What Causes a Leaking Toilet?

Toilets are built to handle the wear and tear of continuous use, but that doesn’t necessarily stop the dreaded toilet leak issue from arising. A leaky toilet can be much more than a nuisance, and if not caught early can potentially cause major damage down the road. We’ve compiled a list of the most common reasons why your toilet might be leaking and a few tips on how to fix them.

Bolts and Gaskets

The toilet consists of two parts; the toilet tank and the toilet bowl. Both parts are connected by two bolts that can loosen over time, causing water to seep through. Luckily this is an easy fix, start by turning off the water supply to the toilet and then flush the toilet to ensure the tank is empty. Tighten the bolts using a screwdriver or wrench. Once this is complete, turn on the water and flush once or twice to check if the problem has been resolved.

Fill Valve

A faulty fill valve can cause a toilet to run constantly, wasting a great deal of water and money. Repairing a loose fill valve can be very easy to fix without having to call a handyman. After the water supply to the toilet is turned off, empty the tank then hold the fill valve pipe steady and tighten the plastic bolt that connects to the water supply line. Be sure not to over-tighten this bolt because it’s plastic and can crack. Turn the water back on again and fill the toilet. Flush to see if the toilet is filling up correctly, if it is still running constantly you may need to call an expert to replace the entire fill valve.

Base of Toilet

Water around the base of the toilet is the most popular water leak, and the most important issue to resolve quickly. This leak can be a serious issue, especially when left untreated because it can damage the flooring, sub-flooring, and ceiling if on a second level. Two common causes for this leak are usually loose tee bolts, or a damaged wax ring. Tee bolts keep the toilet securely in place, if they come loose the seal of the toilet will break and start to leak. Tightening the bolts may fix the problem, although if they are broken you will need to purchase a new set. The wax ring creates the seal between the toilet and the flange, when damaged “dirty water” will leak from the base of the toilet. Replacing a damaged wax ring needs to happen as quickly as possible and may require calling a plumber to avoid any major mishaps.

A leaking toilet, while a seemingly small issue can cost you a lot of money due to water usage, plumbing bills, and damage caused by an untreated leak. Do not wait! If an issue persist after these few tips, contact a professional immediately!