Fixing a Leaky Toilet Can Be Easy with These 5 Useful Steps

a leaking toilet
Fixing a Leaky Toilet Can Be Easy with These 5 Useful Steps

A worrisome occurrence is a toilet that leaks water around its base. It’s never nice to step into the water with bare feet, especially in the morning. In most instances, the repair is straightforward and rarely requires the services of a plumber. The majority of repairs are affordable and can be accomplished within 30 minutes. Here are the tools you should buy and the five steps you should take to repair your toilet quickly and effectively.


  • Rubber Gloves
  • Pliers
  • Cutting pliers

#1. Checking the Toilet Fill Tube

Toilet Fill Tube
Fixing a Leaky Toilet Can Be Easy with These 5 Useful Steps

To resolve an issue with a toilet’s overflow tube, remove the tank lid and locate the fill tube. From the fill valve to the toilet overflow tube is a tiny flexible tube. While the tank refills, this tube squirts sufficient water down the toilet’s overflow tube to replace the bowl following a flush. If this tube falls off or the water stream misses the overflow tube, the bowl will not fill and the next flush will be weak (i.e., it will not create a strong siphon).

Reconnect the fill tube and firmly press it onto the fill valve. Ensure that it’s approximately one inch beyond the lip of the overflow tube and that the fill tube is sending water to the overflow tube. Flush the toilet and observe the water stream to ensure that it enters the overflow tube.

#2. Checking the Float by Adjusting the Fill Height

Adjusting the Fill Height
Fixing a Leaky Toilet Can Be Easy with These 5 Useful Steps

The tank’s water level is controlled by an adjustable float. A float that is placed too low provides a weak flush; a float that is set too high causes water to overflow into the overflow tube and prevents the fill valve from closing. The toilet continues to run. To discover how to fix a toilet that won’t flush, locate the fill level mark on the inside rear of the tank and write it on the overflow tube so it’s easier to notice. If you cannot locate it, measure down approximately one inch on the overflow tube and label it.

Then, flush the toilet and observe whether the water reaches and stops at the indicated level. If not and the toilet continues to flow, move the float in the toilet tank up or down. Adjustments must be made by bending the brass rod that connects the float ball on an older toilet. With modern toilets, though, you often rotate a screw or move a clip along a rod. Flush the toilet following every adjustment. Adjust the float until the water stops flowing at the correct level.

In addition, ensure that the water level is at least one inch below the C-L (critical level) marking on the fill valve. Multiple valves can be adjusted for height to raise or lower the C-L. Occasionally, the fill valve will not close, indicating that it’s malfunctioning. If so, cut off the water supply at the valve beneath the tank. Purchase a new valve. You do not need to match the previous one; several, such as the one seen, suit the majority of toilets. There is a 15-minute changeover.

#3. Adjusting the Handle/Flapper Chain

Adjusting the Handle/Flapper Chain
Fixing a Leaky Toilet Can Be Easy with These 5 Useful Steps

To prevent low water levels in the toilet bowl and other issues, adjust the chain’s link so that there’s only a small amount of slack when the flapper is closed. Reduce the chance of tangles by snipping off the excess chain at the rod, leaving only about an inch. Then, replace the tank lid and ensure that the flush rod does not strike the lid when the lever is depressed. If so, gently bend it down and readjust the chain.

#4. Replacing the Flapper

Toilet Flapper
Fixing a Leaky Toilet Can Be Easy with These 5 Useful Steps

Install the new flapper and ensure that it opens and closes without difficulty. Then, evaluate it. If the toilet runs continuously or occasionally, the seal is inadequate. Attempt a different flapper if the toilet continues to run. Consider replacing the entire toilet overflow tube/flapper if you cannot locate a flapper that seals. On the majority of two-piece toilets, this requires removing the tank. It is not difficult and no additional equipment is required. It will take approximately an hour, but you will avoid a costly plumber’s visit.

#5. Installing a New Fill Valve

Fill Valve
Fixing a Leaky Toilet Can Be Easy with These 5 Useful Steps

You need to insert the new fill valve in to the tank by following the instruction sheet and tighten the locknut a half turn past hand tight. Then, you should see if the fill valve is at its maximum height but the overflow is still higher than the critical level mark. If it is, shorten the overflow pipe with a hacksaw. This way, it’s one inch lower than the critical level mark on the fill valve.