A leaking toilet is not only a nuisance but also a potential health hazard. It can cause water damage to your bathroom, increase your water bill, and even promote the growth of mould and mildew.
If you need to fix a leaking toilet, it’s important to immediately take action to prevent further damage and protect your health. Unfortunately, an overflowing bowl or leaking toilet cistern depends on a range of different factors. As you read on, we will discuss what may be causing the issue and how to fix it.
4 Reasons For A Leaking Toilet
Whether it’s coming from the tank lid, the outlet valve or the bowl itself, a leaking toilet not only wastes water but can also cause damage to the bathroom floor, walls, and subfloor if left unchecked. It can signify a more significant plumbing issue that may require professional attention.
Understanding the common causes of leaks can help you identify and fix the problem quickly and efficiently, saving you time and money in the long run.
1. The Toilet Bowl & Tank is Loosely Attached
If you’re experiencing a leaking toilet, one common cause may be that the toilet bowl and tank are loosely attached, causing water to leak from the base. When released with excessive pressure, this can affect the structural integrity of your home.
The toilet bowl and tank are typically attached using bolts and washers, which can become loose over time due to regular use, vibration, or other factors. While the bolts and washers can be tightened or replaced but this may not always solve the problem, so it’s best to hire someone with plumbing skills to handle this job.
2. The Toilet Seal is Broken
A broken toilet seal is another common cause of leakage. The rubber seal, also known as the wax ring, is a small, circular gasket between the base of the toilet system and the floor. Its primary function is to create a watertight seal to prevent leakage.
The water from a flushing toilet runs through the drainage system and out of the house’s plumbing system. A broken seal can disrupt this process and cause water to seep through the gap between the base and the now wet floor as a result of the leak.
There are a few different reasons why a toilet seal can break:
- It can become brittle and crack dues to exposure to harsh cleaning chemicals or fluctuating temperatures
- If not correctly installed, it can become misaligned or damaged
- If it is moved or jostled, the rubber seal can be compromised, which can also cause a leak.
If it’s broken, it will be noticeable during the toilet flushing process due to:
- A foul musty & damp odour coming from the bathroom
- Water pooling at the base
- Water trickling down the sides of the toilet
3. Faulty Float Valve
One possible cause of leakage is a faulty float valve, a critical component of the tank that regulates the water line and flow. When undertaking a water valve check, it should refill the tank with water after each flush.
When you flush the toilet, it releases the water through the flush valve, which sends the water into the bowl and down the water drains. Once the tank is empty, the valve opens to allow enough water to enter and refill the tank to a predetermined level.
If the water valve is faulty or damaged, it can cause a leak. The most common sign it’s faulty is a constant, low hissing sound from the tank. This sound is due to water leaking from the tank into the bowl due to a poorly functioning float valve. You may also notice that the water level in the toilet bowl is lower than usual, or it takes longer to refill after each flush.
To fix a faulty valve, you can try adjusting it or replacing it altogether. If you are uncomfortable working with plumbing systems, contact a licensed plumber to inspect and repair the issue.
4. Leaking Toilet Cistern
A toilet cistern is a tank holding water at the back of the bowl until you flush. The water from the toilet cistern rushes into the bowl, creating a suction that drains water and waste down the drain. The cistern then fills with water, ready for the next flush.
An overfilled toilet cistern can cause excess water to leak out through the overflow tube, causing a constant dripping sound and wasting water. The overflow pipe is a small vertical tube connected to the cistern and leads to the bowl. Its purpose is to prevent a toilet cistern leaking and
if the water valve fails, it will create overflow problems.
To fix a leaking toilet caused by an overfilled cistern, you must adjust the inlet valve to ensure it stops filling the cistern once the water level reaches the correct height. Do this by adjusting the float that controls the valve or replacing it altogether if it is faulty.
Steps to Fix Leaking Toilets
- Turn off the water supply: Locate the water valve behind the leaking toilet and turn it off. This will prevent water from flowing into the tank, causing more leakage.
- Identify the leak’s source: Check the toilet’s various components to identify where the leak originated. Common sources of leakage include the flush pipe seal, the inlet valve, and the plug of the wax ring.
- Replace the faulty component: Once you have identified the source of the leak, you can replace the defective component. This may involve replacing the flush pipe seal, tightening the inlet valve, or replacing the wax ring.
- Check for additional leaks: After fixing the initial leak, check the rest of the toilet to ensure no further leaks.
- Test the toilet: Turn the water line back on and flush to ensure it works properly and there are no further issues.
If you’re uncomfortable fixing the issue, it’s best to call a professional plumber to do the job for you.
Ask Canberra Plumbing & Drains to Help Restore Your Toilet
If you’re seeing water cascade from your toilet, whether from a valve stuck open, a malfunctioning component, or something in between, you will find professional assistance from the team at Canberra Plumbing & Drains. Our experienced plumbers have the knowledge and tools to diagnose and repair any toilet issue and drainage system quickly and efficiently.
Whether you have a toilet cistern leaking or your water drains are blocked, don’t let a leaking toilet continue to waste water, potentially damaging your bathroom floor surfaces. A fix is as simple as contacting us today to schedule an appointment and restore your toilet to its proper working order.