How to Fix a Leaking Toilet Pipe

By: Searchant

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The last thing you want to hear is the sound of running water in your ceiling, wall, and floor. It is even worse when the source is near or at your toilet.

So, what do you do? Here are some steps on how to fix a leaking toilet pipe:

Step 1: Turn off the water supply

Usually, the water supply can be found right below your commode and is controlled by turning clockwise or counterclockwise. Yet, turning off the main water line outside your house is even better if you want to make sure the whole process runs smoothly.

Step 2: Find out where exactly the leak is coming from

Most of the time, it’s from either one of these two places:

a) The water fill valve between your tank and toilet bowl. 

To check for this, grab a flashlight and go to the bottom end of your toilet tank opening. Look into the hole where you can see a round ball with a long lever attached to it. This is called the “ballcock.”

If you notice some ripples in the water inside this area, then turn on your bathroom faucet and hold an ear close to that area while watching if you hear any running sound coming from there while holding back the lever. If you do hear it gurgling, that area is leaking. You might want to try tightening the screw or making sure that it’s properly seated. If it still gurgles, then you’ll have to replace it.

b) The water supply tube between the toilet bowl and wall (aka “water closet”).

If you notice some dripping coming out of your commode where it is plugging into your studs, then the chances are that the rubber O-ring between the valve and tank may have dried out, cracked, or probably just got old. You’ll need to replace this rubber O-ring with a new one if you do notice any leaking coming from here. If it still doesn’t stop leaking, you’ll have to replace the whole assembly, including the water supply tube.

Step 3: Test for a water leak by opening the drain plug in your toilet tank

If there’s still a leaking sound, go back to Step 1 and turn off the supply valve quickly. At this point, open up the cover of your fill valve or flapper from inside. Be careful not to get burned by hot gasses that may escape as soon as you loosen the screw. Also, make sure to rub some petroleum jelly on them before reattaching it back into place.

Step 4: Clean up the mess and check for damaged floor and wall areas.

Whatever you do, don’t put in a new part until after cleaning up the mess. The last thing you want is to put in a new fill valve or flapper on top of your wet carpeted floor area. It will cause trouble later on. At this point, you may have detected that water is already seeping into the wall cavity while doing Step 3. You can try removing some baseboards or paneling around there to get at the source of your leak.

Step 5: Make sure the water pipe to your toilet is properly secured.

In most cases, you will find that your old fill valve or flapper was made of rubber or plastic. This type of material usually deteriorates with age. Even if it doesn’t leak, a new part will still be needed after some time. A newer fill valve or ballcock should do just fine for a while.

Step 6: Re-attach all parts back into place.

At this point, turn on your supply valves once again and check if there are any leaking sounds. If so, then tighten the mounting nuts in small increments until the leak stops completely.

Step 7: All done!

If you’re lucky enough to have found the source of your leak, then pat yourself on the back and turn off the water supply again. Let the repaired area sit overnight.

However, if all else fails or you do not want the trouble to worsen because of your lack of plumbing expertise, call in a professional plumber to check things out for you. An experienced emergency plumber is on call and is always ready to help in the event plumbing emergencies occur.

Hire a Professional Plumber

If you have attempted to follow these steps and water problems are still occurring or you do not feel comfortable fixing leaks alone don’t worry as you can always ask for help. The best reason to request the help of a professional plumber is that he knows precisely where to look for the sources of water leak and the best ways to fix them. No one can beat a professional in experience in handling emergency plumbing situations like burst pipes or total pipe replacement. It’s much better if you call for one now before your problem gets even worse.

Summary

These are just a few steps to follow when fixing a leaking toilet pipe. You’ll need the right tools and materials and the know-how of how plumbing works before you get started with this project. Thus, we’ve laid out a short process for you so that it’s easier to understand. 

Yet, at times you will realize the task is too much for you to handle. The plumbing problem will continue to drip and leak until the cause has been found. Professional plumbers can find the source, fix it, and repair your flooring if necessary. They are always ready to help and will never fail you when you need them the most.