It is irritating to see a pool of water gathered at the bottom of a leaking toilet – who in the world would not be! A toilet is something in our homes that we can’t live without.
Not only does a leaking toilet cause irritation, but it also causes wastage of water- gallons of it. It is, therefore, always recommended to fix a leaking toilet as soon as possible.
In this article, we will talk about a few DIY fixes to the common issues causing this problem. But if you need some extra help, why not get yourself a handyman? I always look for a handyman near me if I feel that I need a helping hand.
Signs that Your Toilet is Leaking
There are three telltale signs that your toilet is certainly leaking.
- The meeting part of the toilet and floor contains a pool of water
- The spongy floor around the toilet base
- Damage in the finished flooring
If you see one of these signs in your bathroom, don’t hesitate to take further action. The more time you take to fix the problem, the more the damage that would be done to the flooring. Over time, you might have to spend a lot on repairing the damage.
The Main Causes behind a Leaking Toilet
Toilet leaks are mainly caused by four technical issues.
- Faulty flapper
- Damaged fill valve
- Old toilet seal
- Problems with the flange
A flapper is a small mechanism inside the toilet, which helps to flush the toilet. It is made of a small plastic piece and rubber. Due to this simplistic design, it has to be replaced after some time. Issues with flapper can be identified when there are problems with flushing.
A toilet-fill valve is another mechanism that helps to flush the toilet. It requires replacement every 5 years. Normally, if you notice screeching sounds or refill problems with the toilet, the fill valve is to blame.
The toilet seal is a gasket made of wax ring. It blocks the water and foul gases from coming out.
Replacing the Toilet Flapper
Once you have decided that the toilet flapper is to blame, follow these simple steps to replace the toilet flapper.
- Close the shutoff valve to turn the water off. Go the water supply line and turn its handle clockwise to stop the water. Then flush the toilet.
- Undo the small clip holding the old flapper’s chain with caution. Then undo the flapper from the pegs in the side.
- After getting the new flapper ready, you just need to attach it to the pegs on the sides. Then carefully attach its chain with the lever. Make sure that the chain is not too tight or too loose. Turn the water back on after finishing all these steps.
Replacing the Toilet-Fill Valve
Follow these steps to replace your old toilet-fill valves in no time.
- Stop the water supply, as mentioned previously.
- Proceed to remove the water hose. You have to unscrew it in order to do this. For this, you’ll need to use a wrench, and once it’s loose, just pull it.
- In this step, you have to remove the old fill valve. For this, you have to place an empty container beneath the hole connecting the hose and the valve. Then you have to pull the lock ring which will allow you to pull the valve and the refill tube.
- Tightly screw the lock nut after inserting the new valve in the previous hole. Then add the new refill tube in the old one’s place. Don’t forget to leave the lock ring under the valve afterward.
- Finally, you need to attach the water supply hose again to restart the supply of water. Flush the toilet to see if everything’s running.
Replacing the Old Toilet Seal
This step is a bit more complicated than the others, so go through the steps carefully.
- Turn off the water supply like before.
- Flush the toilet, and use a sponge to absorb the leftover water.
- Remove the caps from the nuts, and then remove the nuts,
- Remove the water supply line.
- Remove the seal by gently shaking the toilet back and forth. Perform this step carefully to avoid any damage to any parts.
- Remove the damaged, old seal from the base.
- Place the new seal on the flange.
- Carefully lift the toilet, and install it on the flange. Try to make sure that the toilet is level while performing this step.
- Sit on the toilet so that the weight seals the seal.
- Replace the old nuts with new ones.
- Reconnect the supply line and turn back the water, then flush the toilet.
- Apply some silicone caulk if needed to finish the whole procedure.
Addressing Problems with the Flange
There are two main ways flanges can cause trouble with your toilet. Firstly, the flooring around the flange can get rotten due to water leaks over the period of a year. You will need to install a flange support bracket in order to hold the floor tightly and prevent any instability of the base. However, you can only do this on solid flooring.
If the flooring is excessively damaged, you might have to replace a large part of the flooring.
Secondly, issues can be caused when the flange is set too low in the whole setup. In this case, plastic toilet flange extenders can be used to extend the flange. Make sure the flange is at a level between ¼ in. above the finished floor and ¼ in. beneath it.
Leaking toilet issues should be fixed as soon as possible. You don’t want to get embarrassed seeing a guest in your home finding a leaking toilet that can’t be flushed.
By following all these tips, you can easily fix the problem in no time.