You wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom and find a pool of water at your feet. Although annoying, a leaky toilet is not always the end all be all.
In fact, fixing a leaky toilet can be done in a jiffy with the help of a plumber. In some cases, you may be able to fix the problem yourself, depending on the level of damage.
Not sure what is causing your toilet to leak? Read on for seven common causes of a leaky toilet.
1. Flapper Damage
One cause of a leaky toilet may be a damaged flapper. This piece is located in the tank and lifts to allow water to flow into the toilet bowl when someone flushes. It is the piece that protects the interior from bacteria and stains as well.
The flapper in your toilet may be rubber or plastic. Regardless of its material, it will always act as a barrier between the bowl and the tank. As the flapper returns to its normal position, the tank will refill with water once again.
Over time, the flapper can get damaged through general wear and tear that causes it to break, crack, or warp. If this happens, it cannot control the water flow between the bowl and the tank.
As a result of flapper damage, water will leak from the tank into the bowl, creating a trickling sound. Even though you may have heard this sound coming from your toilet before, it is common for homeowners to miss it.
If your water bills are higher than usual, flapper damage may be the cause. Luckily, this is an easy fix. Removing the flapper and installing a replacement will often do the trick.
2. Stuck Flapper
Even if your flapper is not damaged, it could still be the root cause of a leaking toilet. If the flapper gets stuck in the open position, water will continually flow into the bowl from the tank.
A good indicator that this is happening is if your flushing handle is unresponsive or limp. If you notice this problem, lift the lid from the tank to check the position of the flapper.
It may have been disconnected from the flushing handle. For example, the chain may have slipped off. The mechanism that moves the flapper up and down may need to be replaced.
If you are unfamiliar with this process or are unsure if the flapper is the real issue, you may need a professional to fix a leaky toilet.
3. Crack in the Supply Line
The cold water supply line is a more complicated issue than the flapper. This supply line pumps water into the tank.
When the water supply line works as expected, air won’t come in, and water won’t seep out. Over time, the supply line may crack because of old age or high water pressure.
When the supply line cracks, you’ll notice water on the floor surrounding your toilet. In a severe case, you may be dealing with flood damage.
A cracked supply line is not something you should attempt to fix on your own. The best route is to contact a professional plumber as soon as possible to minimize damage to the home. In the meantime, you can turn off the water to prevent more flooding.
4. Tank Damage
The toilet tank can break or crack, causing water to surround the toilet. Repairing a damaged tank takes more than a simple fix.
Although you can temporarily use sealants or putty to fix the leak, it is not the best option. To avoid major issues down the line, a plumber will suggest installing a new toiler entirely.
If your toilet is a two-piece, you can buy a new tank instead of a whole unit.
5. Faulty Float
Knowing how to fix a leaking toilet may be as simple as repairing a faulty float. All it takes is installing a new float that slips into place without much effort or even tools.
The float is what monitors the water level in your tank. When you have a bad float, the water won’t stop flowing in the tank even though it has reached its maximum level. Instead of your toilet bowl overflowing, your tank will.
6. Rusty Fill Valve
Your tank may also overflow if you have a damaged or rusted fill valve. This piece controls how much water flows into the tank by working with the float.
Although replacing a valve is more complicated than the float, it won’t be too difficult. If you don’t know about the multiple pieces that work to fill the valve, calling in an expert is your best bet.
Every piece of the valve should be inspected to find the sole cause of the problem. If more than one piece is damaged, the entire fill valve may need replacing.
If you buy a replacement valve, you’ll have to follow the detailed instructions provided with the piece. You can buy the part from a third party, but it is still wise to seek the assistance of a plumber.
A professional will turn off the water and ensure that every part of the toilet is visible.
7. Broken Connectors
Every plumbing fixture in the home will have connectors that prevent water from leaking. This is no different when it comes to your toilet.
To identify the problem before water is all over your bathroom floor, you should regularly check your toilet’s connections. You can replace connectors on your own, but hiring a plumber will ensure the project is done right.
What Should You Do About a Leaky Toilet?
Having a leaky toilet is a cause for concern as it can lead to water damage and more problems down the line. It is always recommended to have a professional plumber assess your toilet to get to the root of the problem fast.
Don’t assume a leaking toilet is a minor issue because it can cause significant damage if not dealt with promptly. Contact us today for professional help with a variety of plumbing issues, including a leaky toilet.
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