How to Fix a Leaky Toilet

Finding a plumber can be expensive, not to mention time consuming, however, fixing a leaky toilet is easier than you may think and with just a few tools and some basic information, you can make your old toilet as good as new.

A leaky toilet can effect the efficiency of the flushing mechanism, as well as making your floor unseemly, wet and dangerous. Fixing a leaky toilet can be simple and takes only a few minutes of work, provided you have the right tools for the job. The process is relatively simple and all you will need is a pipe wrench, an adjustable wrench, a replacement valve, replacement gaskets, replacement seals, and a replacement wax ring.

Checking for the valve

  • The first step in fixing a leaky toilet is to determine what is leaking by checking for the various sources of leaks. A good place to start is by checking for water collecting on the floor near the toilet valve, if there is - check the valve to see if it's the source of the leak. If the valve is leaking, tighten it using the wrenches. If the leaking doesn't stop the valve will need replacing, but you will need to turn off the water supply to do this.

Checking the hose and the gaskets

  • If the valve's not the problem, check the hose that passes water from the source of the tank for any leaks. If there's a hole then the hose will need replacing, if not then tighten the hose using channel locks. If the problem persists, then try tightening the nut that's holding the fill valve. If you still have a leaky toilet then you will need to replace the gaskets. Make sure you shut off the water and drain the tank before replacing the gaskets.

Fixing the seal

  • If the water is leaking between the tanks and the toilet bowl then it is probably a problem with the seal. To fix the seal you will need to drain off the water from the tank and shut off the valve, unscrew the bolts holding the toilet bowl and tank together, and pull out the tank upwards before inspecting the seal. Replace the seal if necessary.

Replacing the wax ring

  • If you have a leaky toilet with water coming from the bottom base then you probably have a problem with the wax seal. First try tightening the two screws holding the base to the floor to see if this stops the leak, if the leak persists you will need to replace the wax ring. Unscrew and lift up the base and flip it sideways, put the new wax ring into the drain hole and replace the base.