how to fix leaking toilet

How to Repair a Leaking Toilet

How to solve the four most prevalent causes of toilet leaks.

Next The toilet project is leaking. Handyman for the Family

Fix the four most prevalent causes of toilet leaks. It’s easy (and less expensive) than you think with the appropriate parts.

TIME

A full day of work

COMPLEXITY

COST FOR A BEGINNER: LESS THAN $20

There are three symptoms when a toilet is leaking at the flange.

Diagram of a toilet in cross-section

Toilet cross-section

A probable leak is indicated by water on the floor, wet stains on the ceiling, or a lingering odour of sewage british gas boiler repair contact number (that guy).

Is there a little pool of water on the floor where your toilet meets the floor? Is the toilet’s surrounding floor spongy? Is the completed flooring on the way? If this is the case, you most likely have a leak between the toilet horn (where waste exits) and the drain line. Don’t put it off any longer. Small leaks trapped behind the toilet will destroy the floor surfaces and even the underlying frame over time. If you wait too long, your repair expenses will escalate, especially if you need to replace finished flooring, underlayments, subfloors, or even the structure.

We’ll teach you how to pull the toilet (Photos 1–3) and then how to identify and treat the most common causes of leaks in this article. Finally, we’ll demonstrate how to reinstall the toilet. You might get lucky and only need to replace the wax ring and remount the toilet after removing it and examining the evidence. If that’s the case, the stool will be back online in less than an hour. Any home centre or well-stocked hardware store will have the products we recommend for completing repairs.

Pick up a new wax ring before you flush the toilet.

Two sets of water closet bolts, each with a diameter of 5/16 in.

A tube of silicone-based caulk in the same colour as the toilet.

If your toilet was wobbling, a package of plastic toilet shims

To stop a toilet from leaking, follow these steps: Bolts, shims, and a wax ring are all used in this project.

Using the restroom

Diagram for removing the toilet: remove the bolts

Loosen the bolts (photo 1)

With a wrench, unscrew the water closet nut. If the bolt spins with the nut, use locking pliers to grip the exposed bolt above the nut. Simply loosen the nut enough to allow a hacksaw blade to be inserted beneath the nut and saw through the bolt. TIP: Wrap a towel around a bare blade or use a close-quarters hacksaw like the one pictured.

The act of flushing a toilet is normally straightforward, but two issues frequently arise. To begin with, ancient water supply valves may not completely shut off, and getting old, corroded water closet bolts loose might be difficult.

Before removing the stool, turn off the water supply valve and disconnect the water line from the tank (Photo 2). Look in the tank for trickling water after turning off the valve and flushing the toilet. If the water is still running, you’ll need to turn off the house’s main water valve and replace it with a new one. Remove any extra water from the tank and stool with a sponge.

Then it’s time to unscrew the nuts on the water closet. It’s easier to just cut the water closet nuts and bolts off with a hacksaw if they’re rusty or the bolt rotates along with the nuts (Photo 1).

So, now that the toilet is turned off, what should I look for?

schematic of cleaning around a toilet drain hole

Photo number three: Clean clean the area around the drain hole.

While cleaning, stuff a rag into the drain pipe to keep sewage gases out of the house and bits of wax out of the piping. With a putty knife, scrape all of the old wax from around the toilet horn and flange. To determine if the toilet flange needs to be replaced, clean the floor beneath and around the toilet of old caulk and debris.

You may have one or more problems to tackle, each of which may necessitate multiple solutions. So, before you make a decision, look for the following:

A cracked flange (Photos 3–6), commonly on the outside of the slot that holds the toilet flange bolt.

A flange that is too low in height. Any flange that is more than 1/4 in. below the finished floor qualifies (Photos 7 and 8).

The flange of the toilet is rotting (Photos 9 and 10).

Wax ring failure is a common occurrence. If nothing appears to be incorrect, a new wax ring and a reset of the toilet may be all that’s required (Photos 11–14).

How to replace a toilet flange that has broken

Preparing a fresh components schematic to repair a toilet flange

4th image: Prepare for the new components.

Mineral spirits should be used to remove all wax residue. It’s possible that you won’t need to replace the toilet flange entirely. Instead, place a reinforcing ring over the flange and mark screw places on the floor so the water closet bolt slots line up. Using a hammer drill and a 1/4-in. masonry bit, drill a clearance hole through tile or masonry. When you reach the subfloor, come to a halt.

The most prone to break are cast iron and all-plastic toilet flanges. Rocking toilets or overtightened toilet flange nuts are the most common causes of this problem. On the outside of the slots that hold the bolts in, look for a cracked or broken rim (Photos 3 and 4). Pick up a reinforcing ring and six 1-1/2 in. No. 8 oval-head stainless steel screws if your flange is fractured. If the flange is made of concrete, drill the pilot holes with 1-1/4 in. long flathead concrete screws (and the required masonry drill bit). Techniques for installation can be seen in Photos 4–6.

Reinforcement Rings for Flanges

Flange reinforcement rings are simply bandages that are screwed to the floor and fit over the fractured flange. They add a new groove for the toilet flange bolts, allowing the toilet to be secured. At the store, you can choose from a variety of styles. If screws won’t hold in the old flange holes, the «eared» type illustrated above is recommended. However, make certain that the eared variety does not leave any porcelain castings on your toilet. Look under the toilet to see if the toilet horn is surrounded by a raised porcelain circle. If yours does, go for the non-eared brass or stainless steel design on the right.

Reinforcement ring for the ears

Reinforcement rings for non-eared animals

Increasing the height of flanges that are too low

Preparing for the extender ring schematic by repairing flanges that are too low

Photo number seven: Make the extension ring.

Mineral spirits should be used to clean the toilet flange of any excess wax. Remove any original flange screws that line up with the ones in the extender ring and place the extender ring over the flange. Apply a bead of silicone caulk around the extender ring’s inside edge.

A new bathroom floor is frequently installed on top of an old one, leaving the toilet flange too low to be sealed with a standard wax ring. The new floor can be 1 in. higher than the old flange. Excess wax can push into the pipe and hinder flow, thus doubling the wax ring isn’t a smart solution. The taller the stack of soft wax, the more likely it is to fail. Add plastic toilet flange extenders if your toilet flange is more than 1/4 inch below the completed floor. Extend the flange until it is 1/4 inch below and 1/4 inch above the finished floor.

There is very little decay around the flange.

diagram of how to remove a toilet flange

Remove the old flange (photo 9)

Remove the old toilet flange screws and tuck each part of the flange support under the flange edges. If necessary, use a screwdriver or pry bar to lift the flange.

A leaking toilet flange can cause the floor to deteriorate, the flange to loosen, and the leak to become more serious. You’ll need to find the source of the leak, rectify it, and then create a solid surface for the flange to rest on.

Buying a flange support bracket to transfer the load through the rotting portions of the subfloor is the simplest approach to reinforce the floor and reanchor the flange. All of the screws needed to secure the bracket to the floor and the flange to the bracket are included in the package. Remember that it will only work if the majority of the support bracket is resting on firm flooring. If a toilet has been leaking for a long time, the rot may be beyond repair. You’ll need to remove the flooring, rebuild the subfloor and maybe the framing, and then reinstall the final flooring. Probe the floor around the flange with a screwdriver to see where solid wood begins to establish the degree of the damage. Proceed with the repair if the support is made of solid wood. It’s time to replace the wood if it’s soft beyond a couple of inches from the flange.

Reset and repair a toilet that is rocking.

Install the new wax ring schematic (photo 11).

Install the replacement wax ring (photo 11).

With the rounded side towards the toilet, place the new wax ring on the toilet horn. Masking tape should be used to mark the locations of the water closet bolts on the floor.

When a toilet leaks, it’s usually because the wax ring has broken down. A toilet that rocks when you sit on it is by far the most prevalent cause of a damaged seal. Even a minor rocking of the toilet can eventually compromise the wax ring. If you pull the toilet and discover no other issues, simply changing the wax ring and resetting the toilet should solve the problem. Toilets usually rock due to an uneven floor. After you’ve installed the toilet, fill any gaps between it and the floor with shims before caulking around it (Photo 13). This will keep the toilet from rocking and destroying another seal in the future.

Push and jiggle the wax ring to assist it attach to the porcelain around the horn before mounting the toilet. As you lower the dish, this will keep it from falling off. It’s critical to drop the toilet into position as soon as possible after resetting it. You risk distorting the wax ring and damaging the seal if it isn’t lined directly over the bolts when the wax ring touches the toilet flange. As you lower the bowl, mark the bolt sites using masking tape to make it easier to determine their position (Photo 12).

This Project’s Required Tools

Prepare all of the necessary tools for this DIY project before you begin to save time and stress.

Cordless drill/driver

Hacksaw

Drill with a hammer

masonry bit 1/4 in. locking pliers

Required Materials for this Project Have all of your materials available ahead of time to avoid last-minute shopping expeditions. Here’s an example of a lis.

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