How to Fix a Leaking Toilet

If you’re going to fix something, you must first know what it is inside the item that needs fixing. That is why, when dealing with a problematic toilet, one must first make a careful observation in order to discover the problem. If the problem turns out to be external, immediate service is required, as external toilet problems have the tendency to be catastrophic.

Due to the severity of the situation, if one does not take immediate action, a leak might leave behind a numerous different unwanted aftereffects. If the problem is too large for a do-it-yourself, seek the help of a certified professional.

Here are the causes/factors of a leaking toilet and how to fix it:

External Leak

If the leak is external, it is most likely coming from the bottom of the toilet where it meets the floor, or from the back of the toilet at tank level. Use a flashlight to scan the commode for signs of the source of the leak. 

If there is water dripping down, the leak is likely coming from an upper area of the toilet. However, if there is no dripping water and the leak worsens after flushing the toilet, chances are your problem has something to do with the seal located around the bottom of the toilet.

Dripping Water

If you notice water dripping down the toilet bowl near the seat, your leak is likely to be the result of a defective seal connecting the bowl and the tank. Whether the leak is coming from the upper regions of your toilet or the base, the water source needs to be shut off at the valve and the toilet should be flushed so that the tank will empty.

Fixing the Leak Yourself

If you are trying to fix the leak yourself, start by tightening the bolts that secure the flange to the commode. However, be sure that you do not tighten them too tightly. 

Next, flush the toilet and see whether it still leaks or not. If it does, unfasten and re-drain the toilet; remove the bolts that secure the toilet to the floor, unhook the tank from the water line and remove the commode from the flange.

Examine the surrounding floor and the flange for damage. If you notice any damage you should waste no time in calling a plumber straight away. However, if you can see no evident damage, simply replace the wax ring, which can be purchased at your local hardware store. 

When you have purchased a new one, take off the old ring and place the new one on. Put the commode back in, hook the tubing back up, and check to see that it is once again in properly working order.

Tank Problem

If the tank is where your problem lies, begin by tightening the bolts at the tank’s base. But again, make sure not to make them too tight. Refill the tank to see if the toilet still leaks.

If you still notice the leak, unhook the tubes and re-drain the tank; remove the bolts that secure the tank to the bottom of the toilet, and examine the bolts, washers and the gasket that connects the bowl to the tank.

If the washers or gasket appears damaged, replace them, or seek the help of a professional.

As you can see, repairing a leak in your toilet is a very complex process that most people feel should be left to a professional.  It’s never recommended that you try to repair a toilet on your own because of the complexities involved.

Call Scott English for Help

Contact Scott English Plumbing to help you fix a leaking toilet

They also offer service on water heaters, toilets and faucets, bathtubs and showers, garbage disposals, water softeners, and more.  You’ll never worry about dishonest plumbers again!  

With more than 15 years in the business, Scott English Plumbing strives to offer quality service at affordable prices 24 hours a day and seven days a week.


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Toilet Repair