What to Do If Your Toilet Is Leaking from Its Tank
Toilet Leaking from Tank Fixtures? Here’s What to Do
In the list of things you thought you’d have to deal with today, “toilet leaking from the tank” probably wasn’t one of them.
The important thing is to know what’s gone wrong, what you’ll need to fix it, and how to go about it. Join us, then, as we dive into how to fix a leaking toilet tank, so that you can get your plumbing job underway, immediately.
What You’ll Need
Any repair job, whether big or small, depends on two things. A proper understanding of the problem you’re dealing with, and the right tools.
Let’s start with the tools:
- a fill valve
- a spud washer
- replacement gaskets
- an adjustable wrench
- a good, old-fashioned sponge
What To Check
Suddenly discovering a leak in your toilet leaking from the tank is pretty urgent, there’s no doubt.
Still, it’s always best to know exactly what’s going on before you waste your time and resources trying to repair what’s not a real problem.
Start by taking a look inside the tank of the toilet itself. Flush it and, while the water is rising, lift the rod attached to the float until the water stops. If the water stops, this is a good indication that the inlet valve is okay, and the problem is probably being caused by the float itself.
While you’re fishing around in your toilet tank, another check to run involves a drop or two of food coloring, dye, or blue fabric softener in your cistern.
Drop a few drops of your coloring of choice (dye tablets are available for free from many local water providers) into the water and replace the lid.
Without flushing, wait fifteen minutes, then check inside your toilet bowl. If your water’s been colored, you definitely have a leak.
What To Do About It
Once you’ve figured out whether or not your tank is leaking, and from where it’s time to get to work.
Start by turning off the water. There is a nearby shutoff valve that typically looks like the handle on a water tap. Turn it clockwise to shut off the water at the source.
Then, flush. With the water shut off, this will drain the tank completely. Use your sponge to mop up the remaining water in the tank.
Using your adjustable wrench and screwdriver, hold and loosen the tank bolts inside of your tank. With these removed, you can now lift and remove the tank from your toilet.
This gives you access to the old spud washer. Remove it, either by hand or using your wrench to force it off. Once it’s off, tighten the new, replacement spud washer over the spud nut.
Do the same for any old gaskets that might be leftover inside the tank. Make sure to clean the nuts and holes left by these gaskets, to ensure against dirt causing further leaks in the future. Replace them with new parts, and make sure these are seated properly in their housings.
Reinstall all necessary nuts, bolts, and fittings, and reseat the tank. Once the entire apparatus is set back up, you should be completely repaired and ready to go back to using your toilet, as before.
Toilet leaking from the tank? Now You Can Fix It!
For something that causes as much trouble as a leaking toilet tank, fixing one is usually surprisingly easy.
If your problem persists, you may want to contact a qualified plumber to take a better look at what’s gone wrong.