Hiring a plumber is not always the most cost-effective way to fix water leaks. You can usually tackle some of your plumbing problems yourself by learning how to repair common toilet leaks and other water leaks around the house.
Leaking toilets are a widespread problem and can waste a considerable amount of water even if they are small. Here’s what you need to look for so you know how to fix toilet leaks around your house.
How to Determine Toilet Leaks?
According to reports, the average family spends more than $1,000 per year on water costs.
First things first. If you’re going to determine if your toilet is leaking, you have to know what a properly functioning toilet looks like when it’s in use.
Toilets use anywhere from 1.6 gallons to five gallons of water per flush. It depends on the age and type of your bathroom.
Ideally, when you push the handle down to flush, all of that water leaves your tank in a brief period. If you notice the toilet takes anywhere from two to ten seconds to refill and is still running after 20-30 seconds, you probably leak.
What Causes Toilet Leaks?
There are three primary reasons why your toilet might be leaking.
If the leak is in the flapper, you’ll notice your toilet starts running and doesn’t stop even when it’s flushed.
If there is a small or big crack in the tank itself or the bowl, you’ll probably see small puddles. It will be on top of or outside your toilet.
Sometimes these cracks can lead to more significant leaks, however. Toilets that are cracked or have holes can get water running out through the overflow tube. If this happens, your bathroom will continue to flush every time you push the handle down until all of the water from the toilet is drained from the tank, wasting vast amounts of water and leaving you with a flooded floor.
How to Fix Toilet Leaks?
Here are ways in which a plumber can fix leaking toilets.
Replace the Flapper
It is the simplest way to stop a constant toilet leak. A plumber will test your toilet tank to determine if the problem is as simple as a faulty rubber flapper; then, replace it with a new one for this easy fix.
Replace the Fill Valve
If you notice your toilet tank won’t stop running even when the flapper works appropriately, the fill valve might have a leakage problem. A plumber will adjust or replace the pressure device in your toilet; this usually addresses persistent leaks and water running into the overflow tube.
Replace the Tank Flange Seal
Leaking at the bottom of the tank usually indicates a problem with the seal. It can be between the flange and the bowl. A plumber will cut away any mineral buildup around this area, making sure it’s flat and level, then replace this seal to prevent leaks.
Replace the Toilet
Suppose you have a leak running into your flooring or foundation. It is possible that the seal between the toilet and the flange isn’t tight enough to keep out water. A plumber will remove your old toilet, level off the flange, refill the area with wax ring sealant, then install a new one.
How Can You Prevent Toilet Leaks?
In most cases, toilet leaks start because of negligence or old age. It’s essential to follow basic guidelines for proper toilet maintenance to keep your tank in tip-top condition and save water.
If you live in a residential location with hard water, it’s essential to clean mineral buildup from the bolt holes on top of your toilet every few months. It will prevent leaking at this connection point.
Some toilets have a rubber strip along the back of their base; this is a sound dampener designed to prevent inevitable leaks.
Check the condition of these strips from time to time, and replace them if they become worn or frayed.
Most importantly, make sure your toilet isn’t constantly running water through its tank by ensuring there’s not too much pressure on your flapper. It will cause it to stay open and allow water to run continuously.
A plumber will inspect your toilet and advise water use in the bathroom.
If necessary, a plumber can install a new fixture or replace worn parts to stop persistent leaks and wasted water. A good rule of thumb for stopping toilet leaks is never to let the tank go for more than 15 minutes without flushing it.
By following these simple guidelines, you can help stop a persistent toilet leak and do your part to conserve water. You must call reputed and licensed plumbers to fix these problems instead of doing it yourself unless you are an expert. It is hazardous to attempt self-fixing toilet leaks without proper knowledge and tools.