Have you ever wondered why your toilet leaks when flushed? Leaky toilets are one of the difficult problems that most homeowners face.
These leaks are small at the start but suddenly get out of control. A small crack that delivers only a few drops of seepage creates a pricier problem.
If you do not fix the issue quickly, the problem will worsen and result in the wastage of your water. If the toilet on the upper portion leaks through the adjacent room below it or water keeps running after the flush, this article will help you.
Here, you will know the causes of toilet leaks when flushed and learn the techniques to fix them.
Table of Contents
Causes of Toilet Leaking and its Solutions
There can be multiple reasons if your toilet leaks when flushed. If not tackled at an early stage, this problem can cause severe issues. Some of the major reasons for this problem are:
1. Toilet Leaking at Base
After flushing, if you get plenty of water surrounding your toilet. It must be leaking from the base. Never avoid this problem because the bowl water is not sanitary and will create a terrible odor. Moreover, it also gives a chance for the growth of bacteria.
- Carefully inspect the source of the leakage in every part of the toilet bowl and other parts.
- Clean the mess with an old rag and dry the area with another dry cloth.
- To check where the water is coming you must also wipe the bowl.
- Flush the toilet.
- Carefully watch and listen when water builds up on the floor again. If you heard no dripping from the tank and pipes and they are dry, the leakage is at the base.
Reasons for Toilet Leaking from Base
Leaking toilet base may have two reasons:
Bolts are Loose
Firmly screw the two bolts located at the right and left base sides of the bowl. A waterproof seal is made under them by the wax ring. Water will come out with every flush if the bolts are not tight. You can easily fix a leaking toilet:
- Use a putty knife to remove the caps of the bolts.
- Start tightening the bolts from one to the next to get a balanced bowl.
- Don’t try to overdo it because it will break the base.
- If you feel that screwing them does not tighten the bolts, you may need to replace the entire system.
Toilet Seal Leaking
If you find that the bolts are fine, but the water is coming out under the base, then the problem is with the wax ring, and you must change it. It attaches the hole of the waste to the drainage pipe.
It must be sealed properly to prevent the leakage of water. Once you install it properly but it damage over time, you must change it. To fix a leaky toilet, follow the below guidelines:
- Close the valve of the water supply.
- Empty the tank and wipe the bowl to dry it.
- The water supply line must be disengaged from the toilet.
- Bolts are located on both sides of the base; unscrew them.
- Lift the commode and turn it on one side; you will see the broken wax ring. Remove it.
- Keep the toilet back in its original position to check that it does not rock on a side. You must shin it before putting in a new wax ring if it’s shaking.
- Install the new wax ring and gently press it
- Keep the toilet back and firmly press it so the wax ring properly seals.
- Now, screw the bolts of the bowl and connect the water supply.
2. Toilet Leaking from Tank
After thoroughly checking the wax ring and bolts, you find that the problem is not with them. Then, it could be with the tank. Two areas of the tanks can be the source of the leakage.
If you determined that the water is coming out from the tank of the bowl, its reason might be a broken gasket. The disconnection of the tank will be required to check and replace it.
Ask a second person to help you lift the toilet tank because it is heavy and its detaching is difficult.
- Disconnect the supply of water and empty the tank from the liquid. Dry the tank by wiping it with a sponge.
- Disengage the water that is taken from the tank to the bowl.
- The bolts that hold the bowl and the tank loosen them. These bolts are located at the back of the tank.
- Take the tank of the toilet and keep it on the floor.
- If you notice small cracks on the gasket, it needs to be replaced. If it is completely dry, the problem could be somewhere else.
- Take the gasket out and keep it with you as a reference when purchasing the new one from the store. The new gasket will seem smaller, but it’s fine because the old one has stretched over time.
- Install the new gasket and reassemble everything as before. Carefully tighten the bolts; they must not be over-tightened.
Line of Water Supply
The supply lines from the fittings may leak, or there may be small holes. Keep toilet paper on the water supply lines and check if it gets wet.
It’s a good way to check damp fittings because if you examine them by hand, you might feel cold or moisture. It will be difficult to decide about the leakage.
Detecting any leak in the water lines can be fixed by tightening the pipes using a wrench. Overdoing the tightening process of pipes will result in damaging them.
If there are holes in the pipes, you can fix this issue by replacing them. It can be done as soon as possible to avoid worsening the situation.
Why Does the Toilet Bowl Drain Slowly?
If you find the slow drain of the toilet bowl, and when water is not in use, its level lowers occasionally, these situations may be due to a leak. Clogged vents also create problems in flowing the water or wastes.
You can easily and quickly fix a clogged toilet, but it can be done with the help of a professional. Test your toilet’s drainage system to ensure that it’s a clogged drain problem.
Remove the lid of the tank once the toilet has filled with water. For a flush, slightly lift the flapper. If it didn’t happen, it shows that your toilet drain is blocked.
To fix this issue, take a plunger and quickly move it up and down into the toilet drain. In this way, the small items are pushed by it, which have clogged the drain.
If the plunger didn’t work, now carefully listen to the gurgling sound of the drain around the bathroom. If you hear any noise, the vents are blocked, and the water flow will not happen.
You have to call a professional to detect the exact source of the clogged area.
Leaking Toilet Through the Ceiling
A big problem in most bathrooms is the toilet leaking through the ceiling. If you notice seepage on the walls due to a bathroom in the upper portion, you must fix it quickly. Delaying the work on this problem will worsen it and create a serious water damage issue.
Carefully examine the area where the floor and the toilet’s base are connected. The wax ring seals this connection between the floor and the toilet. However, over time it can damage.
If you find it broken, you need to replace it immediately. The leakage through the ceiling doesn’t need to be due to the toilet’s drain. Bathtubs, leaky water supply lines, showers, and drain pipes could be the reason for the leakage.
If you do not wipe the water on the bathtub bottom or the shower area, and the water is left in place, it can create leakage through the ceiling.
When a Toilet and its Parts Should be Replaced?
Most of the residents do not know when to do the plumbing work and what is the right time to replace a toilet. If you are facing any of the following issues, it needs immediate replacement:
- General repairs
- Common clogs
- Porcelain has cracks or a minor crack
- Even after cleaning the toilet, it looks dirty due to scratches
Some homeowners replace their toilet with a low-flush model to save water and money, even if it’s working fine.
Every five years, some parts of it need replacement. Water supply lines or flapper is included in these parts that keep the flow of water.
These parts become damaged or loose over time. The bowl does not require any replacement until it is cracked. However, if there are scratches on the porcelain, it shows that the tank or bowl should be replaced.
Cleaning the bowl with harsh cleaners results in scratches or damage to the porcelain. It would be best if you replaced the damaged area as quickly as possible to prevent your home from damaging.
If the low-flush toilets get clogged commonly, you must replace them immediately. After using it for many years, it is obvious that it will not work properly. Replace your toilet after some years to save your money and yourself.
What is a Wax Ring in Toilet?
A toilet wax ring is made by molding thick wax on a ring of plastic that delivers a waterproof seal between the floor and the toilet’s bottom. It also gets rid of the sewer gases in the bathroom.
The toilet is connected to the drain pipe by a round pipe fitting screwed into the bathroom floor, also called a closet flange. Two bolts connect them both, and thus the toilet is firmly secured to the floor.
Between the toilet and the flange, the wax ring is sandwiched. You can use a rubber gasket seal as a wax ring alternative. The rubber seals are more efficient than wax rings.
If your floor or ceiling is leaking due to the toilet, the wax ring does not provide the proper sealing. Its reason might be a broken flange or loose toilet bolts that make it start shaking.
Due to this problem, your toilet wax ring will be misplaced or broken, and a leak will occur.
What is a Toilet Tank to Bowl Gasket?
It is called a spud washer and is made of rubber. The bowl gasket provides a waterproof seal between the bowl and the tank. It is installed on the outer area of the flush valve, where the water enters the bowl by flushing.
If water leaks after flushing, the rubber gasket has been damaged, the flush valve is cracked, or tank bolts are loose. Only two-piece toilets have this problem, and you must remove the toilet tank to fix this issue.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions that a homeowner may ask if his/her toilet leaks when flushed:
How to Fix Toilet Leaking at the Base?
Fix the issues of toilet leaking at the base in the following ways:
- Thoroughly examine for condensation.
- The bolts around it must be tightened.
- Detach and take out the toilet.
- Replace the broken wax ring with a new one.
- Buy a new model of toilet and install it.
- Join the water supply.
Why Does a Leak Occur Between the Bowl and the Tank?
When the toilet is leaking between the tank and the bowl, the base of your toilet is leaking. Due to this, water gathers on the floor by flushing.
How Do You Detect that the Wax Ring is Leaking?
If water is leaking from the toilet base, it is a sign of a broken wax ring. Other indications show that leakage is due to the wax ring, such as leakage through the ceiling and an unpleasant smell in the bathroom.
How Do You Detect if The Toilet Flapper is Leaking?
You can do a simple test to find if the flapper is leaking:
- Pour a little food color into the toilet tank.
- Leave it for 25 minutes.
- The flapper will be leaking if the color spreads.
When Does the Toilet Flapper Need Replacement?
The average life of a toilet flapper is 4 – 5 years. It must be replaced after a few years to avoid leakage.
In this article, you have learned the reasons for toilet leaks when flushed and found quick and effective fixes. There are many causes of toilet leakage, and the sources of these problems should be detected carefully and immediately.
If the leakage occurs through the ceiling or walls, it will provide you with a big financial loss. Don’t clean the toilet with harsh chemicals to avoid scratches resulting in leakage. You can get professional help if required.