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My Toilet is Loose and Rocks Back and Forth


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A loose or rocking toilet is more than an inconvenience or frustration; it could signify a bigger problem. The toilet should always be anchored tightly to the floor. If it’s not, you should correct the cause quickly. The most common causes of a loose toilet, as well as the steps to repair them, are listed below.

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If the flange bolts are loose, hand-tighten them, then give them an additional quarter-turn with a wrench.

  1. The flange bolts are loose. These bolts anchor the toilet to the flange. Over time, they can loosen or become damaged. Using your hand, check to see if the nuts holding the bolts are tight—if not, use a wrench and snugly tighten them, being careful not to over tighten, which can cause breakage or damage.
  1. The flange is damaged or not properly installed. If this is the case, you’ll have to remove all water from the toilet’s tank and bowl and turn off the water supply. Remove the toilet and inspect the flange and the bolts. Replace the flange and/or the bolts if you see any damage. You’ll also have to replace the wax seal that sits under the toilet. A damaged seal could cause the toilet to rock, but anytime you lift or move the toilet, it’s always advisable to replace the seal. You should also inspect the floor to make sure that there aren’t any loose tiles or other problems that can cause the toilet to rock.

You can do these repairs by yourself or hire a plumber who can do the work for you, making sure that your toilet is safely, securely, and properly installed.