Fixing Leaky Sinks and Toilets

woman doing plumbing maintenance on pipe at home

The leak has been identified, found, and marked. Your enemy is clear, this loose gasket, this punctured piece of PEX tubing. Now it’s time to take matters into your own hands and fix it. Luckily you’ve come to the right place! Read on for more info on how to fix leaky toilets, sinks, and more!

Fixing a Leaky Toilet

The Toilet

Toilets have two main pieces. The bowl that sits on the floor and the tank, or ‘back’ of the toilet that holds the water. Either of these can be the place for leaks to crop up.

Fixing a Running Toilet

Hands down, the most common problem toilets have is running. It’s not a typical leak but it is still wasting water nonetheless. This is an easy fix though, and you can handle it right now at home!

A toilet is running likely because of two possible errors. The flapper isn’t sealing itself correctly or the water level is too high. If the water level is too high, the excess water will constantly be forced to flow into the overflow tube, creating the appearance of constantly running water. 

Either way, these are easy enough fixes for most folks to handle on their own. You can adjust the refill valve in the tank to reset the water level. As for the flapper you may just need to work with the chain that connects the flapper and the flush lever. If it’s too short the flapper won’t sit just right, too long and the flush won’t work right. Make sure it’s just the right length and you’ll be golden.

Fixing Leaks at the Toilet Base

Toilets can also leak at the base, where water might leak out onto the floor. 

First things first, if you are experiencing a leak around the base of your toilet it is most likely dirty water. Stop using the toilet right away, until the leak is repaired.

A leaky base is most often caused by a defect or problem with the seal between the toilet and the drain opening in the floor. This seal is made with a wax ring which, over time, can degrade and leave gaps for water to leak through. To repair this you’ll need to remove the toilet to get to the wax ring.

First, shut off the water to the toilet and flush the water, emptying out the bowl and tank. Then you can use a tool to remove the bolts and nuts that secure the toilet to the floor. With these removed the wax ring is easy to access, simply swapping it with a new one and working backward, securing the bulls then turning the water back on and letting it refill.

Fixing a Leaky Sink

Like toilets, there are two places where a leak is most likely to occur: the water supply and the drain. Left unchecked, leaky sinks can do a lot of damage so make sure you take care of them as soon as you notice.

Fixing Water Supply Leaks

Water supply leaks are usually because of fittings that aren’t secure and since the water coming into the sink from the supply is under pressure these leaks might be a spray or an active drip. 

So first, look to the shut off valve and see if it needs tightening. With two wrenches, hold the valve in one and tighten the nut with the other. Sometimes all it takes is a little tightening and the leak disappears. 

While you are tightening things, check the faucet fixtures too. These can get loosened over time and allow water to leak out. Use locking or adjustable pliers to get in close and tighten.

Fixing Drain Leaks

Drain leaks can be caused by a number of different problems, so get ready to do some testing to figure it out. These leaks can be caused by loose connections, corrosion, or blockages. 

First, let’s address the connections and see if that clears up the leak. If your trap is plastic, you can usually tighten these by hand simply enough. Metal nuts you’ll need a tool to get the proper force and grip to tighten it. If you notice that the metal fittings aren’t tightening despite how much you’re twisting it’s likely they are corroded and need to be replaced. 

If after tightening there’s still a leak, you’ll probably want to remove the trap completely and give it a good cleaning. Clear the line of any blockages you can reach while you’re at it. Reassemble and test for a leak. Good? Good!

If any of these steps seem just a bit beyond your paygrade or amateur DIY abilities, don’t sweat it! Economy Plumbing Service is here to help! Give us a call and we’ll take care of anything, whether it’s replacing a toilet’s wax ring or repiping your whole house – we’re your guys!

If water goes through it or to it, we do it!

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