5 Common Reasons for a Leaking or Wobbly Toilet
Sometimes, water stains or a puddle on the bathroom floor can be from a careless kid or a curious pet. Other times, these signs can be from something much worse: a leaky toilet. No one likes a leaking toilet. Not only does a toilet leak make a mess of the bathroom floor, but it is likely to make your water bill skyrocket. Identifying a toilet leak and fixing it can save you time and money! By knowing what the problem is, you can know whether it’s an easy fix or whether you should call a professional plumber in your area. Keep an eye out for toilet wobbles, too. They can indicate serious damage to the base of the toilet.
An Old or Worn Part
Sometimes, your toilet gaskets, washers, and bolts can just get old. When these parts get old, they stop doing their job well. If the part is big, important, or near the water, the toilet can start leaking. The toilet tank and bowl connect with a large gasket and two big bolts. If either gets old, worn, or corroded, the tank will leak. There are several seals (usually five on a standard toilet) that can have issues. Like we said in our article on 3 Toilet Warning Signs That You Need a Pro, identifying these kinds of problems is very hard.
A good indication is either water near the bottom of the toilet or signs of wearing or damage on any visible components. Even toilet wobbling can be a sign that the base of the toilet is having issues. Some parts to look out for are the closet bolt, the toilet flange, and the bolts on the base of the toilet. Flange repair can be difficult, and often replacing the worn or wobbly part is necessary. Even though you may just have to tighten the nuts and bolts, it’s often a good idea to call a professional for a quick fix! Don’t deal with the hassle of a repair plate when someone can do it for you faster, cheaper, and easier.
Cracked Toilet Bowl or Tank
Evidence of water around or near your toilet could be from a crack in the toilet bowl or toilet tank. Sometimes a crack is present from when you installed the toilet and does not leak until much later. Other times, the crack develops from an impact or from extreme temperature change. Temperature damage is far less likely to happen in places like Brevard county, since we have a pretty mild climate. When a crack develops, it can be obvious or subtle depending on how dramatic the crack is. Usually the crack leaks slowly or not at all at first. As a crack gets worse, the leaking can begin or become more noticeable. You may notice water build up between the toilet and the floor. If your toilet wobbles, you can have cracks that develop and worsen from the stress of the movement.
When looking for a crack in the toilet bowl or tank, check both sides of the porcelain. If you notice a crack but it isn’t leaking, you should mark it. Then, you can routinely check it to see if it is getting worse. When you look for a toilet bowl crack, sometimes it will not leak unless you’re flushing it. In this case, you can flush occasionally while checking for leakage. Once you discover the leak, call a professional to repair it. Often, cracks are bad enough to pull the toilet up and replace it, unfortunately. Most people aren’t comfortable patching the porcelain on their toilet bowl with a putty knife on their own. In this case, consult a professional plumber to see what options are the best for your cracked toilet tank or bowl.
Leaky Feed Line
The feed or supply line is the tube that water flows through to get from the tank to the bowl when you flush. Several problems can occur with the water supply line that will allow water to seep out and cause problems for you. The connection can become loose or worn over time, allowing water to seep. In addition, the joints can develop issues and the rubber lining that guards against leaks can get old and stop working. Any of these problems can lead to water leaking, but this problems can often be fixed by replacing the parts yourself or by hiring a plumber to do it for you.
Not every leak is onto the floor. A faulty, warped, or malfunctioning flapper in the toilet tank can cause a slow leak into the toilet bowl. Flappers naturally decline over time due to mineral buildup or wear from use. A slow leak with often cause a “phantom flush”, which is when your toilet will flush without anyone using the toilet and then refill. As you can imagine, this problem can lead to massive water waste depending on how often it happens. Usually, you can stop this problem by draining the tank and cleaning or replacing the flapper and flapper seat. If the “phantom flushing” doesn’t stop, though, the issue could be something different or more serious. In that case, you should definitely call a plumber to get them to look at it for you.
Just like a faulty flapper, a bad float can cause your toilet to continually run and use way more water than normal. It can also lead to your toilet overflowing, which is never fun. Damage, high water bills, and leaks can occasionally happen from a float in the tank that isn’t regulating the water flow properly. The fix is often found by replacing the float ball. To catch this problem ahead of time, you can regularly check the tank and make sure that the float is only partially submerged in the water. Long-term problems can arise if you notice that the float is hanging out below the surface of the water!
A little elbow grease and a good online article about DIY plumbing can solve some of these problems. However, these issues are better taken care of by a professional plumber if you aren’t sure what you’re doing or don’t know the cause of the leak. A professional will save your property from damage, prevent rising water bills, and save you plenty of time!