Do It Yourself Toilet Repair

In a family household a broken toilet can be a big problem, especially for those that only have one bathroom. Most often people think they should call a plumber for most things that involve the toilet and other water fixtures, but that is just not the case. The toilet is actually one of the more simple devices in the home and anyone can do most repairs without having a lot of trouble.

There can be many reasons why a toilet is not functioning properly or possible leaking. Let’s first take a look at a toilet that is leaking around the base as this is a very common problem.

The toilet is attached to the hole in the floor with two bolts, and in between the hole and the toilet is a seal, like a gasket on a car. Normally this seal is made from wax and will last about 10 years or more depending on the amount of use. If the toilet is leaking around the base then more than likely the seal has gone bad. Other things to check for are cracks in the porcelain and sweating.

If the seal is bad then it must be replaced and you should follow these steps:

1. Shut off water to the toilet either at the toilet valve (if available) or the main shut off for the house. After the water source has been shut off you should flush the toilet once to get the water out of the tank.

2. Now you need to remove the bolts on either side of the base. It is possible that these bolts have rusted and locked. If that is the case then you should apply some breaking solution or use a small hacksaw blade to cut them off. Never use a hammer or other tool to strike the bolts as you run the risk of cracking the base which means a new toilet.

3. Now you need to disconnect the water line from under the tank. Keep a bucket handy to catch any excess water that comes out as the tank will not completely empty with the last flush. A pair of pliers or locking pliers works well for removing the line or a good plumbers wrench in the right size works well also.

4. Once the line is disconnected grab the toilet in the front and the back and lift straight up. It is suggested that you take the toilet outside and lay it on its side. You will need to make sure that the hole in the bottom is clean. Clean off any remnants of the old seal.

5. Clean the old seal off the flange in the floor and apply the new toilet bolts. Bring the toilet back in and apply the new seal to the hole on the bottom of the toilet. Once the seal is in place, replace the toilet to its old position, carefully feeding the bolts through the holes.

6. Once the toilet is seated then you need to thread the nuts onto the toilet bolts but do NOT tighten them down. Sit on the toilet for about five minutes to allow the wax seal to compress and take seat. Once this is done then you can tighten the bolts as they should be, but be careful to not over-tighten as it can crack the base.

7. Attach the water line and turn on the water. Check for leaks and then you are done.

WARNING: Make sure that you read and follow all the instructions and safety precautions on the packaging for fluids, chemicals, glues, and other parts that you are using to repair the plumbing in your home to prevent illnesses and injuries. Also, make sure to wear the proper protective clothing, such as gloves or goggles, to prevent illnesses and injuries.