Toilets often last a long time and don't give you too much trouble except for an occasional clog. However, a toilet and the parts inside can need to be repaired or replaced if they wear out or start leaking. A toilet leak can drive up your water bill or cause water damage in your bathroom. If your toilet is leaking, start your search with the tank since it holds water. Here's how to test the tank for a leak and some plumbing repairs that could be needed.
Try Putting Food Coloring in the Tank
If you want to verify the water leak is coming from the toilet, put several drops of food coloring in the tank to turn the water blue, red, green, or another color that's easy to see against the color of your toilet. Wait several minutes and check for colored water on the floor or in the toilet bowl. If you find colored water outside of the tank, then you know for sure the leak is coming from the tank.
Check for Leaks Going in the Bowl
If the water in the toilet bowl turns the color of the food dye, there could be a leak in the components in the tank. The flapper might not be seated completely, or it might have a hole or crack. You can buy a new flapper if your old one is bad, or you might want to buy a new kit and replace all the parts in the tank so they're all new and working properly. Changing the flapper is a fairly easy plumbing repair, but if you don't feel comfortable working on your toilet, call a plumber so the leak can be stopped.
Find a Leak Dropping on the Floor
If the water leak seems to be close to the side of the tank, a washer around a tank nut might be worn down or the nut might be loose. If a nut is loose, you can tighten it to see if that fixes the leak. There is a nut on each side of the bottom of the tank, so check both sides. If the washer is bad, you'll need to replace it.
There is also a large sponge gasket in the middle of the bottom of the tank that can go bad. If this happens, it will appear that the leak is coming from the middle of the tank. When this part is bad, you have to detach the toilet tank and turn it over to remove the old gasket and put in a new one. If you're not handy with DIY repairs and able to handle a heavy toilet tank, call a plumber for help.
Another problem that can cause a leak from the toilet tank is a crack in the porcelain. If the crack is tiny, it might be possible to seal it with epoxy or porcelain sealer. If repairs don't work or if the crack is large, your plumber will probably recommend replacing the tank. You can choose to replace only the tank or use the opportunity to have a new toilet installed.
If you're facing these problems, contact companies like Easy Rooter Plumbing.