It is a wonder how those small continuous leaks start. I remember seeing the water continuously running from the cistern tank into the bowl and my father would give me instructions to press both flush buttons to stop the leaking. Still not sure how that worked but we can show you how to fix a leaking toilet.
So, where should you start to learn how to fix a leaking toilet?
We suggest you flush the toilet a couple times with the cistern lid off to see how the process works. Each system can be a little different, so it’s best to see how yours works specifically.
Usually, when you flush the toilet it causes a chain arm to lift a device called a ‘flapper’, letting the tankful of water fall into the bowl. A float will drop as the water drains. It’s connected to a fill valve that controls new water coming into the tank. When the float gets to the bottom, it tells the valve to close the flapper and fill the tank back up with water. You should also be able to see an overflow tube that drains water out of the cistern into the pan if it gets too high.
Now you know how your toilet should be working. Let’s see what might be causing the leak and how to fix a leaking toilet.
1. The flapper
The first way to fix a leaking toilet is to check the flapper. If the flapper is causing the problem, it is probably stuck open, allowing water to trickle through into the toilet bowl. Caused by the chain arm getting caught or the flapper not being able to seal the tank from letting water in. You’ll need to adjust the flapper slightly for it to settle back into place after it is lifted by the flush. If the flapper is old or worn or there’s an obvious build-up of sediment, a careful clean or replacement is needed.
2. The water valve
In the tank there is a water line, displaying the optimum amount of water needed. Having too little water means the float might need to be adjusted. Make sure the water valve is turned on all the way for the tank to fill up properly.
3. The float valve
After you check the water valve, test to see if the float valve is shutting off properly. If you pull up on the float and the running stops, you may need to adjust the level of float. Even our mighty Australian toilets can’t handle the pressure sometimes, excessive pressure can create overflow problems for the system. If this is the case, adjusting the valve will mean you have to slightly lower the float.
4. The drainage system
If the cistern doesn’t seem to be leaking, you may find the issue coming from between the toilet and floor. It is likely you have a problem with the drainage system from your powder room or bathroom. Testing and repairing a problem like this can be difficult task which requires removing the toilet system. We recommend getting a professional plumber like Plumfast to take care of this one for you
5. Split flushpipe rubber
Another way to fix your leaking toilet is if the leak doesn’t seem to come from the cistern or the floor, it might be coming from in-between, you should see the flushpipe rubber seal. The seal will usually be on the connector between the cistern tank and the toilet bowl.
You will have to lift the tank away from the bowl to replace the seal, the seal can often become warn and need replacing. If you don’t feel completely confident in your plumbing skills, we suggest calling a professional plumber to get this repaired.
If these fixes don’t seem to do the trick, it would be time to call a professional to help show you how to fix a leaking toilet.
To help with your leaking toilet and cistern, give the reliable team and qualified plumbers at Plumfast a call on 1300 758 362.