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What to Do About Leaky Toilet

What to Do About That Leaky Toilet

Is the floor around your toilet spongy or warped? Perhaps there's a small puddle of water at the base of your toilet. 

Either way, you have a leaky toilet on your hands. Whatever you do, don't ignore it. A small leak can cause big problems for your floor's framing. 

Plus, the longer you wait, the higher the repair costs. Read on for a simple walkthrough of how to fix a leaky toilet. 

Inspect the Float and Inlet Valve

There's no point removing the toilet without first ruling out that the toilet leak is in the tank.

Pop off the lid and look inside. Does the water level rise above the overflow tube? If so, you likely have an issue with the float or the fill valve.

broken float doesn't tell the inlet valve when to shut off the flow. This means that the water keeps rising until it spills through the overflow tube and into the bowl.

Next, check the inlet valve.

Flush the toilet and as the water rises, lift the rod that holds the float until you hear the water stop. If the water stops, then the inlet valve is working correctly. 

That means that problem is likely with the float.

Adjust the Float

There is a screw at the top of the ballcock. This lets you adjust the level of the float.

Make an adjustment to stop water from flowing into the overflow tube. If that doesn't fix the issue, then maybe the float is defective and should be replaced. 

A new rod and float are just a few dollars at the hardware store. 

If the inside of the tank doesn't seem to be causing the toilet leaking water, it's time to do more problem-solving.

Check for Condensation

Sometimes a toilet leaks due to condensation on the toilet base. You can easily spot this by examining the bowl.

There are a few things you can do to prevent water from puddling around the toilet due to condensation. First, make sure to turn the fan on or open a window when taking a shower. If necessary, leave the bathroom door open to prevent humidity.

You can also insulate the tank to reduce condensation. You can buy a roll of insulation and cut to size to fit the inside of the tank. 

A quick and easy option is to install a drip tray to keep water off your floor. This isn't a permanent fix but it is a good option until you can call your local Austin plumbers to come to take a look.

Fix a Loose Toilet

Another common cause of a leaky toilet is that the base of the toilet is not fastened tightly. 

With just a wrench you can fix this problem in a jiffy. All you need to do is tighten the tee bolts.

Start by removing the plastic covers from the tee bolts on either side of the toilet base. Use an adjustable open-end or box-end wrench to tighten the bolts. If you can't tighten the bolts, you may need to remove the toilet and reseat it after installing new tee bolts.

If this doesn't work, it is likely that the wax ring is damaged or worn out.

Install a New Wax Ring

Often, a toilet leaks when the wax ring has lost its seal. This usually happens when a toilet rocks when you sit on it and wears out the ring.

Replacing the wax ring and resetting the toilet should fix the problem. Sometimes the reason a toilet rocks is because the floor is uneven You might have to install shim gaps before you caulk to prevent this issue from happening again.

You can buy a wax ring at any hardware store. They are generally a standard size but check with your manufacturer about your specific model.

Remove the Toilet

Before you start, shut the water to your toilet off. Then, flush the toilet to clear all remaining water from the tank and bowl. 

Use a sponge or rag to sop up any leftover water in the bowl and tank. 

Then, unscrew the mounting nut that holds the supply tube to the fill valve tailpiece. Using a wrench, remove the nuts from the tee bolts. 

Carefully lift the toilet off the floor drain and place it out of the way. Be gentle with the toilet as they are easy to crack. Toilets are tricky to lift. It's a good idea to ask another person to help with this part.

Once you have removed the toilet, check the tee bolts. If they are rusted, buy a new set.

Remove the Old Wax

Next, use a putty knife to scrape off the old wax ring from around the drain opening. Old wax rings can build up a residue so be sure to wear gloves and have a garbage bag handy.

You will also need to clear out the keyed slots for the tee bolts in the metal ring that sits over the drain opening.

Install the New Wax Ring

Once you have the old wax completely removed, you can install the new ring.

Position the new ring over the drain opening with the plastic cone facing down. Be sure that the tee bolts are in the right position in the key openings.

Replace the Toilet

Finally, you can put the toilet back in its spot and reattach the bolts.

Say Goodbye to the Leaky Toilet

There you have it! We hope these tips for finding and fixing a leaky toilet have been useful, and help you to avoid a new toilet installation.

If fixing a leaky toilet is not in your wheelhouse, no worries. Mr. Rooter can help you with your repair, replacement, or even toilet clogs.

Get a free estimate today from your Austin Mr. Rooter.