Toilet leaks can range from relatively minor issues to major problems. A leaking toilet has the potential to cause serious damage to your home, and unaddressed leaks can seep under bathroom tile and ruin your subflooring. Because these leaks can be so serious, addressing them as soon as possible is critical to avoid costly repairs to your home.
Unfortunately, determining the source of a toilet leak or even noticing that your toilet is leaking can be challenging. If you think you might be dealing with a toilet leak, the source may be one of these three common problems. This guide will help you decide how to address your leak and whether the issue may be urgent enough to require an emergency plumbing call.
1. Supply Line Fitting Leaks
Your toilet's supply line is the hose that runs from your floor or wall to the underside of the toilet tank. This hose supplies fresh water to the toilet, filling the tank and ensuring you have water on hand to flush when needed. The most common failure points are where the hose connects to the valve or the fitting on the tank base.
Supply line leaks are relatively easy to spot. Look for water dripping from the tank connection or dripping down the hose. Most supply line fitting leaks are relatively minor, although they can cause damage if you leave them unaddressed long enough. A very small leak may not require urgent attention, but you should still address it as soon as possible.
2. Wax Seal Leaks
Wax seal leaks are a potentially more serious issue. Your toilet bowl connects to your plumbing through a large flange in the floor drain. The connection between the bowl and flange isn't waterproof, so a wax seal is necessary to prevent water from seeping into the surrounding floor. This seal can degrade with age, creating a leak that can cause substantial damage to your bathroom floor.
Signs of a wax seal leak include dropping water levels in your toilet and moisture around the base. You may not notice a large puddle since water can often leak beneath the tile and saturate the subflooring. If you notice significant moisture around your toilet base, shut off the water supply and flush the bowl to empty it. Because of the potential for severe water damage, wax seal leaks can be an urgent problem.
3. Tank Leaks
The flapper in your toilet's tank stops water from entering the bowl until you pull on the handle. Unfortunately, toilets can develop leaks that continuously allow water to seep from the tank into the bowl. This situation will result in your toilet running constantly as the float valve detects and compensates for the low water level.
Tank leaks can develop due to o-ring failures, flapper issues, or physical cracks in the toilet. If you aren't sure why your tank is leaking, you may want to consider an urgent call to a plumber. Although most tank leaks aren't severe, a crack may eventually allow water to begin leaking directly onto the floor.
Learn more by reaching out to an emergency plumber.