The Daily Ping

The 1st Ping was published on January 6, 2000.

November 22nd, 2003

How to Fix a Leaking Toilet

A couple of years ago, Ryan told us how to unclog a toilet. I recently needed to learn (quickly) how to fix a leaking toilet.

The situation was that a toilet was leaking from one corner of the tank, just under the cover. It was happening when the tank was refilling after every flush – pretty badly, too, with a lot of water. Still flushed okay.

I took a look at a rather handy guide to fixing leaks, just to be prepared. And you know what? I didn’t need it at all.

As it turns out, the tube leading water from just under the refill valve to the refill tube had come off entirely. This caused water to be sprayed towards one upper corner of the tank – right near the cover – causing the leak! I simply reattached the tube, and voila! No more leaking.

Moreso than fixing something, I like it when fixing something requires little knowledge on my part.

Posted in Toilets

FROM: Amme
DATE: Friday June 25, 2004 -- 12:26:18 am
My toilet is leaking from the base (bottom) all around the toilet... now what do I do???

FROM: pam
DATE: Friday July 30, 2004 -- 2:40:29 pm
I have the same problem with the tube, but am not able to reattach the tube because it is too worn out. How do I put on another tube? Help!!

FROM: John Stephenson
DATE: Tuesday April 5, 2005 -- 3:03:14 pm
I read your information on leaking toilets and decided to attempt the job myself. Fixed the problem myself.
Big thanks for the information


FROM: Joseph
DATE: Tuesday April 5, 2005 -- 4:39:56 pm

You need a new wax seal around the base of the ol' hopper. It's sort of a job. You have to turn off the water supply, then flush the toilet as many times as you need to to empty it of water. Then you need to disconnect the water line--you may want to have a bucket handy to catch extra water. Then you need to undo the bolts that are on the base of the toilet--usually wingnuts under those cute white or colored caps on either side of the base. Then you need to lift the toilet up off of the floor exposing the old wax seal.

The wax seal usually (IIRC) just sits there. You replace it with one you get from the hardware store. There are a couple of types, so be sure to match correctly. Of course, your leak could be caused by someone not putting the right type on in the first place.

The wax seals are really cheap by the way, they were less than a dollar when I bought one not too too long ago.

Put the wax seal on, replace the toilet, reconnect the line, turn the water on and you'll find out soon enough if you fixed it.

Here's a handy site that goes into more detail and has pictures!

Good luck. Though an easy job (usually, if your toilet isn't rusted into place), it can be unpleasant. The problem is, if the wax seal is broken, it's usually because the toilet is loosely mounted. Hopefully just the wingnuts came loose. But if the floor underneath the throne is rotted or the screws are no longer secure, a new wax seal will only work for so long before a rocking toilet will ruin it again.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday April 5, 2005 -- 10:43:10 pm
Or just try a bucket of hot water.

Oops... wrong Ping.

DATE: Thursday July 21, 2005 -- 2:35:52 pm

FROM: hannah
DATE: Saturday October 22, 2005 -- 5:38:56 pm
thanks! would have been embarassing if i'd called a plumber for that!!

Lisa January 28, 2007, 12:17 am

my toilet water line leaks at the bolt. I have tried to tighten it, but either way you turn it, water still drips out. Help!!!

Jeanette May 22, 2007, 7:32 pm

I have a toilet leaking from the bottom, we replaced the wax ring twice but it is still leaking, what do I do?

Laurie November 1, 2007, 8:30 pm

The toilet tank appeared to be leaking on the floor in the bathroom so I have replaced the *gasket*, in order to do this with new rubber washers I had to also replace the *flush valve* as one of the screws was under a portion of the flush valve and I could not remove it. Problem is after all this it is *still leaking*?

christy March 9, 2008, 6:06 pm

hi i have a problem with unclogging my toilet, but it just wont unclog. I’ve tried everything the plunger, flushing the toilet many times, all the works what shall I do please help.

Pete June 22, 2008, 2:52 pm

so what do you do when the refill tube keeps coming off, after you’ve put it back on? do I replace the fill valve entirely?


Mary September 19, 2010, 5:33 pm

I’m having problems with our toilet not flushing and leaking at the bottom. We just replaced the toilet less than a month ago and it doing it again. I don’t know what else to do. And I can’t afford to call a plumber. Please help…

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