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How To Fix A Leaky Toilet

Updated on June 29, 2013

Average Toilet

Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle
Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle | Source

3:00 a.m.

It's 3:00 in the morning and you are trying to sleep and all you can hear is that annoying swirling sound that indicates you're toilet is never going to completely fill up. It sounds like it is never going to finish flushing, and it won't until it bothers you enough to get up and look at it. Sometimes a little jiggle on the handle will quiet it, but not always. Along with the water going down the drain is the money flying out of the bathroom window to the utilities company that allows you the privilege of using the water that I believe God provided for us. Since you're up, you might as well fix it.

Things You'll Need:

  • wrench
  • pliers
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • flat head screwdriver
  • OJ screwdriver

The first thing to do is shut off the water to the toilet. You can find the shut off valve behind the bowl close to the floor. Turn it all the way to the right until it is firmly in the off position.

Next, lift the lid to the tank and flush the toilet. This will drain all of the water from the bowl and most from the tank. Now you must bale the remaining water out of the tank, using an old towel to get the last little bit.

You Think You have Plumbing Problems

Old Building=Old Plumbing
Old Building=Old Plumbing | Source

The WRONG Way To Fix A Leaky Toilet

Assessing The Damage

Now you are ready to assess the damage. The most common cause is a defective flapper. The flapper is the rubber seal at the bottom of the tank that opens and closes as you flush. If it no longer closes all the way, water will continuously seep out through the drain, producing that horrible sound while costing you money.

If this is indeed the problem, then you are in luck! Run to the nearest hardware store and pick up a new one. Then, simply lift out the old one and slide the new one in it's place. Replace the lid, turn the water back on, put your tools away, and go to bed! If the problem is more than the flapper, there is a kit you can buy.

The Kit

There are several different kits that you can buy at your local home or hardware store. These kits will contain all of the parts you will need to replace the entire flushing mechanism of your toilet. I like to call them toilet guts.

The kits can range in price from around 15 dollars to 35-40 dollars. I usually buy mid range. I have replaced quite a few in my lifetime, mainly because of finances. I cannot afford a plumber. Happily, the guts are not difficult to replace, it is just a matter of following directions.


Please call a plumber if there is water shooting straight up out of your toilet!

Otherwise, most other problems can be handled by the homeowner and possibly some neighbors. That has happened to me, seriously. In conclusion, my point is that plumbers are expensive and you don't have to call them for every little thing. Happy plumbing!

Caution: Deep Water

Are you confident in your plumbing abilities?

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    • janiek13 profile image

      Mary Krenz 6 years ago from Florida's Space Coast

      Thank you for reading, I am now following you.

    • LT Mckeithen profile image

      LT Mckeithen 6 years ago from El Paso, TX

      I am very impressed with the tone and volume of the hub. Good stuff, keep it up!! I have yet to post my first one, kind of nervous.