Toilets develop problems over the years. It’s a basic fact of anything with moving parts: things break. It’s also a basic fact of seals and gaskets: they eventually break down and wear out. Toilets contain both moving parts and various gaskets. Fixing a toilet is completely dependent on figuring out what the problem is. After all replacing a gasket when a moving part is the culprit won’t solve the problem, right?
Fortunately, we can offer a few simple ways to check on what the problem is. For example, if you hold the flapper down firmly and the leaking stops, the problem is your flapper. Isolation is key. Isolate the part you want to test and see if that’s where the water leaks from. This often involves removing most of the water from the toilet tank, a little food coloring, and some patience. While less common, sometimes you can see right away where the problem is: an obvious crack or water spraying from the top of the fill valve are hard to miss! Check out the rest of our troubleshooting tips here.
Once you know what the problem is, you also know what part you need to fix the problem. If you know the make and model of your toilet, you’re pretty much home free! If you don’t, well, that’s the subject of another post…
Your turn: what’s the easiest and most difficult toilet leak you’ve had to troubleshoot?