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How to Check a Toilet for Leaks in 4 Simple Steps

Are you worried about your toilet leaking? There are lots of places where a toilet can leak. Water pooling around the base of the toilet can indicate that the wax ring is leaking, or there could be a crack in the toilet tank. A toilet that runs frequently usually means there’s a leak between the tank and the bowl.

Is it time to check your toilet for a leak? We’ll show you exactly how to do it in four simple steps.

How to Check Toilets for Leaks in 4 Steps

  1. Remove toilet tank lid
    The first step is to remove the tank lid from your toilet. The lid is located on the top your toilet and should come off easily. Place one hand on each side of the lid and carefully lift it off. Place it on the floor nearby.
  2. Check the water level in the tank
    When you’ve removed the toilet tank lid, you can check the water level in the toilet tank. Inside the toilet tank, you should see a line that indicates the optimal water level. The water level line is usually marked ‘’water line’’ on the side or back interior wall of the toilet. If the water is above or below this line, you’ll need to make the necessary adjustments to ensure the level of water inside the toilet tank is correct by adjusting the fill valve.
  3. Conduct the food coloring test
    To conduct the food coloring test, you’ll need some food coloring bottles handy. It doesn’t matter which color dye you use. Simply place 15-20 drops into the water in your toilet tank, enough to visibly change the color of the water and wait 30 minutes.
  4. Check the water in the bowl for color
    After 30 minutes, check the color of the water in your toilet bowl. If any of the dye has made it into your toilet bowl, then there’s a leak at the flapper or a crack in the overflow tube, and a fix is required.

How to Fix a Leaking Toilet

You may be able to fix a leaking toilet yourself, especially if the leak is minor.

Here are some troubleshooting steps you can follow:

  • Check the flapper – A faulty flapper can lead to a small stream of water continually flowing into the toilet tank. Check the flapper to ensure it’s creating a proper seal to prevent leaks.
  • Tighten the tee bolts – If the leak in your toilet is coming from the base, try tightening the tee bolts on either side of the base of the toilet. Remove the plastic covers from the tee bolts on either side and use a wrench to tighten the bolts. This may compress the toilet drain outlet and restore the seal.
  • Replace the wax ring – If tightening the bolts doesn’t resolve the base leak, the wax ring may need to be replaced. This process involves completely uninstalling and re-installing the toilet. We recommend contacting your local Mr. Rooter® Plumbing for assistance.

Let Mr. Rooter Fix Your Leaking Toilet

If you notice your toilet leaking and you can’t fix it yourself, then Mr. Rooter Plumbing can help. As soon as you notice a leak, it’s worth getting it repaired right away to prevent further damage from occurring. Get started by requesting a job estimate online or calling us now at (855) 982-2028.

Could a leaky toilet cause water damage? Rainbow International has some advice. As part of the Neighborly® family of home service brands, Rainbow International is the flood remediation authority you can rely on.