How to Fix a Leaking Toilet – Repairs and Tips

Toilet leakages are among most common breakdowns and malfunctions nowadays. Simply, as the time passes by, parts and joints are wearing off, and it is imminent for breaks to appear. What you need to do, and how to quickly and safely sanitize the breakdown, all of those information are covered in this article.

Read on, and see what you can do.

Determine the flaw

First thing to do is to see if there is any reason to intervene around the toilet. Sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry, and to perform pre-emptive maintenance.

But, if you notice water which remains after using the toilet, wet and spongy-like floor, this is your code red and intervention is of utmost importance, and can’t be delayed.

If, by any chance you postpone the undertaking, the cost of later repairs will be much higher. Replacing the pipes, sealant, tiles and even the piece of the floor is possible, and trust me, you don’t want for this to happen.


Once you have determined what causes the malfunction, you need to shut off the main valve of the toilet. This can usually be found in the bathroom, but if there isn’t, find the main valve, which is often in the basement, or where your water measuring unit is.

Once this is done, flush the toilet to see if water is still going. If you don’t hear anything, or that hissing sound of water, you may proceed further.

Dry out the area around the toilet using dry cloth, and remove all items that can get in your way. If you are leaving the toilet area to dry on its own, hop to the hardware store, and buy sealant, most commonly silicone, rubber sealant, and a few bolts.

Removing the toilet

The toughest thing to do here is to remove old, rusty bolts. Using locking pliers is a great tip here, and yet, if bolts resist, apply oil or more simply, just loosen them up enough to cut them off with hack saw.

Once this done, you can remove the toilet, with slight rotation in one direction, until it is free. What you find underneath can cause you troubles.

Replacing the sealant

With the toilet removed, you will notice nasty gasses coming out from the drain. To avert this, put in old rag, and this will also prevent debris falling in and causing future clogs. Remove the old wax around the pipe, horn and flange. The best tool for this is common putty knife. You could use alcohol to completely remove any traces of grease and sealant.

When the floor is squeaky clean, proceed with removing the flange. Broken one most often causes the trouble, but while you are there, check for additional causes. Bad wax ring, rot around the toilet, and fringe set too low are also to be watched for. Once the cause is determined, proceed with replacement. Flange is that plastic or metal ring which is under the toilet. If it is broken, replacing it is not much of a fuss. Using the drill, make new holes in the floor and tighten it up.

Make sure that you don’t over tighten the bolts, for this will put additional pressure to the flange, and will cause it to wear off faster. Great asset to the flange is support, which can be bought cheap. Basically, two metal sheets which are put between flange and the floor itself. This provides better support for the toilet, and also prevents rotting of the floor, caused but the extra moist.

Waxing and finishing

Wax ring provides better stability of the toilet, and having one is insurance that the toilet will be safe, and will add up to the sealing and preventing gasses returning from the drain. Putting one is quite straightforward, just put it around the hole where the pipe horn connects. Now, when returning toilet, you will need to slightly rotate it, so it will click back to place. Before putting bolts, put a couple of shims between the toilet and the floor.

Now tighten the bolts and cut off the extra of the shims. A friend of mine, a plumber from Sydney, told me that this is good way to lift up toilet a bit, and when you seal the space with silicone, area left behind the toilet will pass the extra water.

While it is not much of a work, there is some heavy lifting to be done, and overall, you will need few hours to finish everything. Additionally, if you are less keen on doing the job by yourself, you can always call for professional help. If you follow this guide, you will be just fine, and it will save you some money.


  1. Sara says:

    Nice tips. Pls let me know how to fix a leaking toilet base, water supply valve, pipe, shut off valve and tank.

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