How Do I Fix A Leaky Toilet?

How do I fix a leaky toilet? There are different types of leaks with toilets; learn how to fix the most common here. One of the most innovative ways for homeowners to save a few extra bucks around the house...

One of the most innovative ways for homeowners to save a few extra bucks around the house is by doing their own home projects.

Some of the bigger more elaborate projects that homeowners take on themselves include laying carpet, retiling floors and refinishing cabinets. Projects such as these are usually very time consuming and require extensive amounts of research before getting started. But, as technology and the way we receive information continues to grow, some of the smaller projects around the home are becoming second nature to most homeowners.

One project that can easily be done around the home is stopping a leaky toilet. It used to be that a leaky toilet meant a call to a plumber, but as consumers are getting more and more informed, the leaky toilet is not that big of a battle anymore.

Peter DeMarco is the director of compliance engineering at American Standard. They have been manufacturing plumbing fixtures for more than 140 years and are the world's largest manufacturer of bathroom fixtures and faucets. DeMarco said that the first thing any homeowner should do before tackling the leaky toilet problem is to decide exactly what the problem is first.

"There are a lot of different kinds of leaks," DeMarco said. "So the trick there is to troubleshoot what exactly your problem is. You can have leaks that are related to the valve, which is the valve that lets water into the toilet tank."

And even once the consumer properly identifies the type of leak they have in their toilet, the many ways to fix the problem is the next decision the consumer has to make. Some problems also may seem to be leak problems but end up to be a problem with other areas of the toilet. So, making sure that you are tackling the right problem is key to fixing a leak.

"There are various remedies depending on how that valve is leaking, and all this is described in the installation instructions," DeMarco said. "It tells you how to troubleshoot these types of problems. Basically, with the valve, if you have a leak, it may require disassembling part of the valve and cleaning that part out and reassembling it. Or it might require that the whole valve be replaced depending on the problem that the valve has. The other type of problem that's common is the flapper valve leaks. A lot of times that will manifest itself with the old 'jiggle the handle' to fix the running type of problem. If you have that, it means you have a problem with the flapper valve or the outlet itself and the remedy there is to replace the flapper."

"Or if you want to avoid the problem all together get a toilet that does not have a flapper like the Champion toilet," he added. "It doesn't have a flapper at all. It has a different type of sealing outlet valve that's not prone to that type of problem."

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