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A Bad Washer Could Be The Cause Of Your Leaky Toilet

When your toilet tank fills with water, it relies on a washer and bolt connection to prevent it from leaking. So, if you have a leaky toilet, a bad washer may be the culprit.

Check Your Toilet Tank

Inside your toilet tank are two or three bolts holding the tank to the bowl. Between each bolt is a rubber washer or gasket that helps prevent water from leaking out of the hole at the bolt connection. However, if the washers get compressed or warped, water can seep under the screw head and begin to leak.

How to check if a washer in your toilet tank is causing a leak

  • Lift the cover off the tank and set it aside in a safe place. Look inside the tank for two or three bolts that hold the tank to the bowl. They will be large (about 3/4 inch), round screw heads with a rubber washer or gasket under them. Use a flashlight if you don't have enough light to see through the water to the bottom of the tank.

  • Once you find the screws, feel under the tank where it connects to the bowl. If the bottoms of the screws feel wet or loose, they're the source of your leak.

  • Gently, try to wiggle the toilet tank from front to back. If the bolts are tight, you shouldn’t feel much movement.

    warning

    CAUTION: Wiggling the tank too much could potentially make the leak worse, so make sure that the water valve under your tank is turned off.

  • Some manufactures are making the bolts that attach the tank to the bowl out of a brass colored anodized steel to save money. In most states, this is against the local plumbing code. Once the anodised coating wears off, then the bolts start to corrode and they will leak.

    Hold a magnet up to one of the bolts to check what type of metal your toilet's bolts are made of. If the magnet sticks, it's anodized steel. If it doesn't, it's brass. Steel bolts should be removed and replaced with brass to save yourself a big headache later.

If you've still got a mystery on your hands, consider other causes of water leaks at the base of the toilet.

What To Do If Your Washer Is Causing a Leaky Toilet

This issue may be as easy a fix as simply readjusting the washer. However, if you can see signs of compression or warping on the washer, you'll likely have to replace it. Try using Remote Assist to determine what to do next.

NOTE: This content is for informational purposes only, and HomeX and its affiliates disclaim all liability related to it. If you decide to perform any tasks based on this information, you assume all risks, including the risk of loss or damage to property or personal injury.

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