FIXME Plumbing > News & Blog > Signs of Toilet Leak and How to Deal with Them
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toilet bowl to be inspected for leak

Signs of Toilet Leak and How to Deal with Them

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as waking up late and rushing to the toilet only to be greeted by a stinking fluid leaking from the floor. Odds are you’ll decide to skip your shower and head to work or you’ll take the day off to try and fix the problem. The latter would be a better idea but unless you are a plumber yourself, it’s unlikely you will be able to handle the leak properly. A lot of bad things can happen when you underestimate toilet leaks.

Your best course of action in this situation is to call in a trusted plumbing company on the Sunshine Coast, such as FIXME Plumbing. Not only do they know what to do with your toilet leak problem but they can also finish the job quickly and excellently. You may not even need to take the day off if you leave the fate of your leaking toilet to the experts. That being said, it’s not a good idea to keep yourself in the dark about toilet leaks. Learning a thing or two about this common plumbing problem would benefit you in the future especially if the plumber can’t get to you any sooner.

How to Tell if Toilet Is Leaking

On average, 27 per cent of a household’s water usage comes from toilet flushing, so it’s important that you fix anything that’s causing wastage, such as a leak. The only sign of toilet leaks most people know of is the pool of water forming on the floor around the bowl. As it turns out, this plumbing problem can be a little more complicated than that. Here are some of the common signs of toilet leak you are probably missing out on during regular inspection and maintenance.

  • The toilet creates a noise even when not in use. It’s normal to hear rushing water or the sound of pressure building up inside the pipes when you flush your toilet. If this happens when you’re not using the toilet, it could mean there’s movement of water inside the toilet that isn’t triggered by the flush valve. In other words, there’s a leak, and it could be serious since a large amount of water is needed to create a pressure that can cause enough vibration to make a sound.
  • The floor around the toilet stays damp even after not using the toilet for hours. Your bathroom is one of the wettest places in your house. Even so, it only takes an hour or two of non-use for its floor to completely dry up. So if the floor around the toilet remains damp after such a long period, it can only mean water is leaking from a nearby source, which could be the toilet itself. Chances are there’s a crack so small it lets water trickle unnoticed.
  • There’s stain along the flow path of water inside the toilet. While this is most commonly an issue of poor water quality, it may also be a sign of leak. The allocation of water in each flush is just enough to clean the toilet bowl, and it won’t leave stains even if the water is not so clean. The only possible reason stain could develop on the toilet’s surface is when water is dripping longer than normal, which only happens when a leak is present.
  • Metal parts have rust. While a toilet is made mostly of ceramic materials, some of its parts are metal, particularly alloys of steel. Manufacturers, of course, anticipate that these metal parts will be wet from time to time so they use alloys that can tolerate moist conditions. Then again, with prolonged exposure, they will still corrode over time, so when you see rust forming on their surface, it means they have been exposed to moisture longer than they can tolerate. That could only be caused by a toilet leak.
  • There’s a smell of sewage coming from around the toilet. Unfortunately, water is not the only fluid that can leak out of your toilet. The sewage from the sceptic pipe and tank can leak out as well, and it stinks. Don’t ignore this kind of leak because it can be detrimental to the health of your family. Call a plumber to conduct a full inspection of your toilet.

Of course, the most obvious sign that there’s a leak in your plumbing system is if your bill keeps on rising every month. It should immediately alert and compel you to conduct an inspection yourself. Some homeowners fail to locate the source of leaks because they don’t suspect their toilet when in fact it can well be the culprit.

How to Test If Your Toilet Is Leaking

How do you know if your toilet is leaking? If you’re not sure whether your toilet is leaking or not, there are several tests you can try. It helps to verify the existence of the leak before you start unbolting the toilet’s components and doing repairs, or else you might break something.

  • Test the Flapper. The water from the tank enters the bowl through a tube at the base of the tank. Water flow is regulated through a valve connected to the knob or handle located outside the tank. This valve is connected to a flapper, which serves as a water stopper. You can figure out if the flapper is no longer capable of stopping water from freely seeping into the bowl by shutting off the supply valve. If the water in the tank decreases even if the entrance is blocked by the flapper, it’s possible that the flapper is loose or broken.
  • Drop Food Colouring in the Tank. Another effective test you can carry out to know if there’s a leak in your toilet is by dropping food colouring in the water tank. If the water in the bowl changes colour even if you did not flush, it means water is leaking from the tank.

How to Choose a Plumber

Calling in a professional plumber is a smart decision. Unfortunately, finding a reputable one may prove a bit challenging. Thankfully, reputable plumbing companies share certain qualities. For instance, they have many years of experience in handling all kinds of plumbing repair, particularly toilet leaks. They also have a complete arsenal of plumbing tools and use advanced techniques.

Author: FIXME Plumbing