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How to Fix a Leaking Toilet

Do you notice a pool of water near the toilet? Has the floor sustained damage? This is probably because the toilet is leaking. Toilets can develop internal and external leaks with time. Internal leaks may lead to wastage of water resulting in inflated water bills. In addition to this, external leaks allow water to cause damage to the bathroom.

If you procrastinate too long or underplay the urgency of the situation, the cost to repair leaking toilets may rise significantly. This is because water, over time, may cause damage to the underlying framing and rot floor surfaces. In that case you will have to replace the subflooring and underlayments, in addition to getting the leak repaired.

Thankfully, you have professional plumbers, like us, to your rescue. But in case you want to do a DIY project and fix the leak yourself, we have some tips for you.

Tools to Fix a Leaking Toilet

Before starting with the DIY project, make sure that you have arranged for these tools.

  • Hacksaw
  • Locking Pliers
  • Hammer Drill
  • Cordless Drill or driver

In addition to this, ensure you have the following materials ready, just in case you need them.

  • Wax ring
  • A pack of plastic toilet shims
  • Silicone caulk
  • Water closet bolts with a diameter of 5/16”

Step by Step Toilet Leak Repair

Let’s first look at the causes of a leaking toilet.

  • Pipes leading to the toilet can rust over time. They may then develop cracks and cause a leakage.
  • The tank or bowl may develop a crack with time.
  • The seal that binds the toilet to the floor may get loose or worn out.
  • In two piece toilets, the bowl and tank are bound together by nuts, bolts and gaskets. A leak can develop if any of these parts get loose.
  • The flapper is not functioning properly or is worn out. Flapper is used to block water in the tank from entering the bowl. So, if the flapper is not functioning properly, water may continuously leak into the bowl.
  • Another cause is a long refill tube which isn’t positioned correctly in the overflow tube.

Step 1

If the water rises above the overflow tube, then either the inlet valve or the float has a problem. You can adjust the level of the float by adjusting the screw at the top of the ballcock. This allows you to correct the level to which the water rises in the tank. If this doesn’t help, there may be a problem with the float and it may need to be replaced.

Step 2

If the inlet valve and float are functioning properly, there may be a problem with the ballcock itself. In that case, you may have to replace the whole assembly.

For this, flush the water from the tank and remove the remaining water with a sponge. Then, the supply line at the base of the tank that connects to the bottom of the ballcock, needs to be removed using slip-joint pliers. Replace the exisiting assembly with the new ballcoak assembly. Tighten the new nut underneath the tank with the help of slip-joint pliers. Reattach the supply line, and then attach the refill tube in the tank. You can now turn on the water supply.

Step 3

If water in the tank doesn’t rise above the overflow tube, but you still feel there is a leak into the bowl, there is a high probability that the flapper is not functioning properly.

To fix this, turn off the water supply. Flush the water from the tank and remove as much water as you can. Let the remaining water be there. Clean the flapper with a fresh cloth to remove debris and then check for cracks. Also, see if it is tightened against the seat. If you notice that the flapper is worn out or damaged, replace it with a matching flapper. Fix it onto the hinges at the overflow tube’s base.

We hope these tips were helpful in helping you repair leaking toilet. Good luck!