DIY Tips From the Warner Service Blog

What To Do About A Leaky Toilet

Posted by Warner Service on Oct 24, 2014 2:52:00 AM

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Toilets are one of the most important appliances in your home, but Warner Service knows that it can be intimidating and sometimes gross to deal with your toilet. Don't worry though, because we are here today to present you with a guide to fixing that leaky toilet easily!

First, like all of our guides, you will want to diagnose what the problem is. Fixing an overflowing bowl will have a different process from a leaky tank or pipe.

If your toilet is constantly leaking into the bowl, this means the tank is not properly sealed. the locknut may not be tight enough, the rubber washer inside the tank could be flashing, or the porcelain surface inside tank might be uneven or have a chip. To fix this, take the cover off of your toilet and examine the inside (don’t worry, this is the clean part of the toilet!). Consult your toilet’s owners manual or the manufacture’s website for a guide to the internals of your model.

Get out your pipe wrench and tighten the locknut 1/4 turn, dry the area and then check for leaking. If the leaking stops then don’t tighten any more. If this reduces the leaking then go 1/4turn more and check again. If this still does not seal it then do not tighten anymore. Go back and check the parts and gasket for any signs of improper fitting, flashing (excessive rubber), or cracks in flush valve threads or in porcelain surface.

Check the rubber washer in the tank for flashing (excessive rubber) or improper contact with flush valve and tank. There may be a chip in the porcelain tank or dirt and debris around the surface opening. Clean the bottom of the tank. You can sand and/or file the porcelain surface to remove bumps and ridges. Re-install the lock nut, if the leak persists, use silicone sealant on the underside of the rubber washer to stop the leak. DO NOT USE PLUMBER’S PUTTY.

If leaks occur when you flush the tank, the problem is the “Tank to Bowl” Gasket. Make sure the tank and bowl are touching the “Ridge”. The ridge is about ¼” higher porcelain either the tank or bowl surface that the other rests on for stability. Tighten the wing nuts down until the tank and bowl touch. Place the sponge rubber gasket from your kit over the nut before placing tank on to bowl. Some models of toilet do not have a ridge, but use rubber support spacers for stability. The lock nut goes on after the triangular gasket is placed on tank.

A third type of tank to bowl connection does not have a ridge nor does it use rubber supports at the bolts. This type seals by the gasket and supports the tank by the tank to bowl gasket. You may have a toilet that requires a larger or smaller gasket in order to seal the tank to the bowl. Compare the tank to bowl gasket in the kit to the relative shape, size and density to the gasket you took out? If they are similar or the same proceed further. If not, purchase the correct sponge gasket to finish the job. For example: some Gerber toilets use an extra thick gasket. It is helpful if you know who manufactured your toilet. You may even want to call them to confirm the correct thickness of gasket required by your toilet.

If you are experiencing issues with your toilet or any other part of your plumbing, contact Warner Service today to have a qualified plumber examine and fix your issues quickly.