The question of "how to fix a leaky toilet?" is a relatively easy one to answer, but it takes time and concentration to complete this particular do-it-yourself task. As you scan this article, you may decide that this isn't a job you want to take on yourself. If you don't think you are up to doing the fix on your own, or if you simply don't have the time, contact WaterSmart and one of our fully licensed master plumbers will be happy to do it for you.
"If there was an option for 10 stars, I would give that to Ben today! He installed our sink, replaced the tap and drain plumbing and it looks absolutely fabulous! Incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. Watersmart was recommended by K-W Countertops and we agree 110% that they provide excellent work at an honest and fair price. Thank you! Thank you!" - Elana Gibbs
Now that you're all set, here are the steps you need to follow in order to fix a leaky toilet. For reference, be sure to check our previous article on "How Your Toilet Works."
Step 1: Turn Off & Drain the Water
Locate your water shutoff valve below the tank and turn the handle clockwise. You may need to use locking pliers to get it turned off completely. Flush your toilet and hold the flap up to allow as much water as possible to drain out. Use a sponge to soak up any remaining water.
Be sure to turn off the water before starting your work.
Step 2: Remove the Tank Bolts
Attach an adjustable screwdriver to one of the tank bolts on the underside of the toilet tank. Use this screwdriver to hold the bolt still as you unscrew the tank bolts with a screwdriver from inside the tank. Remove both bolts and gaskets.
Tip: If the tank bolts are rusty, you can try applying some lubricant to the top and undersides of the bolts to help you unscrew them. You may need to use locking pliers instead of a screwdriver to unscrew them. If all else fails, you will need to take a hacksaw to the underside of the tank and cut the rusted bolts off.
Step 3: Remove Tank/Replace Spud Washer
You may want to ask someone to help you lift the tank from the bowl and set it aside. Once it's off, you can remove the spud washer. This is the large, rubber washer placed between the toilet tank and the toilet bowl. If it is stuck on, try using an adjustable wrench to pry it loose. Once that's off you, can apply the new spud washer. Be sure to tighten it over the spud nut. If possible, purchase a thicker spud washer. It will usually last longer and give a tighter seal.
The first thing you want to do here is thoroughly clean around all of the holes where the bolts were using a wire brush and white vinegar. You need a clean surface inside and outside of the tank where the new gaskets will be in order for them to seal properly.
Put a new rubber gasket/washer on each bolt. Make sure they are firmly seated onto the bolt, and insert each bolt into the clean holes inside the tank. On the underside of the tank, gently re-install the metal nuts onto the bolts, tightening them by hand
Step 5: Replace the Tank
Carefully place the tank back on the bowl and attach new rubber gaskets/washers to the bolts underneath the toilet bowl. Place a metal washer next and then the metal nuts. Alternating from one side to the other, tighten the nuts until the rubber gaskets are properly seated. Turn the valve back on, fill the tank and you're back in business!
Fixing a leaking toilet tank is not too difficult, even for a first-time handyman. You should be able to complete the entire repair in less than an hour unless the tank bolts are badly rusted, in which case it may take you longer.
Watch the following video to watch step by step how to fix a leaking toilet tank:
Still Wondering How To Fix A Leaky Toilet? Trust WaterSmart!
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