Home improvement

6 Reasons Your Toilet May Be Leaking

The toilet is one of the most crucial appliances in our houses, even if we may not give it much consideration. Additionally, toilets may leak. Fortunately, it doesn’t occur often. Everything in life should be as dependable and low-maintenance as a toilet. These items have a long lifespan. 

However, leaks do occur and they may be quite problematic. It’s a massive waste of water, to start. About 30% of the water you use at home is for toilet flushing. Now picture what would occur if it leaked. A leaking toilet might waste 200 litres on average each day. Remember that a person typically needs 350 litres of water each day in normal conditions. 

Additionally, it goes beyond merely water waste and utility costs. A leaking toilet may result in significant damage and costly repairs. It may not seem like a huge concern if there is a little water around the toilet bowl, but if the water becomes trapped beneath the toilet, it can harm the floor’s surface, subfloors, and structure. It will cost you more the longer you wait. 

The six most frequent causes of toilet leaks are listed below since, if you’re reading this, it implies you want to know what started the leak in the first place. 

Supply line leak

The supply line is what sends cold water for flushing to the toilet tank. It normally sits outside the toilet and is linked to the tank and water supply valve. The shut-off valve is another name for the water supply valve, which is often built into the wall. These lines are most often made of plastic, vinyl, and stainless steel.

At the base of the toilet, water will start to build up if your water supply line is broken. If the damage is near to the wall, water will likely leak there and discolour the tiles. 

Supply line joints that become weak or loose often leak. Damage may also occur to the supply line’s rubber liner, which is intended to stop leaks. Either normal wear and tear or physical impact caused this. It can be replaced, which is a rather simple procedure. 

The water supply to the toilet should first be turned off at the valve. By flushing the toilet, the water in the tank may be drained. Water will still be there, but you may remove it with a sponge. 

The next step is to unplug the damaged water supply line from the wall valve and the toilet’s fill valve. 

Apply plumber’s tape on the new valve and firmly attach it to these two valves. Be careful not to overtighten it, however, since it might also result in damage. 

You may test it now that it has been installed to make sure the leak has been stopped. 

Of course, even though this is a reasonably simple repair, it’s recommended to consult a plumber if you’re unsure of your abilities due to a lack of expertise. As we’ve previously discussed, overtightening a line might result in harm. Additionally, you need to make sure that the line you choose is appropriate for your valves. 

Additionally, you want to confirm that the water supply line is the true source of the leak and not another problem. Click here to get in touch with your local plumbers in Eastwood.

Wax Seal at the Base of the Toilet Has Broken

The wax seal at the base of your toilet may have been damaged, which is another problem that might be causing it to leak. This seal is used to stop flushed water and sewage from seeping outdoors. It could be worn out or it might have a hole in it. 

The stench is a good sign that a damaged wax seal is to blame for your leak. Similar to a broken water supply line, you may also see water accumulating at the base of your toilet. The water that is dripping from the supply pipe is, however, clean. If the seal is compromised, the water will smell bad and stay in your bathroom. If the seal is compromised, the toilet can also sway. 

We don’t advise doing this yourself since the fix involves replacing the seal, which calls for taking the toilet apart. To begin with, you are unsure whether it is the root of the problem. Without really fixing the leak, you may go through a rather dangerous and tedious approach. 

Second, you could commit errors that worsen the situation. 

You might try tightening the closet bolts that hold the toilet to the floor, but you risk more damage to the wax seal and the base of the toilet cracking if you exert too much force.

A plumber will switch off the water and remove the water from the tank and bowl if they diagnose the problem and determine that the leak is being caused by a broken wax seal. The water supply line will then be disconnected, and the closet bolts will be removed. 

The toilet will be taken apart, and the bowl and old wax seal will be cleaned. It will be necessary to look for any damage to the flange. A pipe fitting, or flange, is a circular piece of material having several holes in it. It connects the drain pipe and floor to the toilet. It needs to be fixed or replaced if it is broken, depending on its state. 

The toilet will then be reinstalled once the wax seal has been replaced. 

Toilet tank damage

The toilet tank is most likely a component you can quickly recognise since it houses the flushing mechanism and stores water from the supply line. Usually, toilet tanks sustain fractures due to unintentional impact. Even extremely tiny fractures may cause leaks and cause water to build up on the floor. 

Small cracks might be annoying to detect, but they can typically be sealed with a sealant, saving you from having to replace the tank. 

The tank may need to be replaced if there are significant fractures since they worsen with time. You’re in luck if your toilet is a two-piece item since you won’t need to replace the whole thing. Upgrade to a water-saving design when purchasing a new tank, and you could even end up saving money. 

You may dye the water in the tank using food colouring to see whether the leak is coming from there. After a little while, look for water of that hue on the floor and in the tank. 

You should first switch off the water supply and flush the tank to empty it if it turns out that the tank has a break that is tiny enough to be sealed with sealant. There will still be some water in it, as we discussed in the last part, but you may remove it using a sponge. 

Get your porcelain sealer or epoxy as the following step. You should begin applying it to the crack about an inch above it and trace carefully across it. After giving it 24 hours to cure, you may smooth down the sealer using a tool like a plastic knife. 

Turn the water back on after the 24-hour period to see whether the leak has been fixed. 

Fill valve or flush valve damage

The fill valve allows water from the supply line to replenish the toilet tank once it has been flushed clean. The flushing mechanism in the tank is made up of many components:

The float ball is often seen in older toilets. To a metal rod they are fastened. The float ball rises when the tank is full, as its name implies, which turns off the water flow. When you flush, the flapper that is attached to the lever is raised, allowing water from the tank to enter the bowl. More water may enter the tank as a result of the float ball falling.

Modern toilets include a cylindrical float that may be moved vertically on the fill valve’s shaft. The process adheres to the same guidelines that we outlined before. 

Water may go from the tank to the bowl thanks to the flush valve, flapper, and flush valve seat. 

A fault with one of these components may exist if there is a leak. 

Your toilet will either run continually or hardly flush if the problem is with the fill valve, which shows that the tank isn’t being filled correctly and either has too much or not enough water. 

Your toilet will run nonstop if the flush valve is malfunctioning. 

Swapping out the flush valve

You may switch off the water supply and mark the water level in the tank to see whether the issue is related to the flush valve. After waiting for 30 minutes, see whether the level has decreased. If so, you’ll need to repair it to prevent water waste and higher utility costs. 

It’s not that hard to do this. Just like we described in the other parts of this essay, you must first turn off the water supply, flush, and then remove the remaining water with a sponge. 

There are two bolts along the sides of the flush valve. While holding the nuts on the opposite side of the bowl with a wrench, they need to be taken out using a screwdriver. Avoid using too much force as it may result in fractures in your tank. 

Now that the tank has been removed from the toilet seat, you may remove the flush valve. These procedures are reversed when you replace it. Although the new flush valve will also come with comprehensive instructions, it would be great to view a few instructional videos if this is something you have never done before. If you see someone doing the technique, it is much simpler to comprehend. 

Swapping out the fill valve

You’ll need to follow the same procedures for turning off the water supply and emptying the tank in order to replace the fill valve. The supply line must then be disconnected from the tank, and the broken fill valve must be taken out. 

If your supply valve has a lock nut on it, you can take the whole assembly out of the tank if you have an older model with a float ball. 

After completing these processes, you may install the replacement fill valve by following the kit’s instructions and adjusting its height. Check to check whether the leak has been fixed by reconnecting the supply line and turning the water back on. 

Having issues with the Flapper 

Problems with the flapper, which keeps the water in the tank until you flush, may sometimes be the source of a leak. In the best case situation, it is just trapped and not harmed. This necessitates that you open the tank’s cover and inspect the contents. It might be locked in the open position or disconnected from the flushing handle because the chain fell off. In a few minutes, you’ll be able to remedy the leak. 

You will need to replace it if it is broken. The good news is that flappers can be purchased separately and are reasonably priced. Although they are basic rubber or plastic devices, they are not unbreakable. They may stretch or shatter, making them ineffective as barriers between the tank and the bowl. 

Damaged bowl

Finally, there is a chance that the toilet bowl itself has fractures and is leaking. As we discussed with the fractures in the tank, if the cracks are extremely minor, you may be able to patch them using waterproof epoxy. 

The only option is to replace the toilet bowl or the complete unit if it’s not a two-part if the cracks are wider since they may grow. The fact that the water from the tank is pure, as opposed to the water in the bowl, must also be taken into account. 


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