A Homeowners Guide To Toilet Leaking in Calgary: Identify the Causes and Call the Pros

Ah, toilet leaks. Aren't they just the worst? A water heater leak, fine. A faucet leak, fine. Toilet leaks are especially frustrating because they are easily visible, constantly used, and messy. Who likes wet socks from puddling water around your toilet? Not many homeowners. If your toilet undergoes leaking often, this blog is the ultimate Calgary homeowners guide to toilet leaking. If left unattended, leaks can lead to substantial water damage costs. Even contained leaks, such as those from the tank to the bowl, still contribute significantly to your monthly water expenses. It's crucial to address these issues promptly to avoid unnecessary financial burden.

Depending on the severity of the leak, you may be able to repair it on your own. However, if you don't have the proper tools, knowledge, or overalls to handle the task, guess what? Your local Calgary plumbers do! It is important to address toilet leaks promptly as they may harbour harmful bacteria. For a safe and effective cleanup, it is advisable to seek the expertise of a professional plumber in Calgary. 

Now, let's take a look at what may be causing the toilet leaking in your bathroom and when you must call the pros.

Why Is My Toilet Leaking in Calgary?

Not all leaking toilet situations are the same. However, there are four common types of problems you should look out for. Examine every possible area and type of toilet leak to pinpoint the issues and potentially cut down on time and money spent on plumbing services. 

Is Your Toilet Running? Toilet Tank Leaks Can Be Expensive!

Tank leaks can occur due to a loose or worn-out tank-to-bowl connection. In two-piece toilets, the tank and bowl are secured together by a set of gaskets, nuts, and bolts. Should any of these components become loose, a leak may develop in the toilet. The term, 'Running Toilet' comes from the noise it makes; the sound of continuous flushing. A leaking toilet can greatly increase your water bills, so it's important to fix the leak as soon as possible. 

There are typically three main parts inside the tank that can malfunction and cause the toilet running:

Overflow tube: The part responsible for preventing the toilet tank from overflowing is appropriately named the overflow tube. If the overflow tube is malfunctioning, it won't be able to gauge the water level in the tank. If it can't measure the water level, it will keep running and eventually overflow. If water flooding is occurring in the toilet bowl, it is a sign of a malfunctioning overflow tube. 

Flush valve: The second problematic component is the flush valve, which plays a crucial role in releasing the water from the tank when the toilet is flushed. In fact, when it comes to the most frequent cause of a continuously running toilet, the flush lever takes centre stage.

Fill valve: The third component that may be causing the toilet to run is the fill valve. If the fill valve is faulty, it will let too much water into the toilet tank, causing more water to be flushed down the drain with each flush. 

Telltale signs of a running toilet:

  • Constant sound of running water in your toilet
  • Irregular water cycling, sometimes called "phantom flushing"
  • The water level in your bowl rises constantly
  • Hissing sounds when you flush

Dealing with a fixture that is always leaking and wasting water is not just irritating, it can also lead to a significant increase in your monthly water bill, causing you to literally flush money down the drain. For instance, an undetected leaky toilet tank can result in as much as 80,000 gallons of water going to waste annually, and you're the one picking up the tab on your water bill.

Where To Check for Running Toilet Trouble 

To identify if your toilet is running, start by taking off the tank lid and checking the height of the fill valve's adjustable float. Make sure it aligns with the markings on the overflow tube, about three centimeters below the top of the tube. If the float level is too high, water can continuously spill into the overflow valve, causing the fill valve to overwork. If the float is set correctly, the issue might be with the flapper or its chain.

The flapper is the small plastic seal at the bottom of the tank that opens and closes when you flush. If the flapper chain is too short, the flapper won't close properly, causing water to keep flowing into the bowl. In the case of a proper chain length, the problem might be due to a worn flush valve. Chemical cleaners and limescale buildup can accelerate the deterioration of the flush valve, weakening the seal over time. 

How To Tell If Leaking Is At the Toilet’s Base

Puddles surrounding your toilet are indicative of leaking from the base. There are a few steps you can take to confirm your suspicions. Inspect the area to identify where the leak is coming from. Make sure to wear gloves and a mask, as sometimes the water emits a foul odour. If you don't see any leaks coming from the bottom, it might be due to a crack in the toilet bowl or damage to the water supply line. 

If you can't see any clear signs of damage, then the pools of water are likely from something beneath your fixture. Floor flanges and wax gaskets are meant to prevent this type of flooding, but when they fail, those faults will lead to puddles. The floor flange plays a crucial role as a pipe fitting, serving to securely connect the toilet to the drainage system while also guaranteeing its strong and stable attachment to the impeccably finished floor. This may need a replacement if the leak persists.

What Causes Toilet Base Leaks?

  • Loose Tee Bolts: Over time, the bolts that secure the toilet can become loose, leading to water leaks. If you notice the toilet shifting or wobbling, it's important to check the base for loose bolts and gently nudge or pull it to see if it's insecure. You can then tighten the bolts using a screwdriver or putty knife, alternating sides, but be careful not to over-tighten them to prevent damage to the porcelain.
  • Deteriorated Wax Ring: The wax ring plays a crucial role as a buffer between the toilet fixture and the floor flange. Its main purpose is to effectively stop any leaks from the base of the toilet while ensuring a completely odorless seal. These rings are remarkably sturdy and installation is quite straightforward.
  • Misaligned Valves and Pipes: When valve connections to sewer lines are misaligned, leaks can occur, typically as a result of inadequate installation or damage over time. In such situations, repairs or replacements may be indispensable.
  • Cracked Bowl: If you happen to observe a crack in the porcelain of your toilet bowl, it is possible that water might seep out directly from the bowl even before it reaches the base. It is crucial to meticulously examine both the interior and exterior of the plumbing fixture to identify any signs of cracks. To identify minute hairline cracks in the glossy white porcelain, you may find it necessary to employ a flashlight. Should you come across any cracks, it is of utmost importance to engage the services of a skilled plumber to replace the fixture.

No matter the cause, it's usually best to entrust toilet repair to our experienced plumbers in Calgary, who are equipped with the proper tools and knowledge. Call our skilled plumbers anytime, day or night, and we'll promptly send a professional to restore your bathroom to perfect working order, sparing you the worry of incorrect installation or further damage, stress and expenses.

Leaking From A Crack

If you have a porcelain base, chips, cracks, dents, and all those imperfections are inevitable. Minor hairline cracks on the exterior of a tank may appear insignificant, but it is essential to take precautionary measures, especially if the crack is small and does not cause apparent reasons for leaks. Toilets leaking through such cracks indicate that the crack goes through both sides, compromising structural integrity. A crack in your tank could ultimately result in a complete collapse or break, causing severe water damage.

Are Toilet Leaks A Plumbing Emergency?

We have all had some sort of encounter with or heard stories about significant plumbing disasters. And when it comes to a leaking toilet, it's difficult to determine if it qualifies as an emergency. However, if your toilet is leaking from its base, it most certainly falls into the category of a plumbing emergency. This leak is getting into your bathroom floor and subfloor, possibly causing serious damage like wood decay, which can weaken the structure of your home. It is vital to address this issue promptly in order to ensure the safety and well-being of your home. The sooner you contact Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary, the better.

A leaking toilet from the tank to the bowl can be an emergency depending on severity and impact. Mr. Rooter Plumbing understands the urgency and provides prompt, fee-free emergency services for efficient plumbing repairs. Contact our dependable team for help. Trust us to resolve your toilet leak!

Mr. Rooter Plumbing: Calgary’s #1 Choice for Toilet Leaking Services

There's a reason why Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Calgary is Calgary's top choice for plumbing issues. Our team of plumbing technicians is ready to help with any household plumbing issues, such as fluctuating tank levels or a faulty water supply valve. Trust us to provide the reliable solutions you need.

Is your toilet leaking? Get in touch with our excellent customer service team today, to schedule a toilet leak appointment! While you're there, check out what other Calgarians have said about their experiences with Mr. Rooter Plumbing in the ratings and reviews section!