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How to Fix a Leaking Toilet – Fix Internal & External Toilet Leak Yourself

You may have a leaking toilet someday. Do you know how to fix a leaking toilet by yourself? Read on this guide to learn how to fix a leaking toilet tank and how to fix a leaking toilet base.

by Lane | 2019-09-06 Share:

A leaking toilet includes internal toilet leaks and external toilet leaks. They are common problems that occur in the bathroom, but it is easier to repair a leaking toilet than you think. Learn how to fix a leaking toilet from this guide to diagnose and fix the issue by yourself easily.

Part 1: How to Fix a Leaking Toilet Tank- Internal Toilet Leak

How to Fix a Leaking Toilet 

The leaking toilet tank is a common problem that happens to the older toilet. It is not an emergency, but a leaking toilet does need to be fixed. There are more than 200 gallons of water going down the drain each day by the leaking toilet. Leaky fill valve, float, and tank bolts are the three most common places in the toilet tank where leaks are likely to occur. Here we provide easy-to-follow instructions on how to diagnose why your toilet is leaking and how to fix it.

Step 1: Inspect the fill valve and float.

how to fix a leaking toilet tank 

1. Open the tank lid and take a look inside the tank. If the water level rises above the overflow tube, the problem may be with the float or the fill valve. 

2. To check the fill valve, flush the toilet and gently lift the float arm until you hear the water stop. If the water doesn’t stop, the problem is caused by the fill valve. If the water stops, the problem may be with the float. 

3. Adjust the level of the float by turning the screw at the top of the ballcock. If the adjustment can’t stop water from running into the overflow tube, the problem is with the float. 

4. Replace the fill valve or float if they can’t work properly. 

TIP : The float rises with the level of the water and tells the fill valve to shut off the water flow when the tank is full. If the float or the fill valve doesn’t work properly, the water keeps filling until it spills through the overflow tube and into the bowl.

Step 2: Test the flapper.

If the water level in the tank is not rising above the overflow tube, but you still hear or see water leaking into the bowl, the third possible source of the leak is the flapper. Turn off the water supply and wait about 15 minutes to see whether the water level drops or not. If it drops, the problem is with the flapper or flapper chain. If the flapper is worn or damaged, replace it. If the flapper chain is tight, replace the flapper chain easily.

One related article you may need: How to Fix a Running Toilet without a Ball Float

Part 2: How to Fix a Leaking Toilet Base - External Toilet Leak

how to fix a leaking toilet base 

If you notice a small pool of water with unpleasant odors where your toilet meets the floor, you may have a leaky toilet base. Standing water at the base of your toilet could rot floor surfaces and result in other potential problems. So fix the leaking toilet as soon as you notice the problem. Here is a quick guide to help you diagnose and fix a leaking toilet base with the common causes of leaks.

Step 1: Check the tee bolts.

Tee bolts are plastic-covered bolts at the base of the toilet. Loose or faulty tee bolts can break the toilet’s internal wax seal and cause leaks. Remove the plastic covers from the tee bolts and use a wrench to tighten the bolts. If the bolts are frozen or spin freely, you need to replace them.

Step 2: Replace the damaged wax ring. 

If the toilet is still leaking after tightening or replacing the tee bolts, you may have a damaged wax ring. It is easy to replace the wax ring, but you need to remove the toilet from the floor. Follow the steps below to replace the wax ring:

1. Purchase a new wax ring that works for your toilet from the hardware store. 

2. Remove the toilet. Shut off the water supply first. Empty the water in the tank and bowl by flushing the toilet. Unscrew the nut that holds the fill valve in place and use a bucket to catch the remaining water. Use a wrench to loosen the tee bolts. 

3. Lift the toilet and set it on its side. It is a good idea to have someone help you to rock the toilet gently to break the seal to avoid injury or damage to your toilet. 

4. Remove the old wax ring. Put on waterproof gloves and scrape the old ring away carefully. Also, clear out the keyed slots for the tee bolts in the flange.

fix leaking toilet

5. Install the new wax ring. Place the new wax ring over the flange and slide the tee bolts into the keys on the side of the flange.

6. Install the toilet. Lift the toilet and align the holes on the side of toilet with the tee bolts and set the toilet down. 

7. Press the toilet into the wax ring to create a watertight seal.

8. Secure the toilet. Place the washers and nuts back on the tee bolts and tighten properly. 

9. Reconnect the water line and turn on the water supply.

10. Test the toilet by flushing the toilet and watch for leaks.

Also read: How to Clean a Toilet Bowl Quickly - 5 Simple Ways

Tips for Fixing a Leaking Toilet

While fixing the leaking toilet is simple, there are some tips to keep in mind to avoid other problems.

Bottom Line

We hope this guide can help you fix a leaking toilet whether your issue is internal toilet leak or leaky toilet base. If the tips above don’t help you fix your toilet, or if you have any doubts or questions about the repairs, make a common below.

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Related Readings for Reference

• 6 Reasons Your Toilet Won’t Flush & 6 Solutions to Fix It

• [2019 Detailed Guide] How to Fix a Running Toilet without a Ball Float

• 3 Ways to Unclog Toilet without a Plunger

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