Leaking toilets can cause extreme damage if left unattended. If the excess water and continuous running sound isn’t enough to drive you crazy, there is also the massive dent on your water bill to help tip you over the edge! To help answer the common question ‘how to fix a leaking toilet’ we’ve broken it down for you!
So whether you’ve noticed water around the base of the toilet or the cistern is running like it’s in the City To Surf, here are some simple fixes you can try to stop this annoying problem in its tracks.
Why is my toilet leaking around the base?
If water is leaking around the base of the toilet it is usually a sign that there’s a problem with the pan collar or rubber that seals the toilet base and the drainpipe under the toilet. There can however be a few other culprits!
Not as common, but still important to check, is that the base of the toilet is holding tight to the floor. If it isn’t, you will most likely notice the toilet rocking back and forth. This can break the seal on the pan collar or move the rubber seal. Once the seal is broken or the rubber seal has moved, water can then seep out around the base each time the toilet flushes.
Another problem area could be the seal from a close coupled cistern, which is attached to the pan by screws inside the cistern itself. This seal can leak when the rubbers are perished or when over tightened. Worse still, this can actually result in a cracked cistern. Unfortunately this crack can be extremely fine, so most people don’t even know it is there. Plus, the leak comes from a different area, usually appearing under the toilet or at the base. Again, making it harder to see where this nasty little leak is coming from.
One final possibility for the toilet leaking around the base could simply be condensation. This condensation build up leaks down the toilet and onto the floor. This is a much easier problem to fix but again, a lot less common as the major cause of a leak.
How to fix a leaking toilet that’s leaking from the base?
Test for condensation
When you are trying to work out how to fix a leaking toilet, firstly you need to make sure that is a leak and that the water isn’t just condensation. You can test this by flushing the toilet a few times to see if water is dripping down the side. If it is not condensation, well the fun begins.
Resetting or Removing the Pan
You need to find out if you can simply reset your pan or if it has to be removed. If removed is your only option, you are going to want a professional to help you. The pan collar rubber will need to be replaced and the pan has to be reset back into place. This is not an easy job. To work out which option is right for your leaking toilet, call in a local plumber. In most cases where the toilet is leaking from the base it will need to be removed to repair the leak.
Ensure your toilet is stable
Make sure your toilet is secured to the floor and not rocking or moving when you sit on it. If it is rocking or moving, this can cause the seals to leak. Worse still, you could even crack the pan which can also be dangerous!
Check how your toilet is secured to the floor
There are several ways a toilet may be secured to the floor. In older toilets, you will find they are usually cemented to the tiles. It’s not common for them to just come loose but if they are bumped, or have poor installation it can happen. In some cases you may be able to re-secure the toilet.
In more recent times, toilets are siliconed to the floor. If this installation process is done correctly, they will be secure and completely safe. The only real way for a toilet that has been siliconed to the floor to come loose is if it was not installed well in the first place. There’s some good news though. If your toilet was installed with silicone, to fix the leak is actually a lot easier. The pan can be removed by cutting around the base of the toilet and once it is loose it can be removed. This gives access to the pan collar. Leaking seals can then be replaced and then the pan can be reset.
In Australia, it is a lot less common to find toilets that have been bolted to the floor with screws. However, in states like Queensland, in what people refer to as the ‘Old Queenslander’ the toilets were bolted down with this method. This involved screwing the pan to the floor with brass pan screws. If you do have a toilet like this, you need to check the screws. These screws can come loose or wear out over time. If this is the case, they will most likely need to be replaced. Just be careful not to over-tighten them as you may crack the pan!
My toilet won’t stop running. How can I fix it?
Running water may seem like a difficult problem but it’s actually quite common. There are a few different methods to fixing a toilet that won’t stop running and we have listed them here for you!
- Check outlet valve – if the outlet valve is obstructed by something or not aligning correctly with the flush valve, water can leak from the tank. For the DIY’s out there, you can try to fix this yourself. Try moving whatever is obstructing the outlet valve or putting the sealing rubber back into position and see if this fixes the leak.
- Check the float ball or inlet valve – if the float ball or inlet valve is not at the right level, the water may be pushed down into the toilet. Or, if your inlet valve or ball valve rubber is worn out, then there is no way it will seal. This will cause the toilet to just keep filling up. It won’t matter how much you adjust your water level, it will still fill and still overflow. If this is the case you need to replace the inlet valve. If you have tried to replace the inlet valve yourself but it’s not set at the correct level, your toilet can still flow over. When it comes down to it, yes, you can try and fix these things yourself. If you are not a professor of toilet tank components however, it is probably best to speak to someone who is and save yourself the headache.
Do I need a plumber to fix a leaking toilet?
Some leaking toilet and plumbing issues can be more than a little complex. If you’re not completely comfortable with your plumbing skills, we recommend calling in a professional plumber. For simple fixes, you can try some of our tips above. If you don’t seem to be getting anywhere fast however, there is most likely a bigger problem at hand and it’s time to call in the big guns!
Better still, we can be on your doorstep the same day you call us! So what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone now or book online today. See for yourself why thousands of Australians have given Service Today their 5 star tick of approval!