Top 3 Reasons for Leaky Toilets and How to Fix The

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Real Estate

Leaky toilets are incredibly annoying, and attempting to find out what is wrong is often even more frustrating. Of course, you can always call a plumber to fix the issue, but that most often unnecessary for a small leak. The answer, however, is to check for the most common causes of a leaky toilet and know what needs to be done to fix them. The following is a complete overview of what causes a leaky toilet and how to quickly and effectively fix the issue.  


Flapper Issues

The flapper - otherwise referred to as the flush valve seal - is the plug that covers the drain seat. The purpose of the flapper is to stop water from draining, which causes the toilet tank to fill with water and enable the ability to flush. If the flapper is damaged - which might be the result of a hole, bend or other complication - the water will continue to leak into the toilet. Fixing the flapper is often as simple as removing or fixing the obstruction. Worst case scenario, you can buy a new universal flush valve seal for less than ten dollars. 


Fill Valve Issues

The fill valve is the long component inside of the toilet tank in which the chain and flapper attach to. The fill valve is essentially the engine of the toilet, and any damage or complications with the fill valve likely will lead to an inability to flush and a constant leak. You can quickly assess the fill valve to see if there is any damage by removing the tank lid and flushing. If the flapper is intact and the toilet does not flush properly - or the toilet continues to run after flushing - then it may be time to replace your toilet fill valve. 


Tangled Chain

A tangled chain is likely an easy issue to fix. You can find the chain attached to the fill valve, and it is responsible for lifting the flush valve seal whenever you flush the toilet. A broken or damaged chain is likely a more difficult repair, but the most common issue is a tangled chain, which is easy to fix. When the chain is tangled, it lifts the flapper and keeps it from closing into the drain seat, causing a constant toilet leak. You can replace the chain if it is damaged or simply fix your current one if it is tangled. 


The Bottom Line

You can most often fix a leaky toilet by yourself for less than ten dollars and in less than ten minutes. However, if the issue seems more complex, it might be best to call a professional plumber, who can quickly assess the issue and ensure the complications is fixed long-term. If you do decide to fix your leaky toilet yourself, be sure to shut off the water before making any changes or repairs. Hopefully, by checking these three common causes of a leaky toilet you can fix the issue and get your toilet working the way it should once again.


Annette Masterson is a licensed broker with EXIT Realty Bob Lamb & Associates in Murfreesboro, TN. She has developed one of the most successful real estate teams in Rutherford County, known as Masterson Network, that specializes in new home construction and residential listings and sales throughout Middle Tennessee. You can email Annette at or call her at 615-896-5656 (Office) or 615-533-1660 (Cell) for more information.