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5 Reasons Why Your Toilet May Be Rocking Back and Forth

We’ve all been there, confronted with some unexpected instability in the restroom. When you sit down on the toilet, it moves. Maybe it moves just a bit, and you don’t notice. If it still flushes, it must be in good working order, right?

Wrong! If your toilet rocks back and forth, even so subtly, there may be a problem with its base. We’ll talk about why it’s essential to fix a rocking toilet and what may be causing it.

Why a Rocking Toilet Should Never Be Ignored

A bouncing toilet may appear to be nothing more than a comical scenario at the moment, but it may potentially be harmful to homeowners. This scenario might result from a more significant problem, and the impacts of a rocking toilet could result in more costly damage.

Sewage leakage 

One of the main potential dangers of rocking toilets is the possibility of sewage leakage. The reason for this is that when a toilet rocks, the wax seal around the toilet base can get compromised and start leaking water from your waste pipes. If a homeowner doesn’t replace this wax seal and let it continue to leak, possible damage includes burst pipes and mold and mildew growth.

Settlement damage

Settlement damage is not something homeowners want for their homes. This type of damage is where the foundation beneath the toilet starts to deteriorate, creating a sinking feeling as the toilet rocks back and forth. This type of damage is caused by several factors, from settling soil to foundation cracks, and it can be devastating for home resale values.

Here are the most common potential causes of a rocking toilet. Read on!

1. Loose Flange Bolts

If your toilet appears to be rocking due to loose flange bolts, that’s likely a simple fix. What happens is the bolts connecting the toilet base to the floor crack, which allows for movement and allows for the toilet to rock back and forth. The solution is to tighten the bolts by hand until the toilet stops rocking. If the bolts are too damaged, you’ll have to replace them.

2. Loose Pipes

This can be a potentially costly issue if your toilet rocks due to loose pipes. The cause of this type of movement is usually the wax seal that binds the toilet to the floor cracking. As the toilet rocks, water siphons out and seeps onto the floor or into the walls of your home. This issue can lead to a bigger problem, perhaps even the destruction of your home.

3. Uneven Flooring

Something as simple as a cracked floor tile or a slightly uneven floor can cause a rocking toilet. This is often easily fixed by an adjustment to one of the legs of the toilet. However, any unevenness in the flooring can cause a rocking toilet.

4. Damaged Floor Flange

This is a more common problem in homes that have a basement. In many cases, this floor flange is damaged in a fire or other type of accident. It is usually noticeable as black, charred wood, or even a more considerable dent in the floor. You may need to replace the floor flange to fix this problem.

5. The Base is Not Installed Properly

This is perhaps the most likely cause of a rocking toilet, especially in new homes. When houses are built, the toilet base must be installed correctly. Otherwise, the toilet base can move around, become unleveled and ultimately cause a rocking toilet.


If your toilet is rocking, you should take it seriously. What seems like a funny situation could easily lead to more significant problems. There are several potential causes for a rocking toilet, and these issues can lead to expensive repair costs and could even be a safety hazard. Make sure to call a professional to inspect it for potential damage.

Trust Plumb One Inc. is who you should call if you need an experienced, knowledgeable, and licensed plumber in Birmingham, AL. We are a family-owned company that aims to address all your plumbing needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!