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How You Can Fix a Leaking Toilet or Cistern and When to Call a Professional
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How You Can Fix a Leaking Toilet or Cistern and When to Call a Professional

September 14, 2021

Leaky toilets are an unfortunate but common problem that many homeowners face. If a leaking toilet is not dealt with quickly, it can cause a lot of damage to your bathroom and other areas of the house.

Toilet Leackage

This article will discuss what causes a leaky toilet or cistern, how you may be able to fix leaking toilets without hiring a professional plumber, and some potential costs associated with fixing them.

Common Causes of Leaking Toilets and How to Notice Them

Before you can fix your leaking toilet, you need to figure out the cause of your leak. The most common cause of a leaking toilet is an old and worn out flapper valve, but this isn’t always the cause.

Here are some of the most common causes of a leaking toilet.
  • Toilet Valve Damage: The valves in your toilet can become worn out over time and they may also be faulty or damaged. When examining a leak, the valve types to check are:
    1. The Flapper Valve: You can see your flapper valve if you lift off the top of your toilet tank. When you flush your toilet, this rubber flapper rises and lets water flow into the bowl. The common signs of a damaged flapper valve include a noisy toilet and a toilet tank that takes too long to fill up.
    2. The Flush Valve: A flush valve is what allows your toilet to flush. If it’s damaged, a trickle of water will continue running down your bowl after the flush
    3. The Fill Valve: Also known as the inlet valve, the fill valve brings the water from your water supply into your toilet tank. A humming sound from your toilet that gets gradually louder over time is one tell-tale sign of a leaky fill valve
  • Damage to the Toilet Itself: Is there a dent or a crack in your toilet? This may be the cause of your leak. Luckily, these leaks are easy to spot. Look for physical damage to your toilet tank or bowl as well as water pooling at the base of your toilet.
  • Toilet Seal Damage: If water is pooling at the base of your toilet but there is no sign of physical damage, there could be an issue with your watertight seal.
  • Water Supply Line Damage: Your leaking toilet could be linked to sewer line damage. This means your leak might not be isolated to just your toilet, so look for wet floors, foul smells, and uncommon sounds from all your plumbing appliances.

In some cases, it will be hard to determine the cause of your toilet leak. If you’re dealing with a leaky toilet or cistern in Melbourne, a professional plumber will be able to narrow down the exact cause.

It doesn’t matter if you need a plumber in Ashwood or you’re searching for a plumber in Doncaster, you can find an expert to help you.

Leaking Toilet Fixes You Can Try Before Calling a Professional Plumber

If you want to fix a toilet leak yourself, there are a few things you can try. If you’re ever unsure about the steps below, do not proceed and call a professional plumber.

If the Flapper Valve Is the Problem

  • Switch off the water to the toilet by turning the shut-off valve clockwise
  • Remove the lid to your toilet and empty the tank by flushing it continuously
  • The flapper valve is a sheet of rubber that sits over a hole. Unclip the connected chain and unlatch the flapper from the two pegs that sit on either side of it
  • When connecting your new flapper, simply slide it onto the pegs and connect it to the chain. If your new flapper comes with a chain, disconnect the top of the existing chain from the flush lever so you can connect your new chain on both sides
  • Once all this is done, you can place the lid back on and switch on your water supply
If the Fill Valve Is the Problem
  • Switch off the water to the toilet by turning the shut-off valve clockwise
  • Remove the lid to your toilet and empty the tank by flushing it continuously
  • Disconnect the refill tube from the overflow tube. The plastic tube should now only be connected to the fill valve
  • Place a plastic container below the water supply line. Next, disconnect the water supply line, using a pair of pliers if necessary
  • After removing the water supply line, unscrew the nut from the bottom of the fill valve unit. You can then remove the fill valve from the top of your toilet tank
  • Put the new fill valve unit in place, ensuring the critical water level mark is one inch above the water overflow pipe. Your fill valve height should be adjustable by twisting it clockwise or anti-clockwise
  • Once the fill valve unit is at the right height, remove it and place a washer on the bottom of the fill valve.
  • You can now put the fill valve unit in place again. Next, reattach the lock nut and water line to the bottom of the unit. When reattaching the lock nut, be sure not to overtighten it as this could damage your toilet
  • Connect your new refill tube to the overflow tube and the fill valve
  • Turn the water supply back on and allow your tank to fill. You can adjust the water level in your tank by turning the screw on your fill valve clockwise (raise) or anti-clockwise (lower)
  • Once all this is done, you can place the lid back on your tank
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When to Call a Professional Plumber

While it is possible to complete other toilet repairs yourself, we wouldn’t recommend it unless you are highly confident and have completed similar tasks in the past.

Repairing a flush valve involves removing and reconnecting the entire toilet tank – not just the tank lid. Fixing a toilet seal involves removing the entire toilet. If you want to attempt these fixes yourself, video tutorials are a good place to start.

If your toilet leak is caused by a problem with the sewer line, you will definitely need the help of a plumber. Sewer line damage might also result in blockages and related complications. In this case, a plumber can assist you with pipe relining, drain repairs, and other blocked drain services.

If your toilet bowl or tank is damaged, the best course of action will be a new toilet installation. Your new toilet must be installed by a licenced and qualified plumber.

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How Do You Stop a Toilet from Leaking Water in the Meantime?

If you’re waiting for professional toilet repairs and you want to save water, you can switch off water to the toilet by turning the shut-off valve. This is a viable option if you have another toilet you can use. Otherwise, you can turn the water supply on and off every time you use the toilet.

For professional repairs when you need them most, ensure you partner with a plumber who offers same-day services, as well as 24/7 emergency assistance.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Toilet Professionally?

Fixing a toilet professionally is usually well worth the cost. When repairing a toilet, you will need to purchase all the parts and tools. As well as this, you need to consider the time it will take you to repair the toilet.

A professional plumber can usually repair a toilet in a fraction of the time. While there may be some charge for replacement parts, they already have the tools required for the task.

The main cost for your toilet repairs will be the plumber’s hourly charge. When you’re looking for a plumber in Balwyn and the surrounds, ask for their hourly charge and any other costs related to your service.

If you’re installing a new toilet, you will also need to buy the new unit yourself. This isn’t part of the plumber’s fee, but it is a cost you need to consider. A simple toilet starts at approximately $150 while more advanced units can cost $1000 or more.

To save money on a plumber, insist on fixed upfront quotes and look for an honest plumber who guarantees no hidden fees. Whether you’re looking for a plumber in Camberwell or Thomastown, $0 callout fees are also a big cost-saver, as you won’t have to pay for a plumber to come to your home.

So, How Can You Fix a Leaking Toilet or Cistern?

By following the advice in this article, you can take the steps to fix a toilet yourself, and you can also decide when it’s time to call a professional. If you want to save time, money, and hassle while ensuring complete peace of mind, you will always be in good hands with a professional plumber serving Melbourne.

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