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Fix A Leaky Toilet

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

So you have noticed that toilet bowl is leaking when you flush. You don't have any drain cleaning issues, and you don't want a plumber. You want to do it yourself. Why is your toilet leaking?

If you've noticed that the area under the bowl is leaking when you flush, youlikely need to replace the wax ring. In most cases you can fix the leak problem by replacing just the wax ring.

Let's grab our tools and get to work replacing that ring. Who needs a plumber, right?

Tools Needed:

Channel lock or groove joint pliers

Paint scraper or putty knife

Box cutter or utility knife

Remove the Toilet

To start, shut the water off at the valve. Next to your toilet usually on the left is the supply valve. Turn off the water and disconnect the tube connecting the water to the toilet. Now take off the bolt cover at the base of the toilet on each side. These are usually plastic and may not be there at all if they have been removed. Unscrew the nuts from the bolts on each side with your pliers. If you can't get the nuts off try using WD40.

With the nuts off of the bolts, flush the toilet to get rid of remaining water in the tank and bowl. Take your utility knife and starting from the back, cut the caulk seal under the base of the toilet all the way around. The majority of toilets have this seal, but if you don't it's just one less step to worry about. With these steps done you may now take the toilet off the floor and set it out of your way. Be very careful and use help as you do not want the tank bolts to strain against the bowl. I would definitely recommend using a partner or helper for this part.

Remove Wax Ring

With the toilet off, the wax ring should be attached to the flange on the floor. In certain cases it can stick to the toilet bowl and you need to pull it off. Grab a plastic or paper sack to pick up the old wax ring and have the trash can or bag very close. This is not something you want to touch with your bare hands.

Install Wax Ring

The two main varieties are rings with the flange or without the flange. By pulling off the toilet first we can see which type we are going to need to replace the old one. Typically you are going to want to buy a wax ring that has the flange pre-attached. They're usually around 2 to 4 dollars.

With the wax ring in hand, place it on the underside of the toilet where the drain pipe comes out. If you are using a ring with the flange, make sure the flange is pointing towards the floor. With that done go ahead and slide the toilet back on to the base bolts. Again, here I would recommend using a partner or buddy for installing the new ring and moving the toilet back into position.

Push down on the bowl with both hands evenly and firmly to set the new wax to fit the toilet. Toilet should be level and even on the floor and parallel to the wall like it was before. Re-screw the nuts back on to the bolts at the base. Reattach the supply tube to the fill valve and turn the water supply valve back on. Go ahead and test all your connections to make sure that nothing is leaking. Give it a quick flush to ensure the new wax ring is working properly and presto you are done!

You did it!

You fixed your toilet without needing to call a plumber. You can wear that tool belt with pride, or buy one now knowing you earned it.

As with all home improvement projects make sure that you assess your own capabilities properly to ensure that you are able to accomplish the task.



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