Did you know that toilet leaks can waste as much as 4 to 5 gallons of water per minute and cost you up to $100 per month in increased water and wastewater bills? Toilet leaks tend to occur in two ways. Read our step-by-step guide to pinpoint the problem and do-it-yourself toilet fixes before having to call the plumber.
Common Toilet Leak #1:
The most common toilet leak and often hardest to detect is caused by a deteriorated or defected flush valve (flapper) ball at the bottom of the toilet tank. If the flapper or ball valve does not seat properly and form a watertight seal, water will leak around it into the toilet bowl. Often, this leak will occur without being heard. To test this type of leak follow these simple steps:
- Remove the tank lid, then flush
- Wait for the flapper/tank ball to drop and the tank to refill
- Add a few drops of food color or place a colored dye tablet, available at hardware stores, after the toilet has stopped filling
- Wait at least 20 minutes
- If any trace of the color appears in the toilet bowl then there is a leak
Follow the following process to fix your toilet flush valve leaks:
- Replacing a float cup fill valve:
- Adjust the height by twisting shank in or out of the valve body
- Position valve in tank
- Turn on water
- Adjust water level
- Replacing a float ball (ballcock) fill valve:
- Check the height and adjust it if necessary
- Place valve in tank inlet hold, making sure the rod arm allows for proper movement of the float ball
- Screw rod arm into valve arm; screw float ball onto the rod arm
- Turn on the water supply
- Replacing a toilet flapper:
- Align the flapper over the mounting ears on the flush valve. If needed, an adapter ring that includes mounting ears can be added at this point
- Connect the chain to the flush lever
- Turn on your water, check operation and trim any excess chain
- Replacing a tank ball:
- Slide lower life wire through upper lift wire, then through guide arm on the overflow pipe
- Thread the tank ball onto the lower lift wire
- Align the tank ball over the drain seat, keeping wire vertical.
- Check operation to be sure the ball seats properly
- Replacing a flush valve:
- Cut the new overflow pip to match the height of your old pipe
- Install valve by tightening lock nut ½ turn beyond hand tight. Slide gasket onto threaded end of valve
- Connect flapper chain to flush lever.
- Attach refill tube to overflow pipe and reconnect tank to the bowl
Common Toilet Leak #2:
The second most common type of toilet leak is caused by an improperly adjusted or broken fill (ballcock valve). If the float is set too high and if the shut-off valve fails to close completely, water will continue to enter the tank and flow into the overflow tube, this type of leak can be seen by simply taking the tank top off and observing if the water is flowing into the overflow tube once the tank is full. Follow the following process to fix this type of toilet problem:
- Reset the tank water to a lower level by using the fill valve’s water level adjustment clip
- If it is a Float Cup-type valve, squeeze the two sides of the metal clip together, then slip the clip down the rod
- In the case of a Float Ball-type valve, lower the water level by bending float arm slightly downward.
In Need of Further Assistance with Toilet Leaks & Issues?
SolvIt Home Services is here to help you with all of your toilet leaks, problems and other plumbing issues. If you are having trouble with any part of this process, request an appointment online at SolvIt Home Services or give us a call today.