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Web Backwoods Living
For Rural and City Living
Fix a Toilet Leak

Water on the floor around a toilet may or may not indicate a water leak. If a leak is found a couple of basic tools, a pair of plumbers pliers and a screwdriver, are used to fix most common leaks. These problems can be resolved in a matter of minutes. The worst-case scenario of a leaking wax seal may take a little longer.

Dripping Water Tank
Water that is actually dripping from the rear water tank may be coming from a few locations. The first thing to identify is the possibility of a sweating or condensation forming on the outside of the water tank. Many times, especially in warm humid weather, the cold water enters the toilet tank and condensation forms on the outside of the container. If you can easily wipe the water off and the water stops dripping on the floor you have found your problem. This condensation can be eliminated by mixing warm water with the toilet cold water line. Consult a plumber for a special mixing valve that will have to be installed on the fill water line. Check the incoming fill line for any small drips around the water connector nut. Over time the water connector nut can work loose and a small drip can form. Check the connection under the toilet tank itself. Typically this is a large plastic nut that fits around a rubber seal. The rubber seal can cause the plastic nut to work loose.

Inside the Water Toilet Tank
At the same connection point as the outside water fill line, a small rubber gasket fits at the base of the float valve. The float valve is located inside the water tank and regulates the level of water inside the tank. A circular rubber washers mates against the valves base and the ceramic bottom of the tank. If this washer is bad it will also cause a drip to occur. The main water line will have to be shut off and the tank drained of all water. Use the plumber pliers to remove the outside plastic water connection nut. There is also a plastic retainer nut holding the base of the float valve to the ceramic tank. Loosen and remove the plastic retainer nut and lift the float valve upwards. The circular rubber gasket should be lying near the entry hole where the float valve fits. Replace the gasket and install the valve back into the tank.

The Lower Wax Ring
If you have checked all of the above and no water is dripping from the water tank itself then the wax seal ring at the lower exit hole of the toilet maybe compromised. As described above you must shut off the main water fill valve to the toilet and drain all the water from the bowl. On either side of the toilet base are two bolts that hold the unit to the floor. Remove the nuts on these bolts with the plumbers pliers. Pull the toilet upward to expose the old wax ring. Remove the older rubber seal and use the slotted screwdriver to excavate the old wax from the flange. This is a messy job and you may want to wear rubber gloves. Install the new wax gasket and rubber seal. Place the base bolts inside the flange. Use new base bolts. There are specific instructions on the base bolt packaging. Lower the toilet over the wax gasket. Keep the bolts aligned with the base holes on the toilet. Press downward on the toilet by sitting on top of the seat. Install the washers and nuts on the flange bolt and tighten the two bolts with even pressure. Work from one side to the other, slowly lowering the base to the floor. This will compress the wax seal. Install the water line and test the new wax seal for any leaks by flushing the toilet a few times.

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Kat and Kevin Yares

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