Three parts that are cheap and easy to replace to stop your toilet from leaking
It can be extremely frustrating when your toilet is constantly running or seemingly flushing on its own. Not only does it waste water but it can keep you awake at night or simply get on your nerves. Fortunately, most toilet leaks are caused by three parts inside of your toilet tank that are relatively cheap and easy to replace if you are handy.
1. The flapper: This is the simplest part that may be causing your toilet leak. The easiest way to diagnose the flapper as the culprit is to place a leak detector tablet or a few drops of food colouring into your toilet tank. Wait 10-15 minutes, then check your toilet bowl. If there is coloured water in the bowl the leak perpetrator is most likely your flapper.
To change the flapper simply turn the water off to your toilet (can be found on the supply line to the toilet), flush the water out of the tank, remove the old flapper, then replace it with a similar flapper. Repeat the dye test, if your water is clear you have fixed your leak. If you still have dye in your toilet bowl continue to step two for an alternate fix.
2. The Flush Valve: Your toilet flush valve is the tube in the center of your toilet tank which holds your flapper in place. Over time the plastic can become warped causing the flapper to not sit properly. This fix is a little more involved and may require calling a plumbing professional, we recommend Firefly Plumbing.
Step one, as always, is to turn off the water to the tank. Next flush out the toilet water and use a wet vacuum to remove any remaining water. Once the tank is dry you will need to loosen the bolts that hold the toilet tank onto the toilet bowl. Then loosen the nut to detach the water supply tube from the tank. Once you have lifted the tank from the bowl you should see a large foam ring which you will need to remove. Under the foam ring will be a large plastic nut holding the flush valve in place which you will need to unscrew. Now remove the warped flush valve. Reverse the process to install the new flush valve ensuring to replace the foam ring and check to make sure all nuts and bolts are tight. Perform the dye test again and if there is still a leak and you still want to avoid calling a plumber then move onto step three.
3. The Fill Valve: The fill valve on your toilet is located directly above the water supply tube. Over time these fill valves can become loose causing them to allow water into the toilet tank when it is not required causing a self-flush situation.
To replace the fill valve, you will begin with turning off the water to your toilet tank. Dry out any remaining water using a rag or wet vacuum. Once the toilet tank is dry, loosen the nut connecting the toilet supply tube to the tank. You should find a nut on the bottom of the toilet tank holding the fill valve in place, loosen off this nut and pull out the old fill valve. Reverse the process to install the replacement fill valve and test the toilet for leaks. You may need to adjust the height of the water in the tank to keep the toilet from self-flushing again.
Hopefully at least one of these fixes has solved your issue! If any of these fixes don’t work there may be a larger issue and you should call a plumbing professional to find a solution.