• Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

Toilet leaking? Here’s how to fix common toilet problems

ByMicheal Weingarten

Sep 16, 2023

A leaky toilet causes water damage, increases your water bill, and creates an annoying dripping sound. While some leaks require a plumber, many common toilet problems are fixed with basic tools and a little know-how. The easy fix is to check the toilet handle. If the handle is loose, tighten the screw at the base of the handle. The adjustment often stops water from continuously running into the toilet bowl. Tighten the screw snugly, but be careful not to overtighten. The flapper chain connects the flapper valve at the bottom of the toilet tank to the flush handle. If the chain is too tight or too loose, it prevents the flapper from creating a proper seal. It leads to water slowly trickling into the bowl. Disconnect the chain from the handle and remove any slack links in the chain. Reattach the chain so there is about 1/2 inch of play when you lift the handle.

Replace the flapper valve

If tightening the chain doesn’t solve the problem, the flapper valve likely needs replacing. The rubber seal on the flapper deteriorates, allowing water to pass through even when it should be sealed. Turn off the water supply valve behind the toilet. Use a wrench or pliers to disconnect the water supply line from below the tank. Remove the old flapper and bring it to the hardware store to find an exact replacement. Install the new flapper, reconnect the water line, and turn the supply back on.

Check the fill valve

The Vaucluse plumbing provides fresh water to refill the tank after flushing. If the water slowly trickles into the overflow tube, the fill valve likely needs adjusting. Locate the adjustment screw near the bottom of the valve. Turn it clockwise about a quarter turn to raise the valve’s water level. If it continues leaking, the fill valve may need replacing. Loose bolts allow water to leak from the tank into the bowl. Flush to empty the tank. Use a wrench or pliers to tighten the nuts around the tank bolts. Apply downward pressure while tightening to create a good seal. For corroded bolts, pick up replacement bolts, nuts, and washers.

Check the toilet base

Water on the floor around a toilet often results from a leak at the toilet’s base, rather than inside the tank. Apply weight on the edges of the toilet to reveal any leaks. Reseal any loose connections with the plumber’s putty. For major cracks in the toilet base, replacing the entire toilet may be required. If the water level in the tank is too high, a float that’s set too high could be the issue. The float controls the fill valve to stop water from flowing once the tank reaches the right level. If the float is set too high, water can overflow into the overflow tube. Carefully bend the float rod down to lower the float. Make small adjustments and check the new water level after flushing.