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6 Quick Steps on How to Repair a Leaking Toilet


Imagine coming home early to prepare dinner for your friends only to be met with the foul smell of a leaking toilet.

If not repaired quickly, a leaking toilet can cause havoc in your house. Think of the smell, water gushing out and soaking any item on its way, slippery slimy floors. Yikes!

The one thing you want to do after noticing a leaking toilet is to get it fixed. Quick!

Any delay to repair it does not only prolong the irritation, but it also wastes a lot of water. Before the plumber arrives, it helps to know how to repair a leaking toilet, even if temporarily.

A toilet leak can be caused by a faulty toilet supply line, a broken toilet tank, stuck flapper, a faulty inlet valve, or a faulty float.

Follow these steps on how to repair a leaking toilet:

Step 1 – Examine the Float and Inlet Valve

The first step to repair a leaking toilet is to inspect the float and inlet valve. Carefully remove the lid of your toilet tank and look inside. If you discover water is rising above the overflow tube, the leakage may be as a result of a faulty float or inlet valve.

If the float fails to rise with the water level to regulate the inlet valve, closing and opening the flow, water will eventually rise until it spills via the overflow tube and into the toilet bowl. You, therefore, need to test the inlet valve to see if it is functioning by flushing your toilet.

As the water rises, gently lift the rod that holds the float until the water stops. If the water stops, it means the inlet valve is intact. The float is the culprit.

Step 2 – Carefully Adjust the Float

If the float is the problem, adjust its level by screwing the bolt on top of the toilet ballock. Lower the water level in your toilet tank to prevent spilling. If the water fails to stop running into the overflow tube after the adjustment, it means your float is kaput. Replace it.

Step 3 – Stop the Water Flow

In order to repair a leaking toilet, the water flow should be stopped. If after a successful inlet valve test the water does not stop spilling, your ballock is the problem. A broken ballock can be repaired but it is better to replace the entire toilet assembly.

After closing the valve, flush your toilet to remove excess water from your tank by holding down the handle. Use a sponge to dry the remaining water at the bottom of your toilet tank.

Step 4 – Replace the Entire Toilet Assembly

To replace the entire toilet assembly, carefully remove the supply line connecting the bottom of the ballock at the base of your toilet tank. Remove the nut joining the ballock to the tank using slip-joint pliers.

To remove the assembly, lift it from the bottom and then install the new ballock. Use slip-pliers to tighten the new nut from underneath your tank after threading it. Don’t tighten your new nut too much to avoid cracking your toilet tank. Reattach the supply line. Lastly, clip your new refill tube inside the tank.

Step 5 – Test the Toilet Flapper

If the water level in your tank is not above the overflow tube and there is still leakage seeping into your toilet bowl, the problem could be with your toilet flapper. To test if it is the one causing the leak, turn off your water supply at the shutoff valve.

Inspect the water level in your leaking toilet tank to see if it is dropping. You can do this by waiting for about 15 minutes to see if there is a noticeable drop in the water level. If the water is not dropping, your flapper chain may be too tight and, therefore, could be preventing your flapper from letting water into your toilet seat.

Step 6 – Replace the Toilet Flapper

Flapper replacement is easy to undertake. First, drain your tank. Turn off your water at the shutoff valve, hold down the handle and flush your toilet. Check if there are cracks or splits on your flapper.

Also, wipe your flapper seat using a clean cloth to remove debris. Additionally, make sure your flapper is not torn and it tightly fits. If the flapper is damaged, remove and replace it with a new one. Ensure the brand you purchase is the right fit for your toilet.

A leaking toilet is an emergency. However, repairing it is not too complicated if you follow these six steps. After identifying the source of the leak and repairing it, it’s always wise to call in a plumber to inspect your work.

It is, however, advisable to let a professional plumber from a reputable plumber to fix the leak. He or she will inspect your entire plumbing system for clues as to what may have caused the leak in the first place.