Every house has one, or two, or three, we’ve even serviced homes that have nine toilets in them! But do you really know how your toilet works, and how to inspect it for leaks or damage. Most homeowners go about their everyday business without even thinking about their toilet, and the wonders that it performs every day.
In this blog we’re going to give you a complete DIY guide to inspect your toilet and make sure it’s up to snuff. Homeowners might not even realize that their toilet is leaking, costing them extra money each month, is wobbly, cracked, or poorly installed and waiting for disaster. Mr. Swirl suggests you follow these steps once a year to check in on your toilet and make sure you’re getting the most of it.
Table of Contents
Is your Toilet Leaking?
One of the first things you should find out when you inspect your toilet is if it is already leaking. If you find out your toilet is leaking right of the bat, then there is no need to keep inspecting. Toilet leaks aren’t like all other leaks, because water could simply be leaking from the top tank into the bowl. If this is the case, you won’t have a flood, but you’ll be flushing money down the toilet literally on every monthly water bill.
The Dye Test
To inspect your toilet for the type of leak from your tank to your bowl, you can perform a dye test. Start this off by opening the tank on top of your toilet. Once it’s open pour a small amount of dye or food colouring into the water. Now, leave your toilet and make sure nobody uses it for 15 minutes-2 hours. Come back after this period of time and see if any dye is in the toilet bowl water. If you see coloured water in your bowl, then your tank is leaking into it.
If you find that you have a leak this way, it could be a more complex problem than other types. We’d recommend at this point you call your local friendly plumber!
If your toilet passes the dye test, that’s great news! Although your toilet could still be leaking in a different fashion. Take some time now to do a visual inspection. Look around the base of the toilet and all the bolts, hoses and piping. If you don’t see any water escaping, you’re in luck.
The final test at this point, is to just listen. Listen closely to different parts of your toilet and listen for any seeping or dripping noises. If you do hear anything, inspect this part of the toilet further and investigate for a leak.
Is it Condensation?
Sometimes, to the relief of homeowners, what looks like a leak is just condensation. If you have small amounts of water on and around the base of your toilet, it will look like a leak however it could simply be condensation. To determine if this is the case, wipe up the moisture you found, then flush your toilet and watch. If you see water seeping out along the base or anywhere else on the toilet, you’ve got a leak. However, if you see nothing seeping out and instead condensate forming, you’re all good!
Condensation is totally normal and would be caused by the temperature in your bathroom. For instance after a hot shower on a cold day, just like your mirrors you might see condensation on your toilet!
No matter the type, if you suspect or know you have a leaky toilet, call the friendly and professional plumbers at Mr. Swirl. Fixing your own leak can get expensive and you’re more likely to face issues along the way.
Once you know your toilet is not leaking, it’s time to make sure it doesn’t leak anytime soon. The first step is to check that the bolts that secure the toilet to the floor are tight and doing their job. You may have not noticed, but over the years the bolts may have come a bit loose and your toilet might actually wobble!
If you find that the bolts on the base of your toilet are loose, a leaky toilet could be in your near future. Not only will you have a wobbly toilet, water can also start to seep out. The immediate action should be to tighten the bolts. This sounds like an easy process however toilet bolts are tricky and if you don’t tighten them to the perfect crank, you will crack your toilet or still have a leak. Unless you’re very confident or have experience, we’d recommend calling Mr. Swirl the Friendly Plumber Maple Ridge to properly secure your toilet.
Inspect you Wax Ring
If your toilet is still wobbly but your bolts are secure, you likely have an old or damaged wax ring. A wax ring seals the toilet to the toilet flange on the floor and keeps any water from escaping. A variety of things can go wrong with wax rings, they can crumble, break or come loose. Some common signs of these are a wobbly toilet, leak at the base of the toilet or a smell similar to rotten eggs.
At this point you should have already determined that the toilet is not leaking, obviously if it is then the wax ring could be in question. Now, if your toilet is still wobbling when the bolts are tight or if you find a rotten egg like smell from around your toilet, the wax ring will likely need replacing. Mr. Swirl plumbers replace wax rings all the time and will know how to do this in the most cost effective and time efficient way. So don’t hesitate to call a Mr. Swirl plumber if you suspect a bad wax ring.
Inspect the Toilet Line
So, at this point you’ve inspected every part of your toilet. The tank is not leaking, there is no water seeping from the base of the toilet, the bolts are secure, the toilet doesn’t wobble and there are no funny smells or sounds. You’re almost all done, the final step is just to inspect any exterior plumbing to your toilet. In the majority of cases this is just the little hose line that runs into the wall behind your toilet.
Locate the toilet line and all you need to do is a simple visual inspection. Look for any dripping or moisture with special attention to its contact points. If your line is all dry then your good to go!
Anything can happen at any given moment when it comes to plumbing, but with this inspection you can be certain that there are no unavoidable pressing problems with your toilet! A leaky toilet can cost you hundreds over the years through wasted water. Worse off, leaking at the base of your toilet could cause significant water damage and ruin your property.
No matter what the problem with your toilet is, if you’re in Maple Ridge, Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Poco, Langley or anywhere else in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley or Greater Vancouver call the best plumbers around, Mr. Swirl!