave it working like new.
No More Urine Odor or Stains!
You don’t have to live with urine around the base of your toilet. You can implement simple solutions to solve the problem. The solutions above are easy to execute if you have the tools and a little guidance.
Now, when it comes to better urination aim, well, that’s another story!