How to Check a Toilet For Leaks

How to Check a Toilet For Leaks

Do you think that your toilet is leaking? There are a few places in the toilet that could seep water. You might find that the rug around the toilet is wet or that the toilet seems to run endlessly. Figuring out the how and why behind the toilet leak is necessary if you want to properly fix it. Fortunately, there are several ways to get to the bottom of the issue without too much hassle. 

 

Here is how to check a toilet for leaks:

 

  • Look Out for Signs of a Leaking Toilet

Knowing when a toilet could be leaking water is the first step to figuring out whether the issue is a mere leak or something much more problematic. 

 

Some signs of a toilet leaking include: 

 

Stained floors around the toilet. Does the floor around the base of the toilet look brown, gray, or yellowed? This is a sign of a leak—an old one—because of the visible water damage. 

Noisy toilet after flushing. This is usually caused by a disruption in the tank itself, such as the flusher or the fill valve. 

Bottom of the tank leaks. If you spot water collecting around the base, it usually points to a leaky tank. This is caused by wear and tear, particularly with toilets that have gotten a lot of use. 

There is a bad smell coming from the toilet. While a foul odor could mean a number of things when we’re talking about plumbing and toilets, if you smell the odor all the time, it is a sure sign that the pipes are leaking. When something is wrong with the pipes, the odor rising out of the vent pipe behind the toilet, releasing gases into your home. Be sure to deal with this problem immediately. 

 

Common issues why your toilet may be leaking

 

You will notice that some of these signs are connected with one type of cause. There can be several reasons why your toilet is leaking, but there are three issues that are most common: 

 

Faulty flappers

Fill valve problems

Damaged wax seals

 

Sometimes, the leak is not obvious. You may find that you need to check a few more things before you can say for sure that the toilet is leaking. 

 

Follow these steps: 

 

  • Remove the Toilet’s Tank Lid

The first step to finding a toilet leak is to assess the condition inside the tank. Simply remove the cover. Put it somewhere safe while you conduct this test. 

 

  • Check the Water Level in the Tank

Now that you have removed the toilet’s lid, you can peer inside. Look at the water level. You should see a line that marks the optimal water level line on the side or back wall of the tank. If the water is far above or below the line, you have a problem. The best way to deal with the issue is to call in a professional plumber for assistance, since they will have the tools and knowledge to make the whole fix easier. 

 

  • Perform a Food Coloring Test

Before calling in the plumber, you can do what is called “the food coloring test.” It is simple. You will need a few food coloring bottles. Choose a dye that will be easily visible in your water or the toilet basin. Put about 15-20 drops of dye in the water in the holding tank, just enough for the color in the tank to visibly change. Wait for about 30-45 minutes. 

 

Once the set time is up, return to the bathroom and check to see if the colored water from the toilet’s tank has leaked into the bowl. If some of the dye is in the bowl, then you may have a leaky flapper, faulty valve, or a crack in the overflow tube. 

 

  • Fixing a Leaking Toilet

A minor leak can be easily fixed without the help of a professional plumber. Here are some troubleshooting tips that you can follow to repair the leak: 

 

Check the toilet flapper. Faulty flappers can be problematic. They may cause small rivulets of water to flow into the toilet’s tank. Take a look at the flapper to see if there is a tight seal to stop leaks from beginning. 

Tighten the tee bolts. Is the leak coming from the base? You can try to tighten the tee bolts on the sides of the toilet’s base. You will need to remove the plastic coverings first then use a wrench to tighten each bolt. This should help compress the toilet against the floor and create the seal. 

Check and replace the wax ring on the bottom of the toilet. If neither the flapper nor the bolts are the issue, then you should look at the wax ring. Since this can be labor intensive, it is recommended that you hire a plumber to help. You will need to uninstall the entire toilet in order to replace the wax ring then re-install again. 


  • Get a Professional Plumber to Help

Dealing with plumbing when you don’t know where to begin can be difficult. Even if you have performed the food coloring test and know that you have a leak, you may not know which tools are necessary for the repairs. Rather than struggling with the toilet leak, get some peace of mind by calling in a professional plumber for help. 

 

Certified plumbers will have the experience and the tools to find the leak and resolve it swiftly. You won’t have to worry about the leak for long! Get In touch with us by calling or sending us a message with the contact form. 

 

We will get back to you soon.

The post How to Check a Toilet For Leaks appeared first on The Irish Plumber.

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