Fixing a toilet leak can be an overwhelming task, especially, if you have never done plumbing ever before. However, if you do it with proper measures and planning, you will be able to fix your toilet with minimum effort.
But first of all, you need to find out the leak before taking any action. It may sound like a straightforward task, but it can be very frustrating as well. Many people give up finding the leak and end up calling a professional plumber. So, here is a brief guide about finding and fixing a toilet leak:
The most common reason for a toilet leak is a flapper gone bad. The good news is that they are not very expensive and easily available at every hardware store. You can get it for as low as 10$. Flappers are made with rubber material and it can stop working properly, when minerals start to build around it. That is why, sometimes, cleaning the flapper lightly can also cause it to settle down and work as expected. Otherwise, replacing the it does not take too long either. You can easily follow each and every step mentioned on the flapper pack. However, always remember to turn off the water first, before replacing it. Once you have turned off the water, simply unhook the old flapper from the flush valve and place the new one.
Sometimes, the flapper is not the culprit, but it is the seal between the toilet and the tank. You can easily assess the seal by spotting water leak between the bowl and the tank. There may be two reasons for a leaking seal. It could be either set improperly or it could have simply worn. However, in both cases, you will have to unscrew the bolts that keep the toilet and the tank together. Remember, turn off the water valve before unscrewing the bolts. If the seal is worn, simply take out the old seal and place the new one. Otherwise, you can simply push it appropriately to fit the seal.
Fixing Toilet Base
If its not the flapper or the seal, it probably is leaking at the base of the toilet. There is a wax ring at the base that holds the toilet to the base. Sometimes, the screw may get loose and hence the water starts to leak. If it has been a long time since you installed your toilet, it may be time to replace the ring. However, replacing the ring is not that difficult either.
All you have to do is unscrew the bolts at the base and lift the toilet up. Again, it is extremely important to keep the water valve off. Now, make sure you clean the existing ring thoroughly before placing the newer one. Otherwise, it may not fit properly and the leak will not stop.
All in all, fixing a toilet leak can be a tricky task. But, once you have identified the leaking spot, it is a cakewalk.