A leaking toilet leaves a puddle of water that doesn’t go away around the base. The leak can originate with a ballcock that needs a fill tube adjustment, a bad wax ring under the bowl, a faulty shut off valve, a defective, corroded, or broken water supply tube, or tank-to-bowl bolts that have corroded or broken.
Ballcock fill tubes
- The ballcock fill tube is a small diameter soft plastic black tube that goes from the top of the ballcock to the top of the flush valve fill tube. Sometimes the ballcock fill tube slips out of place and sprays water against the inside top of the toilet tank.
- Remove the lid and place the end of the ballcock fill tube back inside the top of the 1″ diameter flush valve fill tube. A small clip holds it in place.
Replacing a bad water supply tube
- Turn off the toilet shut off valve.
- Flush the toilet tank and hold the handle down until all the water runs out of the tank.
- Unscrew the nut on the upper end of the water supply tube.
- Hold the angle stop with one wrench and unscrew the 9/16″ B nut on the bottom end of the water supply tube.
- If the tube is a flex connector, remove both ends of the old flex, insert the bottom end of the new one in the angle stop and hold the angle stop while tightening the flex nut. Do not use any pipe joint compound on the flex nut or the valve threads. Do not over tighten the nut.
- If the tube is a solid piece of chrome-plated copper, you will need to bend the new supply tube the same as the old one with a tubing bender. Install the nuts on the new supply tube before bending it.
Replacing a faulty shut off valve
- Turn the water off to the house.
- Open an outside faucet to release the pressure.
- Disconnect the toilet water supply tube.
- Carefully unscrew the old angle stop.
- Apply pipe joint compound to the external threads of the water supply nipple.
- Screw the new angle stop in position. Do not over tighten it. Make sure it is off and then turn the house water shut off valve on.
- Verify that the new shut off valve is not leaking, then reconnect the toilet supply tube.
Replacing tank-to-bowl bolts
- Turn off the water supply at the toilet shut off valve.
- Flush the toilet and hold the handle down until all the water runs out.
- Remove the remaining water in the toilet tank with a shop wet vacuum, rags, or a sponge.
- Unscrew the toilet tank-to-bowl bolt nuts. You can simply cut badly corroded ones off with a fine hacksaw.
- Install the new tank-to-bowl bolts with gaskets under the large heads and washers next to the nuts. Tighten the bolts evenly until the ceramic tank bottom reaches the support on top of the toilet bowl or until the tank is securely mounted.
- Refill the tank, flush it, and check for leaks.
Replacing the wax ring
- Turn the water off at the shut off valve.
- Flush the toilet as above.
- Remove the water supply tube at the upper connection
- Remove the closet bolt caps, nuts, and washers at the base of the bowl.
- Rock the bowl from side to side and lift it straight up.
- Set the tank and bowl aside.
- Remove the old wax ring with a putty knife.
- Inspect the floor around under the toilet for rotting and the closet flange for damage and wear.
- Replace any damaged areas.
- Install a new wax ring.
Reinstallation of the toilet is the reverse of removal.
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