As one of the rooms in your home you use most frequently, the bathroom is easy to take for granted. So, imagine the frustration of walking into yours to find the toilet leaking. With a bit of know-how, you can figure out what’s going on and fix the toilet leak.
In this guide, the expert plumbers from Gervais Mechanical Services explain how to troubleshoot your leaking and offer tips for resolving the issue. When you need professional plumbing services in Central Massachusetts, we’re just a phone call away.
Toilet Base Leak
Among the many types of toilet leaks, the most common is a base leak. Often, homeowners find out about these leaks by stepping groggily into a puddle of water around the toilet. Here are the prime offenders for toilet base leaks, from the toilet’s tee bolt to poor ventilation.
The Tee Bolts Need Tightening
When cleaning the base of your toilet, you’ve probably noticed those two large caps on the toilet. These plastic coverings protect the tee bolts, which anchor your toilet to the floor. Loose tee bolts can break the wax seal around the base, allowing drain water to leak.
The Wax Ring Needs Replacing
Your toilet has a wax ring around the base to create a watertight seal. A broken wax ring often results from a loose toilet base. Wax rings may also erode over time, especially if you don’t clean your bathroom regularly, increasing the chances of mold and other contaminants deteriorating the seal.
The Water Supply Line Is Loose
Tee bolt and wax ring issues tend to cause leaks only when you flush the toilet, but a constant toilet leak at the base is a sure sign of a loose water supply line. The solution may be as simple as tightening the rubber seal and the nut at the back of the toilet that secures the water line in place.
Water can bead on porcelain in bathrooms that are humid from poor ventilation, dripping onto the floor. Condensation on toilets is common in summer and may not necessarily indicate a leak. If you notice water dripping down the toilet and pooling around the base, contact a plumber for help determining if you have a leak or simply need to improve the ventilation in your bathroom.
How To Fix a Toilet Base Leak
Repairing plumbing fixtures like toilets requires a systematic approach. Follow these steps to fix your toilet leak, or call a professional plumber.
Gather the Necessary Supplies
You’ll need a few tools, including a wrench, heavy-duty rubber gloves, cleaning cloths, a putty knife, and a bathroom cleaner. You can also buy toilet repair kits with the essential hardware, like a new wax ring and bolts. Having a friend or family member help out doesn’t hurt, either.
Check the Connection Bolts
Loose bolts are a common cause of toilet leaks. If they’re loose, try tightening them first, wiping the leak, and checking back after 15 to 20 minutes. If the water reappears, you’ve got a deeper problem, so proceed to the next step.
Disconnect and Remove the Toilet
You’ll find the water valve behind and below your toilet. Turn it off and drain the tank before removing the toilet from its base. You may need to rock it a little to get it free, but be gentle to minimize damage to your floor.
Install a New Wax Ring
Now comes the messiest part. Flip the toilet over, and use your putty knife to dislodge the worn wax ring and remove any remaining traces before installing the new ring. Return the toilet to its base, pressing firmly to ensure a good seal, then tighten the tee bolts and replace the caps.
Use a strong bleach-based disinfectant, cleaning the toilet and surrounding area to ensure no lingering dirt or mold compromises your hard work.
Toilet Tank Leak
If you’re certain there’s no problem with the base and find that the toilet’s water level is lower than usual, you may have a toilet leaking from the tank.
Leaking Supply Locknut
You’ll find the supply locknut at the bottom of the toilet tank, where the water supply line feeds into the tank. If the supply locknut is damaged, you’ll need to replace it and install a new toilet fill valve.
Leaking Tank Bolts
Leaking tank bolts are an easy fix. Simply replacing one or both tank bolts, which secure the toilet tank to the toilet bowl, and their corresponding gaskets should be sufficient.
Leaking Flush Valve Outlet
As its name implies, the flush valve outlet is the opening through which water flows from the tank into the bowl every time you flush. To access it, remove the whole tank and switch out the corroded spud washer for a new one.
Whatever you do, don’t rush your way through any of the steps to repair a toilet leak. If you are busy and would rather not spend precious time watching home repair videos and wondering whether you’re doing it right, consider hiring a professional plumber to fix your toilet.
Expert Plumbing Services in Central Massachusetts
Do you need a toilet leak fixed in Central Mass? Gervais Mechanical Services has you covered. Providing top-notch residential and commercial plumbing repairs and 24-hour emergency assistance, our team is ready at a moment’s notice to make your plumbing woes a thing of the past.
Questions? Contact Us.
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