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Even with a new High Efficient Toilet that uses 1.28 GPF, you may be wasting water without your knowledge. Sure. We’ve had homeowners lament that their supposedly water efficient systems used way too much water than their old toilets. The cause was, of course, water dripping from their toilet.
Since you are reading this, it’s very likely that you have the same problem. So, let us show you how to fix a leaking toilet.
Common Causes Of Toilet Leaks And How To Fix Them
1. Leaks From The Tank
The toilet cistern is the major culprit in toilet leaks and loses water in 3 ways:
- Visible-leaks: where the water leaks or spills over and floods on the nearby floor
- Invisible cracks in the walls
- Secret-leaks: where the water leaks directly into the bowl
Visible Leaks And Spill-Overs
If your toilet tank is overflowing (water dripping from the brim), the chances are that the float and the inlet valve system is not working correctly and needs readjustment. Also known as the ball, the toilet float is a water-fill regulating device that switches the inlet valve ON and OFF.
In case the mechanism is faulty, the level water will rise and spill through the overflow tube to the bowl, and later spill over the brim to your floors.
Do know that your tank could also leak from fine cracks in the walls. Most homeowners confuse this with a sweating tank.
Best Way To Diagnose Invisible Cracks
- Add 6-7 drops of food color to the water in the cistern
- After around 20 minutes, the colored water from the tank should be visible on the outside of the container.
What’s The Remedy For This?
- If you have a 2-piece toilet like the Toto CST744SG-01 Drake, you could buy the tank separately and replace it. However, if you have a one piece toilet where the seat and the tank have been fused into a single unit, you’ll have no option but to replace the entire system.
As I told you, if your toilet tank won’t fill, you may be having a leaking toilet without knowing. This happens when the water leaks through the flapper into the bowl. This is the most dangerous type of leak since it’s hard to detect.
If a toilet is leaking from the flapper, the chances are that the flapper (also known as the valve seal) is not sitting properly over the drainage hole or it’s worn out and requires requirement.
You can try to fix this by repositioning the flapper or replacing it altogether.
Our other article on how to replace a flapper is the ultimate guide on how to diagnose a leaking flapper and how to fix it.
2. Leaking From The Base
If the floor around your toilet base feels spongy or there is a small pool of water around it, the chances are that there is a leak at the flange.
Also known as a closet/toilet flange, this is a pipe fitting that connects the commode’s drain pipe to your drainage system. It also mounts and holds the entire fixture firmly on the floor.
The closet flange uses a wax ring to prevent leaks. However, the ring develops leaks over time, and, therefore, requires replacement. This isn’t an easy task, but any enthusiastic DIYer can breeze through it.
Our guide on how to install a toilet flange and how to remove toilet flange has everything you need to stop leaks from the base.
You might also find this video quite helpful:
Fixing the most common causes of leaks can be done without involving your local plumber. It’s also easier and cheaper than most homeowners think. You only need the right tools and a little know-how. Other than this guide, there are hundreds of helpful how-to videos on YouTube that you can make good use of as well.
Lastly, remember that learning how to fix a leaking toilet won’t be of much use if what you actually need is a new toilet. If your system requires maintenance every other weekend, I guess it’s time you pulled the trigger and bought yourself a new toilet. If this is the case, our best toilet buying guide might be the best place to start your search.