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, most common toilet problems, such as when a toilet fills slowly, has an impacted water pressure, or a leak from the toilet tank itself, can depend on a range of different factors. It could be an issue with the water supply valve, flapper valve, mounting nut, refill tube, or any other area.

As you read on, we will discuss what may be causing the issue and some key toilet repair tips.


Your toilet consists of two main parts: the bowl and the cistern. The bowl is the part you sit on, covered by the toilet seat, while the cistern houses the toilet’s flushing mechanism, covered by the tank cover and operated by the flush handle. This system includes components such as the fill valve, the float ball, and the overflow tube.

Understanding each part’s role is crucial when dealing with a leaking toilet. 


The fill valve allows water to refill the tank after a flush. It stops filling once the water level reaches a designated amount. If your toilet runs constantly, this valve might be faulty or poorly adjusted. 


The toilet float ball is part of the fill valve system. It floats on top of the water. As the tank’s water level drops, the float ball drops and triggers the fill valve to refill the tank. If the float ball is damaged or maladjusted, it may cause an overflow, which appears as a leak.


The overflow tube ensures the tank water does not overflow when the toilet flushes. It transfers excess water into the bowl. If this tube is cracked or damaged, water may leak from the tank or spill over the toilet rim.


Whether it’s coming from the tank lid, toilet base, the supply line connection, or the bowl itself, a leaking toilet not only wastes water but can also damage 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.


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 tank connects to the toilet bowl typically 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, this may not always solve the problem, so it’s best to hire someone with plumbing skills to handle this job.


Another common cause of leakage is a broken toilet seal. The rubber seal, also known as the wax ring, is a small, circular gasket between the toilet system’s base 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. Due to the leak, a broken seal can disrupt this process and cause water to seep through the gap between the base and the now-wet floor.

There are a few different reasons why a toilet seal can break:

  • It can become brittle and crack due 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
  • Slow filling toilet
  • Water pooling at the base
  • Water trickling down the sides of the toilet


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, the tank should be refilled 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 that it’s faulty is a constant, low hissing sound from the tank. This sound is caused by 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.


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 from leaking; 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 once the water level reaches the correct height. You can adjust the float that controls the valve or replace it altogether if it is faulty.

Assembling Your Toolkit: Essential Equipment for Toilet Repairs

When fixing a leaking toilet, you’ll need to prepare a toolkit with essential equipment. Having the necessary tools in close proximity will simplify the repair process and make it more efficient.

Here are some of the fundamental items you should gather: 

  • Adjustable Wrench: A versatile tool, your adjustable wrench is the go-to instrument for loosening and tightening bolts that keep your toilet secure.
  • Screwdriver: Your screwdriver will assist in removing and tightening screws involved in the mechanisms of your toilet.
  • New Toilet Flapper: It’s a common part that may wear out and need replacement to prevent leakage. These are affordable and can be procured from any home improvement store.
  • Bucket & Sponge: Cleaning the immediate area is integral to effective maintenance. With the guidance of a bucket and sponge, you can ensure a tidy work environment.
  • Gloves: Safety is paramount. Wearing gloves when repairing your toilet protects your hands from possible contaminants.

Armed with these items, you’re adequately outfitted to deal with the most common toilet leaks. While professional assistance may sometimes be necessary, especially with more complex issues such as toilet cistern leaks, this toolkit equips you to handle the fundamentals and potentially save both time and money.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Check for additional leaks: After fixing the initial leak, check the rest of the toilet to ensure no further leaks.
  5. Test the toilet: Turn the water line back on and flush to ensure it works properly without further issues.

When Is the Right Time to Call in the Pros?

Australian homeowners often can handle basic toilet repairs themselves. A DIY approach enables the fixing of common issues, such as leaking toilets or broken cisterns, without the need for professional help. However, the simplicity of some repairs doesn’t apply to all situations, and it’s important to recognise when a problem is outside the scope of DIY.

Recognising the Need for Professional Help

The key moment to consider professional assistance is when all DIY efforts fail, particularly if the toilet continues to leak.

For example, a critical sign that you need a licensed plumber is when you discover a cracked or broken toilet flange. At this point, the risks of further damage or incorrect installation of a new seal are too high for a DIY approach.

Professionals fix the issue to meet code standards and ensure optimal functioning, preventing future costly issues.

Safety First in DIY vs. Professional Repairs

Safety should be a primary concern when weighing the DIY versus professional repair options. Complex repairs may pose health and safety hazards.

For example, when working on the cistern, wearing gloves and cleaning the area thoroughly with a disinfectant post-repair is essential. These steps are crucial for preventing contamination and maintaining a healthy environment.

The Expertise of Professional Plumbers

Professional plumbers, like those at Gold Coast Plumbing Experts, are experienced and equipped with the necessary tools for complicated toilet repairs. They follow strict safety protocols and practices as part of their routine, ensuring that your plumbing issues are resolved effectively and safely.

The Long-Term Benefits of Professional Repairs

Ultimately, opting for professional repair services, despite the higher initial cost, can lead to long-term savings by avoiding complications from improper repairs. There’s reassurance in knowing that experts are handling your toilet issues, ensuring flawless functionality and adherence to health and safety standards.

Key Takeaways

  • To successfully identify and fix leaks, you must understand the anatomy of your toilet, including the fill valve, float ball, and overflow tube.
  • A toilet can leak for several reasons, including a loose tank, a broken seal, a faulty float valve or a leaking toilet cistern.
  • Assembling a robust toolkit is vital to undertake minor repairs on your own and to avoid further damage.
  • Know when to call in professionals for more challenging issues.
  • Take necessary safety precautions when fixing your leaking toilet by wearing gloves and properly disinfecting your work area.
  • If repairs don’t correct the problem, consider asking for assistance from local professionals in Canberra Plumbing & Drains.


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 your toilet cistern is 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.