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How to Check for Toilet Leaks

3 min read

Toilet leaks are no laughing matter. Once they happen, you have to act fast to prevent damages. Unfortunately, most toilet leaks go unnoticed or come on as a total surprise, because many homeowners do not know the signs. So, you may one day find that the floor around the base of the toilet is soaked or that the toilet runs endlessly. If you think your toilet is leaking, then you need to get to the bottom of it.

Today, you’re going to learn how to check for toilet leaks, as well as why leaks happen. Let’s begin.

How to Check if Your Toilet is Leaking

Knowing the signs of a leaking toilet is the first step to preventing such events from ever happening. When you know what to look for, you can fix the issues earlier.

Some signs that point to a leaking toilet include:

  • Stains on the floor around the toilet. If you spot discoloration that looks yellow, gray, or brown, it means the floor has been getting damaged from moisture or water over a period of time. Usually, you will not notice stains as quickly as other signs.
  • Noises coming from the toilet after flushing. When the flusher or fill valve is not functioning optimally, you will hear noises.
  • Bad smells rising up from the toilet bowl. Fumes could mean a lot of things, but when you smell the odor throughout the day, it can mean you have a leaking pipe that is releasing noxious gases into the air. This is one problem you cannot sleep on.
  • Visible water seeping from the bottom of the tank. This points to wear and tear, as well as spaces between the toilet and the floor where water can leak out.

In order to determine where the issue is hiding, follow these steps to check for toilet leaks:

1. Remove the Toilet Tank Lid

Take over the cover to peer inside the water tank.

2. Check the Water Level

While looking inside the tank, check the water level. You should see that there is a line marking the best water level on the back of the tank or on the side. If the water is either below or above this mark, you have a problem.

3. Conduct a Food Coloring Test

So, how do you figure out what is causing the toilet leak? Before you call the plumber for assistance, you can perform a food coloring test. Get a few bottles of food coloring. Choose a dye that is highly visible, like blue or purple. Put 15-20 drops of food coloring into the toilet’s tank. The water color should be thoroughly dyed.

Wait 30-45 minutes before moving on to the next step.

4. Is There Color in the Bowl?

Once your wait time is up, return to the toilet to see if any of the colored water from the tank has leaked into the bowl. If there is dye, you could have either a leaky flapper, cracked overflow tube, or a faulty valve.

5. Fix The Problem

Although minor leaks can be fixed without professional help, consider hiring a plumber. They will have the tools and knowledge for checking the condition of the flapper, fixing wax rings, and tightening the tee bolts correctly. Not only will you get peace of mind, but you save yourself a lot of time.

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