The most common frustrating issue among homeowners is a leaking toilet. If you have a leaking toilet, you’ll see water everywhere, meaning that your bills will also be too high.
This is because the toilet leaks cause a lot of water seepage. However, some homeowners don’t exactly know how to identify a leaking toilet.
The sad thing is that these signs usually show after the problem gets worse. Therefore, it’s essential to fix toilet leaks immediately after you notice them.
Signs of toilet leaks
There are many signs of toilet leaks as follows:
- Accumulation of water at the toilet’s base
- A lot of noise after flushing
- Stained toilet floor
- Dampness in the toilet
- High water bills
- A strong sewage smell
These are the top signs of a leaky toilet. When you come across any of the signs, it’s essential to call a professional plumber to inspect your toilet and fix the problem.
Why do toilets leak?
Toilet leaks are common in properties. Even the simple toilet leaks can cause huge water use by creating pools around and thus damaging the floor. Below are some common causes of toilet leaks:
1. Damaged toilet tank
The toilet tank’s main role is to hold water that is later released into the bowl to flush the toilet. When this tank is damaged or cracked, water will accumulate on the floor.
If you determine that this is the cause of your toilet leak, the best thing you can do is replace your toilet. However, if you’re not in a position to replace the toilet, you can use sealants to seal the cracks, although this is a temporary solution.
2. Cracks in the supply line
The plumbing system has a water supply line that fills the toilet tank with water for flushing. However, sometimes toilet leaks can arise from this supply line.
This supply line can sometimes develop cracks and wear out due to high water pressure or old age. This is usually a huge problem since you’ll notice water accumulation on your toilet’s floor and a lot of dampness.
If the problem is extreme, you’re also likely to experience flooding in your toilet. A damaged supply line will not only bring flooding and dampness to your toilet but will also increase your monthly water bills.
3. Damaged flapper
This is a common reason why toilets leak. The work of the flapper is usually lifting water from the tank directly into the bowl. It replenishes the water supply in the bowl and thus preventing the accumulation of bacteria and stains.
After some time, this flapper develops cracks, warps, and even breaks. When any of these happen, the flapper becomes weak and loses the strength for controlling water flow.
This further results in water flowing to the bowl every time while producing a trickling sound. Homeowners can’t easily identify this problem. Only a professional plumber will identify this. However, if you pay attention to your water bills, you can know something is wrong.
4. Faulty float
The main purpose of a float is to ensure water doesn’t flow after reaching a particular level. It monitors the water level in the toilet and thus preventing overflowing.
Therefore, if you notice water overflow in your toilet tank, the cause is a faulty float. Although a float can be repaired, plumbers recommend replacing it.
5. Cracked bowl
If your toilet bowl is cracked, it may lead to leaks. The main purpose of this bowl is to hold water for flushing the toilet. A simple crack on the bowl will make water move directly to the toilet floor.
If your toilet bowl is cracked or damaged, it can be repaired or replaced. However, bowl repairs aren’t encouraged too much because they aren’t long term and there’s a high risk of releasing dirty wastewater that can lead to diseases if proper handling isn’t done.
6. Stuck flapper
Sometimes, your toilet flapper might be in good condition but work abnormally. When you flush your toilet, the flapper allows water to move from the tank to the bowl. When the flapper sticks, even the flushing handle will stop working normally.
It’s also difficult for homeowners to identify when this problem arises. It’s essential to call a plumber whenever you feel that the flushing handle isn’t working properly to fix its working mechanism or replace the flapper.
7. Damaged fill valve
Sometimes, you may notice water overflow in your toilet tank and check the float only to find that it’s in good condition. In this case, the problem might be due to a damaged fill valve.
The main purpose of a fill valve is to control water flow together with the float. If the fill valve is damaged, you can call a plumber to inspect it and repair or replace it, depending on the extent of the damage.
8. Damaged connectors
Toilets usually have a lot of connectors whose main purpose is to prevent water leakage. Therefore, if there’s a problem with one or more connectors, you’ll notice water accumulation in your toilet.
In this case, you’ll need to replace the connectors. This job should be left to an expert plumber who’ll inspect all your toilet connectors to identify the problem source and fix it before it worsens.
Read more: Why toilet smells bad and how to fix it ?
How to fix leaking toilet
Although homeowners can do some repairs or replacements in the toilet plumbing system since they’re not so complicated, it’s always advisable to leave the task to a professional plumber.
This is because the plumber understands the system well and how to quickly fix any issue. Sometimes, DIY projects might even lead to more damage to your entire plumbing system, causing many unnecessary expenses that you could have avoided by simply hiring an expert plumber.
Below are some tips for fixing a leaking toilet:
It’s essential to replace them instead of repairing them to be guaranteed that they’re working properly. To fix a damaged flapper, you need to find the correct sized flapper and follow the steps below:
- Shut off the water supply
- Remove the toilet lid
- Eliminate all water in the tank
- Carefully remove the flapper
- Set a new one properly
- Turn on the water supply
- Carefully check if there are any leaks as the tank continues refilling
- If you don’t notice any leaks, replace the lid
you need to make the necessary adjustments using the steps below:
- Turn off the water valve
- Hold the flush handle firmly to empty the tank completely
- Carefully adjust the chain that connects your flapper to the handle by unhooking it and reattaching it properly
- Ensure the chain isn’t too long or too short
- Turn on the water supply and carefully check if the flapper will stick again
- If it does, repeat the same process
Cracked supply line
If the toilet leaks result from a cracked or damaged supply line, you shouldn’t try DIY because you might even worsen the problem. In this case, contact a plumber to make the necessary repairs. The plumber will cut the broken pipe section and use a similar pipe gauge to cover the cracked part.
You should also tighten tee bolts, especially if your toilet has been leaking at the base immediately after flushing. To tighten tee bolts, remove their plastic covers and use an appropriate wrench.
If you tighten these tee bolts properly, you’ll have compressed the wax ring, thus restoring the seal.
Damaged toilet tank
you can choose to repair or replace it depending on the extent of the damage. If your toilet tank is severely damaged, consider contacting a plumber to replace it.
On the other hand, if you can see the cracks, you can use a sealant to cover these cracks that cause leakage. However, for peace of mind and proper water use, plumbers usually recommend replacing the toilet tank.
Damaged fill valves
you should consider repairing or replacing them. Since every valve has multiple pieces, it’s essential to inspect them to determine if the entire fill valve needs to be replaced or not.
Although you can DIY replacement, it’s not usually advised due to the detailed instructions on fixing them. It’s essential to hire a professional plumber to replace the fill valve and assess whether all the other parts are working properly.
Cracked toilet bowls
Replacement is the best option, although you can still seal the cracks using a sealant. Replacing the bowl should only be done by a professional plumber to ensure that all connections are properly made to restore proper functionality.
Even if you know how to install a new bowl, don’t try it to avoid making loose connections that might even lead to more leakages in the near future.
These are some of the tips on how to fix a leaking toilet. To avoid fixing any toilet plumbing issue the wrong way, it’s essential to always contact a skilled and experienced plumbing contractor.
Hiring a professional plumbing contractor not only saves you time and money, but also gives you peace of mind knowing that your toilet is always in good condition.