If you have a toilet leak that you can’t account for, it’s time for a little detective work. Short of condensation, chances are you have a leak stemming from the tank or bowl. For purposes of this blog, we’ll concentrate on how to detect and test for tank leaks, and save bowl leaks for another day, and another blog.
The single best piece of advice we can give you is “don’t wait!” Because if indeed you do have a crack in your tank, it’s not going to get any better on its own.
Outside the Tank
The easiest cracks to spot are those on the outside of the tank, of which there are three basic types:
- Hairline cracks at or near the top, and probably not causing a leak.
- Hairline cracks further down, and these can usually be repaired.
- Larger cracks anywhere on the tank, and those mean require replacing the tank or your toilet.
Inside the Tank
To thoroughly examine the inside of your tank, you first need to drain it. Start by turning off the valve behind the toilet and then flush until the water in the tank is gone or at least close to it. Then look inside for the following:
- Hairline cracks on the top edge, again more cosmetic than problematic.
- Hairline cracks below the water – these can usually be repaired with an epoxy.
- Larger cracks below the water line – there’s no effective way to repair these.
But let’s say you don’t want to go to all the trouble of draining your tank, but you still want to be absolutely certain whether you have a cracked toilet tank or not. In that case, grab a little food coloring and place a drop or two in the tank. Then, about a half hour later, check the bowl – don’t let anyone flush in the meantime! – and if the water has a trace of the same food coloring, you definitely have a leak.
For toilet problems of any kind, contact Baylor Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for prompt and professional assistance. We also provide 24/7 emergency repairs for any home comfort problem that just can’t wait until the morning.