Leaks in Your Toilet: When to Repair and When to Replace

A leaky toilet is a frustrating ordeal. It can be a mess to clean up after, and without any plumbing experience, you may not know what to expect. Will you have to replace your entire toilet? In some instances, this is a yes. But in most cases, replacing or repairing a small part of the toilet can solve the problem. Here’s how to deal with toilet leaks.

Leaking from the Base of the Toilet

This can probably be fixed by replacing the wax seal at the bottom of the toilet. Call a plumber for help, as this can be strenuous and difficult for most people to do themselves. And remember to replace the seal anytime you remove the toilet for any reason. You may have to shut off the water to the toilet while you wait for a plumber to arrive. The shut off valve is usually located on the wall very close by to the toilet.

Leaking from the Toilet Bowl

Unfortunately, this often means that your toilet is done for. Sealing leaks in the toilet tank or bowl can be difficult, and it may save you a lot of time to replace the toilet instead. A toilet bowl that is cracking is probably quite old, so a new toilet may actually use less water and save you money, on top of protecting your flooring from water leaks.

Leaks between the Tank and the Bowl

The flush valve inside of the tank is easily replaced, so don’t worry about the condition of your toilet for these types of leaks. However, you should worry about your water usage. It can be difficult to tell if water is leaking from the tank to the bowl, but you can follow these steps to find out.

Remove the lid to the toilet tank and add regular food coloring to the water. Without flushing your toilet, wait 15 minutes and check again. If the water in the bowl is now the same color as the water in the tank, you need to replace the flapper valve at the bottom of the tank.

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