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What Causes Leaky Toilets and How to Fix Them Properly

A leaking or continuously running toilet is more than just a nuisance. Leaky toilets add to your water bills, lower energy efficiency, create a risk for property damage, and could signal larger toilet damage or wear.

Trust the #1 plumbing technicians in South OKC, Champion Plumbing, to spot the source of your leak. We’ll find out whether your leak signifies a minor problem or a more severe issue.

Many people dismiss a leaky toilet as a mere annoyance, believing it doesn’t warrant a plumber visit. However, fixing a leaking toilet can vastly improve your quality of life and safeguard your home. A few inexpensive parts and a short visit from a skilled plumber may be all it takes to fix your toilet.

Why Have a Professional Fix Your Leaky Toilet?

Peace and Quiet

You might think you can ignore that constant drip-drip-drip or gurgle from your toilet. However, the noise will inevitably get to you and your family over time. Sounds from leaky toilets can even cost you precious sleep and productivity, especially if you work from home.

Less Aggravation

Whenever a toilet isn’t working right, you may waste time trying to fix it yourself. Or, you may tell yourself you can get used to its quirks. You might not realize how much fixing your toilet leaking could make life easier until you get it working properly again.

Lower Water Bill

If your toilet is constantly dripping or trying to refill, the lost water is your money going down the drain. You might not realize how much the costs will add up until your next water bill arrives. Fix the problem now to save money while doing your part to conserve water for your community.

Preventing Water Damage

If you’re lucky, your toilet is simply leaking water into the sewer system without hurting the rest of your bathroom. If the leakage spreads, you risk damaging your bathroom floor, vanity, and any rugs or cabinets the water reaches.

In worst cases, the leaking water could seep through your floorboards or drip around the pipes into your basement. As a result, you’ll likely face a substantial bill for clearing out any mold, rot, and other water damage.

Finding the Source of a Leaky Toilet

When you call Champion Plumbing to fix a leaky toilet, our technician will first assess the situation and check for water damage. They will then test the toilet to further determine the source of the leak.

We focus on the following areas because they are common sources of leaky toilets.

Flapper

The flapper or flush valve is the part of the toilet inside the tank that lifts when you flush the toilet. As a result, it lets the water flow out. If the flapper becomes stuck in an open position, it will keep letting water out of the tank after the flush.

This flapper malfunction could happen because:

  • You have stuck or rusted hinges
  • The chain holding the flapper is too short or caught on something
  • An object has fallen into the tank and is obstructing the flapper

Damage to the flapper could cause a leak by preventing the flapper from forming a tight seal. Fixing the flapper can be an easy DIY job. However, it is a smarter move to have a professional inspect your toilet to make sure the flapper is the only problem.

Bowl

Toilet bowls are normally sturdy, but they do break now and again. If they do, the water could seep through a crack and form a puddle at the base of your toilet.

This standing water can quickly cause structural damage and create mold growth. You may also have difficulty using the toilet until resolving the bowl leak.

Tank

If the toilet’s water tank breaks, you will have even more water to clean up. The toilet mechanism will continuously try to refill while more and more water leaks out from the tank. 

To fix a leaking tank, you must disconnect the water supply. Then, you’ll need to dry out the tank and seal the crack with a durable compound like epoxy.

Water Supply Line

Water flows into the toilet from your main water supply through the supply line in the back of your toilet. This line typically connects to the underside of the tank. A faulty supply line leak could cause water to leak onto the floor whether the toilet is flushing or not.

Float

If you look inside your toilet’s tank, you should see a plastic, air-filled container that floats on the water’s surface. Your float should rise as the toilet fills and cuts off the water supply from the supply line once the water level reaches a set point. A float that does not rise points to an issue with either the tank or the supply line.

Fill Valve

The fill valve lets water into the tank after you flush. If the fill valve wears out or rusts, it might allow too much water out of the tank when you flush. As a result, water may overflow the bowl and spill onto the floor.

Even worse, the fill valve may fail after you have used the toilet. When that happens, the toilet may spill waste onto the floor.

Wax Seal

The toilet can also leak where the toilet water meets the sewer pipes. Underneath the toilet bowl, where it connects to the floor, a wax seal keeps water from spilling out. If the seal cracks and leaks, a technician will have to lift the toilet off the floor and replace the wax seal.

What to Do about a Leaky Toilet?

Inspect the Toilet

A plumbing technician will first inspect all the toilet components for signs of damage and water seepage. Typically a plumber traces the source of a leak by putting food coloring into the tank.

You can take this step when starting your toilet inspection. If the water in the bowl turns color without flushing, you’ll know the tank is not holding water properly.

If a colored puddle appears on the floor, the tank water is leaking through a crack or a bad seal. If the water on the floor is clear, the leak likely originates from the supply line before entering the tank.

Replacing Damaged Parts

Not counting the porcelain, most parts of the toilet are relatively inexpensive. Putting them in without training and experience could lead to potentially expensive mistakes. Unless you’ve fixed toilets before, it is best to let a professional plumber handle the installation.

A plumber can also find durable replacement parts. These parts could significantly increase the efficiency and lifespan of your toilet.

Testing Toilet Function

A conscientious plumber or repair technician will not leave your property without drying the toilet thoroughly. They will also give the toilet a few test flushes to make sure nothing is leaking and all parts are well-functioning. At that point, the toilet should no longer make any unusual noises when it flushes and between flushes.

Get Your Toilet Fixed Quickly with Champion Plumbing

Your toilet should be a convenience, not a bother. You don’t have to put up with a leaky toilet. Call a trained and licensed professional at Champion Plumbing to restore your toilet to peak function.

Learn more about toilet repairs, how to fix leaky toilets, and proper toilet maintenance in the Champion Plumbing blog. Discover the many toilet repair services we offer on our website. If you need repair in Noble, OK, or the surrounding areas, call 405-504-3649 to schedule an appointment today.

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The next time you need a plumbing contractor, call Champion Plumbing if you’re in the Edmond, OK area at 405-342-3571 and give us the chance to earn your business.