Repairing a Leaky Toilet Without a Plumber

by : Owen Walcher

A leaky toilet can lead to other major issues such as it can damage the flooring and sub flooring. More severe problems can also damage ceilings and framings below. Leaks can be caused at flush valve or fill valve. However, sometimes, it may also be caused due to hairline tank cracks at those locations.

These are very severe problems, and in these cases, you may need to replace the tank or possibly even the entire toilet. We have tried to explore a few possible reasons for the leaks, and the procedure to fix it. In order to find out the reasons for the leaks, first tighten all the connections.
Dry everything with a towel and then carefully examine the source of the leaks. Once you have determined the source, you can proceed and fix it using the following steps.

Loose Nuts under Tanks
Tools Required:
Flathead screwdriver
Adjustable wrench

1. Using the flathead screwdriver, hold the bolt steady.
2. At the same time, tighten the nuts on the underside of the tank by using the adjustable wrench.
3. Check if the water still leaks. If no, that is great. If yes, follow the steps below.
4. Holding the bolt steady (as in step one) using the adjustable wrench, remove the nuts, and change the washer with a proper-size new washer for the bolt.

If Water is Leaking at the Fill Valve
Tools Required:

1. Turn off the water supply to the toilet.
2. Drain the tank by flushing it
3. Using a wrench, disconnect the supply-tube coupling nut.
4. Remove the mounting nut of the fill valve.
5. Lift out the fill valve
6. Clean its gasket and washer
7. Carefully examine if it is damaged or dried out. If so, you have no other option but to replace it.
8. Hold the valve vertical, and carefully position it in the center of the hole.
9. Tighten the mounting nut. Make sure not to over-tighten it, as it can crack the porcelain.
10. Reconnect the supply tube
11. Turn on the water supply to the toilet
12. If the problem persists, tighten the mounting nut a little more.

If Water is Leaking at the Flush Valve
Large standard screwdriver
Socket Wrench
Spud Wrench
Soapy sponge

1. Follow the steps 1-3 as discussed above
2. Remove the mounting bolts of the tanks. For this, you can use a large standard screwdriver on the bolt, and a socket wrench on the nut.
3. Put the tank upside down.
4. Pull or twist off the rubber spud washer.
5. Unscrew the large locking nut from the flush valve using a spud wrench.
6. Put the tank aside. However, make sure that you place it on a bath mat or similar padding. This way, you can protect both the flooring and the tank.
7. Remove the flush valve.
8. Take out the beveled cone washer from the flush valve.
9. If they are in poor condition, replace them. If no, just use a soapy sponge and clean them.
10. Reinstall the tank, as discussed above. However, make sure that when you tighten the bolt, you have somebody to hold it level and plumb.
11. Remember, the beveled side of the cone washer must face the inside of the tank, while the beveled side of the spud washer must face the bowl.

Hence, follow the above simple steps and you can do it yourself. However, make sure that you have the necessary plumbing tools available to you.