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Leaky Toilet Troubleshooting

Many of us take for granted most everyday things in our home such as lights turning on and off when we turn the switch, faucets giving us water when we want, and toilets flushing without problems or concerns. However, over time, appliances require maintenance and repair. This includes a leaking toilet. A leaking toilet can cause damage to the floor and subfloor around the toilet due to the dampness of the water causing rot and mould. Furthermore, leaky toilets waste water, as the toilet is constantly refilling itself due to the leak. There are some key signs that will tell you if you have a leaky toilet.

One of the most common causes for excess water on your bathroom floor is water which is condensing on the outside of the toilet tank. This water will drip onto the floor and create a noticeable puddle. This condensation on the tank is often referred to as a sweating tank. This sweating happens when the difference in temperature of the cold water inside the tank is different than the temperature of the room; which often can be warm and steamy. This condition is more prevalent during the summer, but it can happen any time of year. One solution to this problem is to install anti-sweat toilet tank valves. These valves mix cold and warm water coming into the tank thereby reducing the temperature variance.

If you have determined that the water is not caused by condensation, the next thing to check is to determine if the tank itself is leaking. You can do this by adding a couple drops of food colouring to the water in in tank (the back portion of the toilet). Allow the colouring time to settle into the tank. Don’t flush the tank. In about half an hour if you notice the water on the floor is the same colour as the tank then you will know you have water leaking from the tank.

To determine exactly where it is leaking, first check for cracks in the porcelain, which will also be coloured by the tinted water. Also, check around the rubber seals between the bowl and tank as well as around bolts.

If you notice the leak is coming from between the bowl and tank, you may need a new tank to bowl sponge gasket or possibly new washers for the bolts. Water may also be leaking past the washers and bolts. It may be difficult to clearly identify exactly where the leak is coming from, in this case, it’s always best to call in a professional plumber who can properly assess the situation and repair the leak before the water does damage to your flooring.

If your colour test has determined that you have cracks in the toilet tank, you will need to have the tank replaced. Cracks in porcelain cannot be repaired reliably and more often than not, replacing the toilet is a better option.

There are other possible causes of leaking water which include:

  • A leak in the shut-off valve. Check for water seeping from the pipe connection situated behind the shut-off valve close to the wall. If you see water leaking, the shut off valve will need to be replaced.
  • Water which is dripping from the nuts found on each end of the supply line. This is where the line attaches to both the inlet and the shut-off valve.
  • Leaking coming from underneath the toilet. This could be caused by a bad wax ring.

For toilet repair, and other plumbing repairs in the Oakville area, contact A. McKenna Plumbing today. Our experienced plumbers can access your situation and repair or replace your toilet promptly for your house or commercial business.