Most homeowners in Denver have been there. You go into the bathroom in the morning, still a little bleary-eyed from sleep, and are shocked to find that the floor is wet. You may be quick to blame the dog or a young child, but then your realize your toilet is leaking.
The tricky part is determining where that leak is coming from in order perform the plumbing maintenance. Try these simple methods to diagnose the problem quickly.
One possibility is that your toilet is not leaking at the base itself, but that the toilet is sweating and the liquid is pooling at the base. It is easy enough to make this distinction; just check the toilet throughout the day to see if there is any moisture on the outer surface. If so, your toilet is sweating.
“Sweating” is caused by humid air condensing on the cold porcelain. The only way to fix this problem is to insulate the toilet.
Bad Tank Seal
Another possibility is a bad seal. There are two main seals on your toilet that can leak: the tank seal and the wax seal.
To check for a bad tank seal, put some food coloring in the tank. You don’t need a lot, just enough to noticeably change the color of the water. Then, let the toilet sit without being used for a few hours. If the water on the floor is colored, then the tank seal on your toilet needs to be replaced.
Bad Wax Seal
The other seal that can leak is the wax seal that is located at the actual base of the toilet. Diagnosing this problem is similar to the tank seal method above.
Again, add food coloring, this time to the water in the bowl. Then flush and repeat. After adding coloring the second time, let the toilet sit like in the steps above. If the colored water starts collecting around the base of the toilet after a few hours, the wax seal needs to be replaced.
Once you have determined the cause of the leaking, you can make the proper plumbing repairs. Some home owners are savvy enough to do toilet repairs on their own, but if that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, call in a pro. Fixing a toilet seal is a relatively quick job and worth the expense, so if you need help call Bell Plumbing and Heating.