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I have a power flush toilet that started leaking. We finally found the leak, it is water shooting out of the flush lever. Any advice?
By Morgan from Jamul, CA
How to Fix Leaking Toilet Basically repairing a toilet is simple even if you have no experience. What is important is to pay attention to the association of connections and to follow instructions. Most importantly eliminate the worry of breaking something.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You'll Need:
Screwdriver- flat head
Step 1: When it comes to problems with your toilet, one of the first things you want to do is a simple diagnosis. If your toilet is leaking be sure to find out where exactly it is leaking from. You could be looking at an area that is the result of a leak at a different area on the toilet. So start with a towel, rag, or napkin and wipe toilet quickly and as you do take note by touching for the first onset of leakage. Most of your concerns however will be on basic locations. At the base of the toilet tank, area at which the tank meets the toilet and lastly at the base of the toilet.
Step 2: For all intent purposes we will start from the top of the toilet tank and work ourselves down. Most of your problems will occur inside of the tank usually. Look inside and observe the mechanical parts within the tank. Check to see if the faulty part is in plain sight. Look the handle and trip lever(the part you use the flush)and see if the linkage is not caught up on anything. Sometimes the chain or linkage will get caught up on another part which cause a malfunction with the parts order of functions. Your problem may be as simple as adjusting your chain linkage by taking some of the slack out of the chain by disconnecting the chain and sliding the loops up to connect on the trip lever. If this is the case you may need to cut off excess linkage.
Step 3: Another typical malfunction would be the flush valve component. This is the part that is responsible for your water refill following flushing your toilet. In older toilets it has a ball connected to it. In newer models the design of the flush valve unit has changed. Instead of the ball attached to it there is a cylinder float attached which slides up and down the refill shaft as the water level goes in or out of the tank. This unit when is faulty will allow the water to continue to run in the tank without stopping. There is an overflow tube that is connected to the base of the tank which prevents the water from overflowing out of the tank when it malfunctions. This would be the realistic first source of leak. At least not out of the tank, unless you have a very old toilet which is usally not the case. At the base of the flush valve where it is installed on the tank could have a bad seal that allows the water inside of the tank to seep out to the outside base of the tank. The leak could be coming from the area where the water supply hose meets the flush valve at the base of the tank. This is one area that you want to wipe quickly and simultaneously checking the area for leakage to determine rather the leak is inside coming out or outside going down or along the toilet. If you determine the leak to be at this location you first tighten up the nut that secures the flush valve to the tank first to see if this does the trick. If it still leaks from this area it may very well be the seal within the hose line where the water supply meets the flush valve. Shut the water line off before disconnecting the line to inspect the seal within the hose line to make sure the seal is evenly distributed where points meet. It could be a bad line( which you can easily replace or to place seal on evenly).
Step 4: Finally there is really only one more source of a leaking toilet, excluding the not so common occurrence of leaking from the base of the toilet,is the two bolts that connects the tank to the toilet located towards the center of the tank. You can see the top of the bolts from inside of the tank. The bolts have rubber washers around them to keep the water out of the tank from coming out. First tighten the bolts up by tightening the nut on the bottom the tank on the upper most side of the toilet. You will need a flat head screwdriver and a crescent wrench for this. If tightening does not stop leak you may need to replace the rubber washers by shutting off water source,disconnecting the water line and removing the two bolts that secures the tank to the toilet. In doing this you can replace one more seal that would insure you of all possible leaks by looking under the tank once removed and you will see another seal that the tank rest on to of the toilet called the cone seal. Replacing these last three seals will most surely solve your leaking problems.