How to Fix a Leaky Toilet: All the Steps You Need to Take

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You’ve been at work all day or out running errands and all you can think about is coming home to a comfortable and clean house. You walk in and notice that something’s wrong. You walk into the bathroom and discover the last thing you want to see: a leaky toilet!

The toilet’s running and there’s water forming at the base of it. You’re in a panic. Do you call the plumber, or do you attempt to fix it yourself?

Although you might feel overwhelmed and worried that you won’t be able to fix it correctly, we’re here to tell you that you got this! Fixing a leaky toilet is surprisingly a simple task to complete. There are many reasons why a toilet might be leaking that you can fix with a few simple tools and replacement items.

Don’t panic just yet, learn how to fix a leaky toilet today by continuing to read below. Here’s everything you need to know about fixing your leaky toilet!

Prep Your Area

Before beginning your repairs, you’ll want to prep the area. Grab a bucket and keep it nearby in case you need to catch any water. Next, you’ll want to shut off the water supply valve.

Once you’ve shut the water supply off, be sure to flush the toilet to get the remaining water out of the toilet. Now, take the supply line and disconnect it from the tank. If needed, you can take an old rag and pat dry the inside of the toilet to dry the entire bowl out.

Removing all water from the toilet allows you to work on it and correct any issues without having to worry about making an even bigger mess.

Identify the Leak

After prepping the area, your next step is to identify the leak. There could be a few reasons why your toilet is either leaking or running. You’ll need to take a look at a few different parts within the toilet to determine what the cause is.

Here are a few things to inspect first for determining the causes of toilet leaks.

Fill Valve

The fill valve is located inside the toilet’s tank. You can use a wrench to remove this piece. Take it with you to your local hardware store and ask for the same exact part for replacement.

Replace the part and then check to see if the toilet is still running or leaking. When replacing the fill valve, it’s a good idea to replace the gasket as well. These two parts could be the reason for your running toilet and replacing both of them gives you a better chance of correcting the problem. 

Loose Tee Bolts

If you notice water forming at the base of the toilet, then you might have a few loose tee bolts. The tee bolts are those plastic covers at the base of your toilet. If these bolts become loose, then your toilet might begin to leak at the base.

You can easily pop these plastic covers off of the bolts and then tighten the bolts using a wrench. If your toilet isn’t positioned on the ground in the correct way, this could also cause problems. If the toilet is unleveled, then it could break the seal.

If the seal is broken, it puts pressure on the tee bolts, causing them to break or become loose. If your tee bolts don’t tighten with the wrench, then you’ll need to replace them altogether.

Damaged Wax Ring

After tightening or replacing your tee bolts, if you still have a leaky toilet, then your next step should be to check the wax ring. This step is simple, but it might take a bit more muscle than other steps. To replace the wax ring or check it for damage, you’ll need to remove the toilet from the floor.

If you’re not able to remove the toilet from the floor on your own, this might be one of the times when you’ll need to call the professionals. However, if you’re confident in completing it yourself, here are a few tips. You’ll need to buy your new wax ring from the hardware store first.

Be sure to have the toilet’s model number with you when you head to the store so you know exactly which wax ring you need as there are several different types. When returning home, begin to remove the toilet from the floor.

Removing the Toilet

With the water supply shut off, place a bucket under the nut that holds the fill valve in place. Then, unscrew the nut. You’ll then need to remove the water supply and unscrew the tee bolts.

You can then remove the toilet with help of a second person. The toilet will be heavy and the awkward shape makes doing this step a bit harder when alone. Remove the old wax ring by scraping it off.

The old ring will most likely have built-up grime on it. Use gloves and have a trash bag nearby for this step. Install the new wax ring by sliding it over the flange.

Reinstall your tee bolts and lift the toilet up and over aligning the hole with the tee bolts. Place washers and the nuts back on the tee bolts and begin to tighten. Your last step is to reconnect the water supply line and turn the water back on.

How to Fix a Leaky Toilet

Fixing a leaky or running toilet might be easier than you believe. Follow these few tips and steps listed above to learn how to fix a leaky toilet. For the harder steps, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber if you feel needed.

Always remain safe and have someone there to help when needed.

For more helpful posts similar to this one, be sure to visit us regularly.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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