A Guide To Toilet Tank Leaks

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Leaking from the toilet tank is not a problem to ignore. It wastes water and it can lead to further damage.

Signs of a Tank Leak

The toilet tank can leak to the outside of the tank, or it can spring an internal leak that results in water from the tank draining prematurely into the toilet bowl. External leaks are obvious because you will have water on the outside of the tank or dribbling down onto the floor to pool at the base of the toilet.

Internal leaks may be less obvious. In severe cases, you may hear the toilet running long after a flush, or it may run intermittently even when it hasn't been used recently. A low water level may also be noticeable in the tank, which can affect flushing power. 

Tank Leak Causes

The cause depends on whether the leak is internal or external. The most common cause for an external tank leak is a crack in the tank. If the crack is predominantly above water level, it can be repaired. Cracks aren't always visible, but you can find the location by adding food coloring to the tank water and checking the outside of the tank for the dye.

Internal leaks are most often caused by an issue with the flapper seal. The flapper is designed to close and form a seal once the toilet bowl finishes filling, which then allows the tank to refill. The flapper is typically controlled by a chain or a rod that connects to a float. The float triggers the flapper, and it tracks the water level to control how much flows into the tank. In some cases, the issue is with the water float that controls the movement of the flapper.

Repair Options

If a crack is the culprit, then repair is possible if the bulk of the crack is above the waterline. Your plumber can use a porcelain patching compound to fix any damage. Large cracks below the waterline are difficult to patch permanently, so usually, it's recommended to replace the toilet.

Internal leaks can sometimes be fixed by adjusting the chain or rod that controls the flapper. Flappers may also wear out, which means a simple replacement will solve the leak. In some cases, you may also need to replace the float or even the entire assembly in order to stop the leak.

Contact a plumber for a toilet repair if you suspect the tank is leaking.

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10 February 2021

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Hi everyone, my name is Linda Strickerts. I am going to talk about plumbing pipes problems, repairs and upgrades on this site. Although the pipes hide beneath the floors and behind the walls, they are an integral part of the home. Without plumbing pipes, we would still be heading out to the outhouse to do our business. Washing clothes, dishes and ourselves would also not be possible without carrying buckets of water in and out of the home. I hope to explore the different ways plumbing pipes changed our lives for the better. I will talk about keeping the pipes in great shape as well. Thanks.