How To Fix A Leaking Toilet

Are you scratching your head when checking where the leaks from your toilet are coming from? You might discover leaks that have found their way onto your floor, which can be a disaster and may leave an unpleasant smell in your bathroom.

How To Fix A Leaking Toilet

You may be reaching for the phone to get a professional in, which can be a task in itself, with waiting times and fees for parts and work that you may not be able to afford.

What if you could identify and fix the problem yourself? In this guide, we will give you advice on determining where your leak is coming from and how to fix it yourself so the bathroom doesn’t become the burden of your home.

If you’re ready to take action right away, then read on.

Find The Cause Of The Leak

Disconnect The Water Supply To Your Toilet

The first thing you want to do is turn off the water supply to your toilet. You can find the shutoff valve in the back of the toilet, which is connected to a pipe coming out of the wall.

Turn the valve clockwise as far as you can, and that’s it, the water is shut off.

Mark The Water level In Your Tank

Open the lid of the tank of your toilet and mark the highest point where the water in the back of the tank reaches. You can use the mark to determine whether the water in the tank rises or falls over time.

You will want to use a sharpie for the mark because you want to be able to see the mark, and a pencil mark might get washed away if the water rises.

Dye The Water In The Tank 

Add coloring or food dye to the water and wait 10 minutes. Then add 1 dye tablet or 10 drops of food coloring to the water in the tank.

Dyeing the water this way will allow you to see whether the water in the tank is leaking into the toilet bowl. 

You want to be sure to wait at least 10 minutes so that the water in the tank will completely change color. 

Make The Necessary Checks

You want to check the water in the toilet bowl to see if it’s changed color. If the water in the bowl has any trace of the dye you put in the tank, the water in the tank has leaked into the bowl.

This means the cause of your leak is a faulty flush valve, and if damaged, it will have to be replaced.

If this isn’t your problem, check to see if the water level in the tank has gone up or down. If the water has risen above your mark, there’s probably something wrong with the fill valve.

If the water has gone down, there might be a leak in your flush valve.

You will also need to check if there’s any water in the overflow tube. This would also indicate that the fill valve is leaking and overflowing the water in the tank.

If you’re unsure what part you need to replace, you can buy a kit that has all the parts and replace everything.  

Fixing your Toilet

Replacing A Flush Valve

You want to make sure the water supply to the toilet is shut off, and then you want to flush it. This will drain the water out of the tank and down the commode. 

Now you can remove the nuts attached to the supply tube and the toilet bowl. The tank is attached to the wall by the supply tube and the toilet bowl by two bolts underneath the tank.

Then lift the tank off the bowl once the nuts have been loosened. 

Then unscrew the locknut on the bottom of the tank and remove the valve. You’re looking for a large nut in the middle of the tank that holds the flush valve in place.

Then you can place the new flush valve where the old valve was. 

Tighten the locknut to complete the installation and place the tank back on the toilet and tighten the bolts. You may want to be careful of any spillage from the tank when you’re moving it around, so placing some towels down is recommended.

Fixing A Fill Valve Leak

Turn the water supply valve in the back of the toilet to turn off the supply, then you want to Disconnect the water supply tube behind the tank. This is the tube immediately beneath the location of the fill valve underneath the tank.

Use a wrench to turn the tube counterclockwise to disconnect it.

How To Fix A Leaking Toilet (1)

Now you want to unscrew the locknut attached to the fill valve on the bottom of the tank. This is the nut underneath the tank that holds the fill valve in place.

Remove the old fill valve through the top of the tank, so take the lid off of the top of the tank if you haven’t already. Pull the old valve directly upwards to remove it.

Place the new fill valve in the tank and install it using the instructions provided, if any. Put the new fill valve in the spot where you just removed the old one and screw the locknut onto the bottom of it. 

Be sure to attach the refill tube to the side of the fill valve and orient it over the overflow tube in the tank. Then Reattach the water supply tube and turn on the water. Lastly, once the water supply has been turned back on, flush the toilet to test the new fill valve.

The Bottom Line

We’ve outlined here some of the most common issues you may find when there is a leak on your toilet, but of course, there may be issues such as your toilet bowl leaking, which could indicate a faulty or cracked bowl, which means you’ll likely need it replaced.

This may be beyond your expertise and may require a professional to install it, but knowing and fixing the issue will give you that peace of mind and will make your bathroom the pride of your household.

Mike Noren