A toilet with a minor leakage

5 Possible Reasons Your Toilet is Leaking

Is your toilet leaking and you don’t know why? In this blog, we’re going to ease your worries and break down the top 5 most common causes behind leaking toilets. This is a great starting point even before your emergency plumber arrives so you can help expedite the process. After all, the sooner you can get to the root of the problem, the sooner it can be fixed.

Let’s begin!

Flooded bathroom because of water pipe damage

1. Leaking Supply Line

The supply line is what brings water into the tank of the toilet for the flush mechanism to work. The supply line is connected to both the supply valve and to the toilet itself. Leaks usually happen when joints in the supply line grow weak or become loose. The rubber lining within the supply line, which is there to prevent leakage, can also rupture. This is either caused by gradual wear and tear or mechanical damage to the supply line.

This is relatively easy to fix. If you are confident in your home repair skills and you’ve ruled out that the leakage is really happening due to a breakage in the supply line, you can try to replace the supply line yourself with these easy steps:

  1. Start by shutting off the water supply to your toilet. Generally, you’d be able to do this by turning the valve clockwise.
  2. Next, remove the water from the tank by flushing. You can clean out the remaining water with an absorbent material like a towel.
  3. Disconnect the faulty supply line from the valve. Then, disconnect it from the fill valve on the toilet.
  4. Connect the new supply line to both valves.
  5. Now, you’re ready to turn the water back on and check if the leak problem has been solved.

The caveat: before beginning to attempt DIY, you need to be absolutely sure that the leakage is coming from the supply line. You would also need to purchase the right type of supply line for your bathroom set up.

This is where expert assistance from 1st Rooter comes in handy. With a residential plumbing expert on board, you’ll be able to get advice on what kind of supply line to get so that future leakages can be avoided. You would also be able to save yourself the time, effort, and possible doubled costs due to mistakes.

2. Broken Wax Seal on the Bottom of the Toilet

The wax seal under your toilet serves as an impermeable barrier that keeps flushed water and sewage from leaking unto the floor. A telltale sign that this is the problem behind your toilet’s leakage is that in addition to water accumulating at the base of your toilet, you may also smell a lingering, unpleasant bathroom odor. Your toilet may also wobble is this is the issue.

The most common reason for damage to your toilet’s wax seal is simply wear and tear. Every now and then though, it could need a replacement. Replacing the wax seal under your toilet is not something recommended for DIY. The process is meticulous and slight mistakes will mean you will face the same or worse problems.

This is a fairly complicated process that is best left to the pros. With an expert on the job, you’ll be sure to have the best quality wax ring installed securely and ready for years to come.

3. Damaged Toilet Tank

The toilet tank holds the water from the supply line that the toilet uses for its flushing mechanism. The most common reason why leaks would arise from this part of the toilet is accidental impact, resulting in cracks on the tank that might cause water to leak and form puddles on your bathroom floor. Even hairline cracks could cause toilet leaks and these kinds of small cracks are the hardest to detect.

The good news is that with minor cracks on the toilet tank, it’s not necessary to replace the whole toilet. A good sealant would get the job done. However, the challenge could arise when locating the crack, especially if it’s a small one. But once you’ve ruled out other possible causes for the leakage and you’ve determined where the crack is, you can try the following steps to remedy your cracked toilet tank:

  1. Start by shutting off the water supply to your toilet. Generally, you’d be able to do this by turning the valve clockwise.
  2. Next, remove the water from the tank by flushing. You can clean out the remaining water with an absorbent material like a towel.
  3. You can use either a porcelain sealer or epoxy. Apply this over the crack. Start an inch above the crack and slowly trace through the crack, filling it with the sealer or epoxy.
  4. Smooth out the sealer with a plastic knife and let it dry for at least 24 hours. Once done, turn on the water again and check if the leak is still present.

The caveat: if you’re facing major cracks that cannot be easily fixed with a sealer or epoxy—or if your DIY fix doesn’t work—it’s time to call in the experts.

4. Fill Valve Problems

This is the part of the toilet located within the toilet tank that is responsible for refilling the tank after flushing. If your toilet water is continuously running, is slow to refill, and/or a screeching noises are all signs that you have a fill valve problem. The fill valve on your toilet will go through wear and tear over time. Mineral deposits can also accumulate on it, causing damage. These issues can cause the fill valve to be unable to shut off, which can lead to a leaking toilet.

Replacing the fill valve on your own is not too complicated. As with the other causes of toilet leaks mentioned above, you first need to make sure that this is really the root of your leakage problem. Once other causes are ruled out, you can try to follow these steps to fix your fill valve:

  1. Start by shutting off the water supply to your toilet. Generally, you’d be able to do this by turning the valve clockwise.
  2. Next, remove the water from the tank by flushing. You can clean out the remaining water with an absorbent material like a towel.
  3. Remove the supply line from the tank.
  4. Remove the existing fill valve.
  5. Adjust the height of the new fill valve and install it into place.
  6. Reattach the supply line to the toilet. Turn the water on once again and see if any of the previous problems persist.

Though replacing a fill valve is considered something that’s usually DIY-friendly, there are still nuances to it that may encourage you to seek expert advice. For one thing, the right experts will be able to advise you on what fill valve will last you the longest. You would also save a lot of time and effort by calling in a plumber from the start.

A fixed toilet with no leakage

5. Faulty Toilet Float

A toilet float is the ball that floats on top of the water in the toilet tank. It’s also called the ballcock or float valve. Its purpose is to signal the mechanism that controls water intake when the tank needs refilling. Wear and tear or simply mechanical damage can cause this part of the toilet to get a crack or become misaligned. When this happens, the fill valve will run continuously.

Before attempting to fix this problem yourself, you first need to figure out if this is really the reason behind your toilet leaking. Once you have, here are the steps to replacing it:

  1. Start by shutting off the water supply to your toilet. Generally, you’d be able to do this by turning the valve clockwise.
  2. Next, remove the water from the tank by flushing. You can clean out the remaining water with an absorbent material like a towel.
  3. Use pliers to unscrew the arm of the old toilet float and remove it.
  4. Thread and screw the new toilet float into place. It needs to be securely connected to the fill valve.
  5. You can now turn on the water and see if your leakage problem has stopped.

Just as with the other items on this list, you can always call in the experts to help you fix a leaking toilet if you want to be sure of getting a solution that will last you years, without any hiccups.

Where can I get expert help?

1st Rooter Plumbing is a leading provider of quick and reliable service for residential, commercial, and emergency plumbing concerns. Contact us today for professional plumbing help to fix your leaking toilet.