Why is My Toilet Leaking?

We’ve all seen cartoons of a dam that’s about to burst, and one poor brave soul trying to stop the inevitable by plugging one leak at a time until suddenly he or she runs out of fingers or toes.

Well, your toilet is a little like that dam of Saturday morning fame, at least to the extent that it’s capable of leaking water from just about anywhere. And while a leaking toilet is bad enough by itself, worse yet can be the structural damage it can cause to your house if the leak isn’t caught and repaired quickly enough.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, especially since most since possible sources of a toilet water leak are easy to spot.

Here’s a look at 3 common causes of a leaking toilet:

  • Leaking water valve. Depending on exactly where your toilet water shut off valve is located, it can be a little difficult at first to determine if it’s a rusted or otherwise damaged valve that’s causing the leak. Here’s how to find out for sure: shut off the water supply to your toilet and clean up any water that may have formed around the base of the toilet. After a half hour or so, turn the water supply back on, but don’t flush the toilet. Then check back in another half hour or so; if your valve is leaking, you’ll see water around the base and/or beneath the valve itself. And in that case, the valve and/or the feed line will likely have to be replaced.
  • Damaged or torn gasket. These are potentially the most insidious toilet leaks of all. That’s because if the amount is small enough at first, it could take quite some time before water spreads out from underneath the toilet so you can even spot it. Until that time, it may simply be seeping into your floorboards and potentially causing structural damage or creating a growth environment for mold and mildew. Lesson to be learned: the minute you spot water around the base of your toilet, fully investigate the cause, or call Plumbtastic to troubleshoot and fix the problem for you.
  • Water leaking from your tank into the bowl. If you hear the sound of your toilet tank re-filling itself even when no one has just used the bathroom, that usually signals the need for a flapper adjustment or that your tank is leaking water into the bowl . If everything checks out with the flapper assembly, pour a teaspoon of food coloring into the tank, wait a half hour or so without using that toilet, then go back and check out the bowl. If the water is tinted with the same color as the food dye, then you know your tank has at least a hairline crack. Quick action – either repair or replacement – is required to prevent the crack from growing and perhaps causing the tank to spill its contents onto your floor.

Here at Plumbtastic, we have yet to face a toilet challenge that we couldn’t resolve, one way or the other, to our customer’s complete satisfaction. Today we offer that same promise and commitment to you, and that goes for all your home plumbing needs.

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