For many homeowners, the mere mention of the word “plumbing” is all that it takes to conjure up the image of one particular fixture: the toilet. Even the most traditional, old-fashioned homeowners out there are probably going to concede that a toilet is a far preferable alternative to an outhouse or latrine, and you will find a toilet in pretty much any home that you go into these days. Of course, the last thing that you want to find upon entering your bathroom is a leaking toilet.
Another fact, unfortunately, is that it’s possible for any toilet to spring a leak. If and when you notice a potential leak with your toilet, there are a few steps that you can take before calling in for professional repair services. In certain scenarios, of course, you are going to need a professional plumber in Tucson, AZ. Here are a few tips to help you determine if your toilet is actually leaking, and some information about the different type of leaks that you may encounter.
First, Rule Out Condensation
Sometimes, homeowners will call in a plumber the moment that they notice there is water on the floor surrounding their toilet. This is understandable, as even a “minor” leak can lead to serious water damage, as well as the cost associated with wasting water. If you are just seeing condensation that has pooled around the toilet, however, you really do not need to be paying for a service call from a plumber.
We live in a pretty dry area, and we don’t necessarily worry about high humidity too frequently. However, there are a lot of factors that could influence humidity and moisture levels within a home, so this type of condensation is definitely something to keep in mind.
Where Is the Leak Coming From?
If you are sure that there is an actual leak in your toilet, a good next step is to determine where the leak is coming from. There are a lot of different spots in which your toilet may leak, and some issues can be resolved pretty easily. Others are much more complicated, but we’ll get to that.
On occasion, you may hear your toilet refilling even though it has not been flushed in some time. This could indicate a leak, but a fairly benign one. Basically, the tank could just be running into the bowl due to a bad flapper or seal. The tank and bowl can be drained and the flapper replaced if this is the case. Putting a bit of dye into the tank, waiting an hour, and then checking the color of the water in the bowl is a good way to test this.
If there is water leaking out of the tank and onto the floor, you should double check the bolts holding everything in place. They may just need to be tightened, or they may be corroded and need replacement. If the tank itself is cracked and leaking, though, replacing the toilet is really your only option.
Finally, there is the wax seal under the toilet. If this seal is broken, the leak can eventually wind up rotting your floor away. You don’t want to just caulk around the base of the toilet, as the leak will still be active. The toilet needs to be removed, the seal replaced, and the toilet reinstalled. This is a job that you want professional plumbers, like those here at The Sunny Plumber, to handle.
Bright and Shiny and won’t show our Hiney.