How to Fix a Leaking Toilet
Toilets are very reliable plumbing fixtures with an average life expectancy of over 40 years. However, occasionally, water will begin to leak out from under the toilet causing serious water damage. Leaks may get trapped beneath the toilet which can rot the floor surfaces and the underlying framing. A leaky toilet needs to be repaired as soon as you noticed the leaks to avoid further damage and costly repairs. According to nonprofit environmental conservation organization Clean Up Australia Ltd., a leaking toilet can waste more than 16,000 litres of water a year. This guide will help you in repairing a leaking toilet.
Diagnose the Problem
Water pooling around the base of the toilet is usually caused by the failure of the wax seal. However, the leaks may be caused by other problems. Dry the floor with a sponge and a towel and determine whether the water is coming from under the toilet or a loose supply tube, sweaty bowl or cracked tank. Tightening the closet bolts that secure the toilet to the floor might be able to stop the water leaking from under the toilet. If water is still leaking after tightening the closet bolts, proceed to the next steps.
Remove the Toilet
Before removing the toilet, turn of the water at the shutoff valve and drain as much water as possible from the tank. Unscrew the water closet nut with a wrench. Use a locking pliers, if the bolt spins along with the nut. The nut that connects the water supply line to the bottom of the tank must also be unscrewed. You need to remove the tank from the bowl before lifting the bowl from the floor.
Apply the New Wax Gasket
Thoroughly clean off wax residue from the the bottom of the toilet and the closet flanges. You can use a knife to scrape off the residue. Check the flange for cracks or bents. If the flange is broken, place a repair strap under the flanges to fill in the missing piece. Installation of a full replacement flange is not recommended since replacing the entire flange is not an easy task. Apply the new wax gasket on the center of the flange. Replacing the wax seal can prevent costly structural damage.
Reset the Toilet
Connect the water supply tube to the shank on the bottom of the tank, then set the toilet back in place. To compress the gasket, press down on the toilet bowl rim. Press down again after tightening the closet bolts. Trim off the tops of the closet bolts using a close-quarter hacksaw. Replace the caps covering the closet bolts after tightening them. Once the resetting has been completed, flush the toilet and check for leaks.