Sunday, 26 April 2009

Repairing a Leaky Toilet

Picture this: you walk into the bathroom one afternoon and discover a small puddle of water around the base of the toilet. Your first thought is to blame your children as you assume they flushed another toy down the toilet, but then you remember that your children have been over at a friend's house all day and couldn’t possibly be to blame for the problem. So, it appears you have a leak that needs to be repaired.

Exploring Your Options

You could call a plumber to repair your toilet leak, but that would be expensive. Besides, this is probably a repair that you can complete on your own. At the same time, this is not a repair that can be ignored because the leak could lead to major problems by causing water damage to your bathroom.

Making the Repair

The first thing you need to do in order to repair a toilet leak is to check the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor. If one or both of the floor bolts are loose, then tightening them will probably take care of the problem. Just be careful to not overtighten the bolts, as you can crack the ceramic of the toilet base and you will have a whole new problem to deal with.

Once you have made sure the bolts are tight, check to see if you still have a leak problem. If you do, the next step is to check the supply line. Make sure all of the connections are tight. If you discover a leak there, you can easily replace the supply line and take care of the leak. In order to do this, simply shut off the valve, flush the toilet and disconnect the line. Make sure you have a small bucket handy when replacing the supply line, as there will be some water in the tank and in the old line. Once the line is removed, replace it with a new line and tighten everything back up.

If that still doesn't fix the problem, you may need to replace the wax ring, which acts as a gasket between the toilet and the drain pipe. Shut off the supply line, flush the toilet to drain the tank, and disconnect the supply line. Once again, keep a bucket on hand to catch the excess water. Then, remove the nuts from the floor bolts, lift the toilet and set it to one side. Scrape away the remains of the old wax ring from both the drain and the base of the toilet and put a new wax ring in place. Place the toilet back over the new wax ring and then reattach and tighten everything.

After taking all of these steps, your leak should be repaired. If you want to learn more about how to repair leaks or how to complete more advanced plumbing repairs, however, you might want to consider taking a few classes. That way, you will be prepared to take care of any problems that occur in your household plumbing system.

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