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If your toilet is leaking, running, slow-filling, noisy or if it won’t flush, try a DIY fix before you call a plumber. First learn how a toilet works, then you can troubleshoot and repair it.
To better understand how your toilet works, take the lid off of your tank and flush the toilet a few times. Here's what happens:
If you have water on the floor around your toilet, fix the problem right away so moisture does not damage your subfloor.
Start by checking all connections - the tank bolts, the fill valve/ballcock mounting nut and supply tube coupling nut. Is everything tight? If so, you may need to replace the washers.
If water is dripping from the side of the tank during warm humid weather, it may be condensation. Water entering the tank is usually colder than the room's temperature. Use proper ventilation to help reduce condensation. Another solution is a toilet liner kit, a foam panel placed inside the tank.
Is the toilet tank cracked? If so, you need to buy a new tank.
Water around the base of a toilet could be caused by a wax ring that no longer seals or by a cracked toilet base. If the toilet leaks constantly, the toilet base is cracked and must be replaced. If leaking occurs during or after a flush, replace the wax ring.
There are three main things to check for;
Make sure the water supply is open and the valve parts are clean and operating correctly.
A toilet that won't stop running wastes water and costs money. The problem is usually in the fill tank. Do some simple tests before resorting to installing a new toilet.
Watch our DIY Basics video: How Do I Unclog My Toilet?