Repair a Leaky Toilet
You can fix a leaky toilet yourself and save money by not hiring a contractor but first you need to find out where leak is coming from. Water pooling around the base of the toilet it is a good chance that the wax seal has failed causing it to leak .
But in some cases the problem lies elsewhere. Soak up the water from the floor with a sponge and dry off the toilet with a towel. Wait until a new puddle appears on the floor, then check to make sure the water is seeping out from under the toilet and not coming from a loose supply tube, faulty shutoff valve, cracked tank or from the rubber seal between the tank and the bowl.
You will also need to know the brand name like Kohler or American standard it should be stamped on the toilet. In most cases you can take the brand name to a plumbing store or hardware store and get all of the parts you will need.
This page is for repairing a leaky toilet if you are repairing other part of the toilet check out Toilet Repair or to Replace A Toilet.
Tools you will need
- Flathead screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- Adjustable wrench
- Adjustable pliers
You can get any of the tools materials on the list at any hardware or home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowe's.
How to fix a leaky toilet
- Turn off the water.
- If the leak is coming from the water supply line you can try to tighten it. If that doesn't work you will have to replace it. Take off the old water supply line and take it to a home improvement store and get a new one and put it back on.
- If the you have a leaky tank it could be one of four things, you could have a crack in the tank in this case you would have to replace the tank.
- The leak could be coming from one of the seals or gaskets at the bottom of the tank you can try to tighten all of the screws, knots and bolts but do not over tighten them it is easy to crack the porcelain tank. Check for leaks, if this doesn't stop the leak you will have to replace the gaskets.
- To replace the gasket shut off water, drain the tank by flushing the toilet than use a sponge to soak up the rest of the water in the tank. There is a rubber gasket on the fitting that go in to the tank you will need to take it off.
- To replace tank gasket remove the water supply line from the bottom of the tank.
- Remove the tank from the bowl by removing the two bolts in the bottom of the tank. The bolts have gaskets on them you need to replace these gasket to.
- Pull the tank strait up and set it on the floor on its back, on the bottom is a gasket you will need to replace. I would take all of the gaskets to a hardware store or home improvement sore and let them help you match them up.
- Replace all of the parts in the order you took them off and check for leaks.
Changing wax ring
- If the leak is coming from the bottom of the toilet bowl it is the wax ring where the waste water goes from the toilet bowl to the plumbing.
- Remove water supply line from the tank.
- Remove all the water from toilet, flush the toilet than use a sponge to soak up any water in the tank and bowl.
- At the bottom of the toilet bowl you have two bolts one on each side, they should be under a cap just pop the cap off with a flat screwdriver than take the knots off the bolts. I would replace the bolts with new bolts.
- Pull the toilet striate up and set it on the floor on its side. than scrape off the old wax ring from the toilet and the flange on the floor.
- Replace the wax ring than replace the toilet, turn on the water and check for leaks.
It's not unusual for a toilet to last more than 40 years with only a minimal amount of care. They are kind of like a car, they need a tune up now and than. Repairing a leaky toilet yourself is a vary good place to save money. A plumbing contractor would come in and fix a leaky toilet and charge you about ten times the amount it would take to do the job yourself.
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